Definition of a Roundabout

A road junction at which traffic moves in one direction round a central island to reach one of the roads converging on to it.

Typical usage -   "Turn right at the next roundabout"

Synonyms - Rotary, traffic circle

Tutorial Video - This video about the roundabouts is not a nice to have. It is critically important that you know how to set yourself up to be able to do a roundabout correctly. The open roundabout rules forms the foundation for all the roundabouts. This video covers in detail how to deal with the three basic types of roundabouts, namely, open and closed roundabouts and also mini roundabouts. There is also a unique tutorial on the spiral roundabout. Knowing how to identify them, approach and deal with them is critically important for your skill set as a good driver. Know the differences between the different types of roundabouts so that you know how to deal with them. This is critical information on the approach and signalling that you need to use for each type of roundabout. Click here to watch the CarCaptain Tutorial Video

There are three basic signaling and positioning rules to use when approaching a normal open roundabout

There are two major factors which need to be remembered when you approach a roundabout. Firstly, we always consider a roundabout on the basis of a clock, meaning that in our mind's eye we superimpose a normal clock over the roundabout to determine where our exit is in relation to our point of entry. Our point of entry on the roundabout is considered as the 6 o’clock position. This is also true of the greater majority of leaderboards. (I.e. signs preceding the entry onto the roundabout depicting the position and direction of the exits.)

The second consideration is the number of the exit that we are about to take. It is only in the prime rule (rule number 1) that there is a fixed procedure, in as far as our position of entry is concerned, all the other exits from the second exit upwards i.e. exits numbered greater than one, the position of entry will be governed by where the exit is in relation to the superimposed clock. I.e. is the exit on or before 12 o’clock, or is the exit beyond 12 o’clock. In all cases when the exit, is not the first exit, and the exit is before 12 o’clock, or at 12 o’clock, this is covered by the second rule. If the exit is beyond 12 o’clock, and not the first exit, then it is covered by the third rule.


Rule 1. Taking the first exit

This is the prime rule. It is referred to as the prime rule as it takes priority over all the other rules when considering what to signal and what position to take up in the roundabout. If your intention is to take the first exit, approach the roundabout with your left signal on, keep to the leftmost lane, or leftmost position, when it is safe to do so enter the roundabout and keep to the left with your left signal on. You will then exit the roundabout still with your left signal on and then cancel your signal once you are in the road leading off the roundabout.



Rule 2. If your exit is not the first exit, but your exit is before 12 o’clock or directly ahead at 12 o’clock

Approach the roundabout without a signal, keeping to the leftmost position. When it is safe, enter the roundabout and keep in the left lane, checking your mirrors and then signalling left at the exit prior to your exit. In all cases you must signal left at the exit prior to your exit, in such a way that the people waiting at the exit before your exit do not think you are leaving the roundabout at that specific exit. It is imperative in all cases before you leave the roundabout to make sure that there are no vehicles on your left-hand side.


Rule 3. If youRules3r exit is not the first exit, but beyond 12 o’clock then this rule will apply

You must approach the roundabout with your right signal, keep to their rightmost position or lane, and keep your right signal on when you have safely entered the roundabout. You will keep to the right hand lane up to the exit before your exit, signalling right all the time. Then at the exit before your exit, carefully check center and your left-hand mirror, if it is safe to do so, signal left and then move into the left lane to exit the roundabout. Keep your left signal on until you are clear off the roundabout.

Classification of Roundabouts

Knowing your "Classification of Roundabouts" is extremely useful when you approach a roundabout as it defines how you would deal with road positioning and signalling on the approach to the roundabout and also on the roundabout itself.