Navigating A Multi-Lane Roundabout

Published 2014-11-08
Roundabouts are becoming more common across the country every year. They are designed to maximize safety for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike, by slowing traffic and preventing high-risk crashes, and with less delay than typical traffic lights.

This video shows drivers how to navigate a multi-lane roundabout and what to do when large vehicles and emergency vehicles are traveling through the roundabout.

This video was developed by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB). For more information about the LRRB, visit our website at www.lrrb.org/

All Comments (21)
  • Gamestycon
    What makes me mad about the double lanes roundabouts is that sometimes I’m in left lane trying to go straight and some guy in the right is there blocking the way.
  • Thog Mage
    As someone from the UK, I've had great fun reading this comment section. It's a nice reminder that what is commonplace for me (driving through dozens of roundabouts every week) isn't going to be normal for everyone.
  • John John
    The scary thing is, I've been driving for 2 years and still had to look this up.
  • Roodly F Buts
    Almost got into an accident in a very small roundabout. Thought I'd watch this video to help me better understand them. Yup, the other driver should have yielded. They were going like 40. I was lucky to not have been in a wreck, especially since we both slammed on our breaks and came to a stop in the roundabout.
  • Graeme Hay
    I really enjoyed this film: it makes it all so clear. Living in the UK I have been navigating roundabout junctions since around 1965, as a lad on a bicycle and the principles described here are just the same. The only thing which I noticed was the absence of any advice on drivers using indicators to signal their intent of direction on approach to the roundabout? In the UK we are taught to indicate right or left on approach for those directions and to give no signal for continuing on the same (Straight-ahead) route). We are also taught that once in the roundabout a right signal be given to indicate your intention to leave the roundabout immediately after your vehicle passes the exit before the one that you want to take. That is to say the earliest possible notice you can give to other drivers, without causing any confusion. Unfortunately some drivers do not give exiting signals, which is a shame because where thy are used traffic can enter the roundabout with greater confidence and this adds up to a significant increase in the safe traffic handling capacity of the junction.
    I most of Europe such roundabout junctions exist but drivers never give signals and most drivers position their vehicles across either both lanes, in the incorrect lane or simply cut across all lanes in the roundabout. The result of this is that no one know when and where anyone intends to go and the capacity of the junctions reduces to very low levels and there are many minor collisions.
    Again, I really did enjoy this films clarity.
  • Aiden Marshall
    I’m a new driver with my permit (US) and I just had an incident in which i was entering a two lane roundabout with the intention to go straight. A car was coming in the far lane/second lane and i assumed he wasn’t going straight, but rather traveling around the round about, so i went. I almost hit him if it weren’t for my dad saying “You can’t do that!” and grabbing the wheel to pull me to the right. Needless to say, it was scary so i came here to relearn roundabouts. Man i wish they were all one lane.
  • Sarah Nova
    There was a new roundabout installed in a local city years ago. One late night I was driving around with my mom near the new round about. There was little traffic, but A minivan was in front of us as we approached the roundabout. Instead of using the roundabout as intended, the minivan just floored it across the inner circle and barely made it across the grass to the other side. It absolutely astounds me that we share the road with people like that every day 🤦🏻‍♀️
  • Alyssa
    Thank you for posting this. I’m about to move out of my hometown where we don’t have any of these roundabouts and my new town has them all over. One in particular is even more trickier than the ones in the video which I’m a little apprehensive about. Not only am I still unsure about navigating my way around town but the roundabout looks sort of scary. Everyone is moving what seems like so fast and I feel like I need more time to figure out where to go and which lane to be in. I get the feeling I’ll be making multiple loops around until I figure out my exit strategy. lol
  • McMatthew99
    What do you do if you're intending to make a left turn and in the left lane but someone in the right lane is blocking your path? Or is this an impossible scenario if everyone yields correctly?
  • Xanderulz
    I'm 21 and have been driving for 7 years now. Had to look this up since I moved to Australia and roundabouts seem to be a traffic fetish here.
  • Terry B
    For people that are unfamiliar with the area, they may not know which exit to use when they get into the roundabout. This can make it hard to know what lane to get into even before reaching the roundabout. That's why it's always going to be difficult for tourists unless they're using a good GPS.
  • Collin Morris
    In a multilane traffic circle, any direction change that exceeds 180 degrees takes place on the inside lane. If you're on the outside lane, attempting 270, or a complete 360, don't assume the inside lane driver to your left is doing the same. In a roundabout, it's best just to proceed defensively. Round here, folks don't know how to use them properly.
  • Tehol Beddict
    Great video, thanks. Very concerning that as a driver for nearly two decades i am just now learning the proper way to nevigate a traffic circle.
  • hopeseekr
    I needed to watch this just to play Euro Truck Simulator 2. Man! I kept crashing into cars and even semis left and right, especially in London where it's on the left side :O But even in Paris and Berlin, the multilane round abouts screwed me over. This video helped a lot!
  • Phoe Nix
    I have learned that when an emergency vehicle enters the roundabout when you are still on it, then you should make an extra loop around the roundabout so that you wont be in the way of the emergency vehicle after exiting. I think this is safer than exiting and pulling over.
  • Xiefux
    roundabouts should stay single lane as God intended
  • audiogarden21
    Just the other day here in Ohio on the north end of Columbus near 270 I entered a multilane roundabout on my motorcycle. There were two cars to the left just about to enter the roundabout when I entered on the right lane going straight. By the time I got about midway of the two exit lanes to my right, the inner lane car going straight started honking at me. Considering the relatively slow speed limits of roundabouts being 20 miles per hour, I was taken aback by this as there was more than ample time for me to get through without a fuss. I ride a WR250R, which has very low gearing compared to most street bikes as it is essentially a street legal dirt bike and I don't fuss around on acceleration so I had no trouble swiftly approaching the limit to keep up with the flow of traffic.

    Confused at the time I thought, did I do something wrong? So here I am double checking my understanding of how multilane roundabouts work. In retrospect, I'd have to say that they were in the wrong for going faster than the speed limit, which would have put them at fault. I've accelerated in front of on-coming cars on 50 mph+ roads and freeways having been more than capable of getting up to speed long before they would've ever had a chance to rear end me. Had they been going the speed limit, there would have been no conceivable way for them to have been that close in less than three seconds.

    The bottom line is; watch yourselves out there, because no one else will... Everyone thinks they have the right of way.
  • Komson P.
    I love it. Thanks so much. All the countries should have modern roundabouts. I wonder how much traffic volumes a multi-lane roundabouts can take.
  • Isylumn
    Just when I think I've got round-a-bouts managed, there are always a-holes who break the rules and make me question why I'm not lucky like them.
  • Max
    Roundabout is the best word for someone with a Minnesotan accent.