FAVOURITES{{shortlistedCars}}
LOGIN
How traffic circles work - Media

Advice

How traffic circles work

It seems that traffic circles actually end up confusing and intimidating many of us

How traffic circles work

How traffic circles work

 

Despite being designed to simplify and speed up traffic flow, it seems that traffic circles actually end up confusing and intimidating many of us. According to those in the know, like traffic engineers (yes, apparently there is such a thing!), traffic circles are actually safer and more efficient than traffic lights or four-way stops, as long as they are correctly built and used.

 

Here’s an explanation of how they work:

  •  The golden rule of traffic circles is to give way to cars coming from the right.
  • A traffic circle should be treated like a yield sign: you need to slow down as you approach the circle.
  • Check that nothing is coming from the right. If the traffic is clear, carry on going. You do NOT have to stop before entering the circle if there is no traffic coming, but traffic in the circle has right of way.

To exit the circle, indicate and then take the appropriate exit.

 

  • If the traffic circle (also called a roundabout) has two lanes, things get slightly more complicated, although they are actually still very easy to navigate.

 

  • If you are exiting the roundabout at 9 o’clock (left) or 12 o’clock (straight), you must enter the traffic circle in the left lane and stay in the left lane until you exit.
  • If you are exiting the traffic circle at 3 o’clock (right), you must enter the traffic circle in the right lane and remain in the right lane until it is safe to switch to the left lane and then leave the circle. .
  • If you are exiting left or right, indicate before doing so. If you are going straight (12 o’clock), there is no need to indicate.

 

I’ve missed my exit!

  • If you miss your exit you are allowed to go around the traffic circle again (although you might feel a bit silly).

 

Mini traffic circles?

All of the above rules apply to large traffic circles only. Mini traffic circles, such as those found in suburbs, should actually be treated as a four-way stop (see our article on four-way stops here). That means, if you arrive first, you leave first.

 

 

 

How traffic circles work

 

Despite being designed to simplify and speed up traffic flow, it seems that traffic circles actually end up confusing and intimidating many of us. According to those in the know, like traffic engineers (yes, apparently there is such a thing!), traffic circles are actually safer and more efficient than traffic lights or four-way stops, as long as they are correctly built and used.

 

Here’s an explanation of how they work:

  •  The golden rule of traffic circles is to give way to cars coming from the right.
  • A traffic circle should be treated like a yield sign: you need to slow down as you approach the circle.
  • Check that nothing is coming from the right. If the traffic is clear, carry on going. You do NOT have to stop before entering the circle if there is no traffic coming, but traffic in the circle has right of way.

To exit the circle, indicate and then take the appropriate exit.

 

  • If the traffic circle (also called a roundabout) has two lanes, things get slightly more complicated, although they are actually still very easy to navigate.

 

  • If you are exiting the roundabout at 9 o’clock (left) or 12 o’clock (straight), you must enter the traffic circle in the left lane and stay in the left lane until you exit.
  • If you are exiting the traffic circle at 3 o’clock (right), you must enter the traffic circle in the right lane and remain in the right lane until it is safe to switch to the left lane and then leave the circle. .
  • If you are exiting left or right, indicate before doing so. If you are going straight (12 o’clock), there is no need to indicate.

 

I’ve missed my exit!

  • If you miss your exit you are allowed to go around the traffic circle again (although you might feel a bit silly).

 

Mini traffic circles?

All of the above rules apply to large traffic circles only. Mini traffic circles, such as those found in suburbs, should actually be treated as a four-way stop (see our article on four-way stops here). That means, if you arrive first, you leave first.