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How to navigate a roundabout

How to navigate a roundabout

This article was originally posted on economical.com.

Have you noticed more and more roundabouts popping up on roads around your neighbourhood? These circular intersections are intended to help keep traffic flowing more efficiently than regular intersections, decrease the number of serious collisions, allow for easier left turns, and reduce the emissions produced by vehicles idling at red lights. While roundabouts are effective when used properly, they can be a little intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with the rules. We’re here to help.

Next time you use a roundabout, take these tips for a spin to prevent a collision:

  1. As you’re approaching a multi-lane roundabout, there should be a sign that indicates which lane you need to take to get to each exit. Identify your desired exit and signal to get into the correct lane before you enter the roundabout. Don’t change lanes once you’re in the roundabout.
  2. Signal in the direction you want to go as you’re approaching the roundabout. Think of a roundabout like a normal intersection:
    • If you’re turning right, you need to signal to the right before you enter
    • If you’re heading straight through, there’s no need to signal
    • If you’re turning left, signal to the left before you enter
  3. Before you start moving into the roundabout, slow down and yield to pedestrians crossing the street or other vehicles already in the roundabout.Note: In most cities, vehicles have to yield to pedestrians — but in some cities, pedestrians have to yield to vehicles. Be sure to follow the road signs as you approach a roundabout.
  4. When the coast is clear and there’s a gap in traffic in both lanes, proceed into the roundabout. Remember to stay in your lane once you’ve entered.
  5. No matter which exit you’re taking, use your right signal to indicate you’re ready to exit the roundabout.

For single-lane roundabouts, all of the same rules apply, but you won’t need to choose a lane before entering.

Bonus tip: If you’re approaching a roundabout at the same time as a large transport truck or bus, don’t pull up directly beside them. Depending on its size, a truck or bus may need to use both lanes to get through the roundabout.

Sometimes accidents happen, even when you drive carefully and follow the rules of the road. Take a little time to familiarize yourself with the information you’ll need to provide to your insurance company if you have to make a car insurance claim and contact your licensed broker to make sure you have the coverage you need to protect you in the event of an accident.

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