CHP guide on how to use roundabouts
Let's talk about ROUNDABOUTS!!!! In today's lesson, we have a blue car, a yellow car, and orange car, a green car and the dreaded RED CAR!!! That red car is to blame for everything, isn't it???
Courtesy of : CHP NEWHALL Many people still get confused when they encounter a roundabout. They treat it like a four way stop sign when it's actually supposed to be treated like a yield sign. Now, many roundabouts have 2 lanes to use to enter the circle. If you intend on making the 1st or 2nd exit out of the circle, you should be in the right lane as you enter the circle. If you plan on traveling around the circle a bit, then you should PROBABLY be in the left lane and merge to the right if it's safe to do so in order to make your exit. Now HERE'S THE BEST PART! If you miss your exit....you can keep going around until it comes back again!!!! The blue car in the right lane has 3 options - take the U-turn on-ramp to the freeway, make the right turn across the bridge or continue "straight" and exit at the top of the circle. The blue car in the left lane would theoretically be going around the circle further before merging right to exit at the left of the circle. But no matter what the decisions were, the blue car must yield to the red car approaching from the left. Judging from it position in its lane, the yellow car is an example of merging from the left lane to the right lane to exit at the top of the circle. If it were to continue around and begin to merge to the right, the yellow car would need to be aware of the green car entering the circle at the top. The orange car at the top would approach the Yield limit lane and look to see what the traffic was like in the roundabout. If the yellow car were approaching, the orange car must yield to it. If the yellow car wasn't there, the orange car could enter the circle safely. A car entering the circle along the purple line could theoretically enter the circle freely if the green car were far enough away or it may have to yield. It is never wise to "jump in front of" a vehicle in the circle. It's best to wait until there is enough room to safely enter. A Yield sign becomes a Stop sign when there is traffic approaching. And yes, you may have to allow several vehicles to pass you before you can enter the roundabout. It is not automatically a "zipper" effect of one here, one there, one here, one there. Use your mirrors and don't cut another car off so you can make your exit. As I said, you CAN go around again until it's safe to change lanes. And one last thing - if you are on the inside of the circle and there is a large vehicle (like a big rig) on your left, be aware that the trailer of the big rig WILL encroach on your lane. It's physics called "rear-wheel cheat" and the trailer can't avoid it. Don't get into a lane contest in a roundabout with a big rig...you will lose.