Roundabouts aka Traffic Circle Rules

D2L Driver Education offers in-car refresher lessons to those who are uncertain how to navigate roundabouts. Call 587-877-2846 for more details. 

For many drivers, the rules of the traffic circle are unclear. New (and old) drivers experience as sense of panic as they approach a traffic circle. Perhaps we recall the scene from National Lampoon’s European Vacation. Clark was unable for several hours to exit the traffic circle. He couldn’t get out of the inside lane.

The Alberta Driver’s Guide offers a clear explanation also differentiating between traffic circles, roundabouts and circular intersections. This video will offer an explanation of how to navigate a traffic circle. Notice, that unless the driver is exiting at the first exit, the left signal is activated. The reason the left signal is activated as the person enters the traffic circle is because they are merging to the left to enter the chosen lane. Only once the driver has made it just passed the intersection before the one he wants to exit on does he signal to the right. Signalling to the right too soon may cause a driver waiting to merge to think you are exiting, for instance, at the second exit rather than the third.

If a driver intends to exit at the third exit (equivalent of making a left turn), ideally he will travel in the inside of left lane of the traffic circle. If his intention is to exit at the second exit (equivalent of going driver straight), the vehicle can generally travel in either the right or left lanes. Regardless of the lane you enter, one of the most important details to remember is to remain in your lane throughout the whole process. Do not change lanes until one has exited completely. For more information check out Roundabout Resources.

Traffic Circle Sign

Perhaps those close calls can provide insight into how to and not to travel through a traffic circle.