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Roundabouts. Why Roundabouts Exists


Rules that apply

Follow the M-S-M routine on approach ensuring you position in the appropriate lane in good timeGive way to traffic that will cross your path from your right. (You must not cause traffic on your right to change speed or direction)Keep in correct lane on the roundaboutApply the M-S-M routine on your exit

The following diagrams show various roundabouts which will help explain how to deal with them and which lane to take.

Lane discipline

On a standard roundabout:



Turning left (red car)

Use the left lane as it is your first exit, signal left on approach.

Turning right (Exit 3 on diagram)

Signal right on approach and use the right hand lane and stay on the inside of the roundabout until you pass the last exit that is just before your turn (Exit 2 on diagram). Check mirrors and signal left to confirm your intentions to exit the roundabout.




Following the road ahead

On a standard roundabout (as blue car on diagram) you should use the left lane and stay on the outside of the roundabout. No signal will be required on approach as it is the second exit you require, check your mirrors and apply a left signal as you pass Exit


Following the road ahead

If the layout was as below:

Approach on the right and stay on the inside of the roundabout until you pass the first exit, then apply the M-S-M routine for leaving the roundabout (giving a left signal).


Look for lane markings

If you are following the road ahead on a main route (eg dual carriageway) you can often go ahead in either lane. If you approach on the left then you should stay to the left in new road, if you take the right hand lane on approach stay on the inside of the roundabout and exit in the right hand lane in new road.


Following the road ahead

If the layout was as below:

Approach on the left and stay on the outside of the roundabout. As the exit you are taking (blue car) is your first then you can indicate left on approach to confirm your intentions.




Turning Right

If you are turning right (yellow car) use the right hand lane and stay on the inside of the roundabout until you pass the first exit. Then check your mirrors and apply a left signal.


Giving Way

Although traffic can come all the way around the roundabout from Exit 1 (ahead) you will mainly have traffic to give way to only coming out of one exit - Exit 2 that intends to turn right therefore the majority of the time they will need to approach in their right hand lane, the traffic approaching on their left should be turning left and if so you will not need to give way.


Looking for Lane Markings

If the lane markings show that you can use either lane following the road ahead: If you approach on the left then you should stay to the left in new road, if you take the right hand lane on approach stay on the inside of the roundabout and exit in the right hand lane in new road.


Lane Discipline

On this roundabout the road markings show that the left hand lane should only be used for turning left. This will normally be where the left exit is more of a main route (i.e. city centre route or leading to a motorway).



Following the road ahead (where the left-hand lane is for turning left only)

As the markings show - you will need to use the right hand lane to follow the road ahead. Keep to the inside of the roundabout until passing the first exit. Be extra careful until passing the first exit and as you exit in case other vehicles have followed the road ahead in the left lane, which is the case on most roundabouts.


Following the road ahead on a dual carriageway




Roundabouts Making Progress






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