Roundabout Navigation 101

Posted by Brett Oliver on Jul 31, 2013
Tags: Community, Public Safety, Road Construction, Town News

The roundabout located at Trophy Lake Drive and Trophy Club Drive carries hundreds of cars each day to various destinations. Proper navigation through the roundabout is important for the safety of drivers, golf carts, pedestrians and cyclists. The roundabout has become the standard as a traffic control safety device throughout the world because of its simplicity, reduced crash severity and reduced long term maintenance costs. As with any new traffic control device, the motorist, bicyclist and pedestrian must become accustomed to the proper means of navigating roundabouts. Below are some general navigation rules and tips for safely maneuvering through a roundabout.


Pictured to the left is the advance warning sign that indicates the motorist is approaching a roundabout. This sign will be in advance of all single and multi-lane roundabouts. The motorist needs to slow down when approaching roundabouts as a roundabout is typically designed for a driving speed of 15 MPH. Often, a recommended driving speed plate will also be placed under the roundabout warning sign.



Since roundabouts come in single and multiple lane configurations, the next sign the motorist will encounter is the lane designation sign. The motorist should shift lanes to the appropriate lane prior to traversing the roundabout. In a single lane roundabout the motorist has one lane choice to traverse the roundabout. In a multiple lane roundabout, the motorist should lane shift to the appropriate lane prior to entering the roundabout. If making a right turn, drivers should use the outside lane, while vehicles making a left turn or U-turn should use the inside lane.




The YIELD sign is not new or exclusive to a roundabout. However, it is the most important sign at the roundabout intersection to make the roundabout operate efficiently and safely.


Navigating a Roundabout


  • When approaching a roundabout, slow down. Be in the proper lane when approaching the roundabout.
  • Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk because they have the right of way. It is the law.
  • When entering a roundabout, YIELD TO THE VEHICLES ALREADY IN THE ROUNDABOUT. Merge into the traffic flow when it is safe. The motorist already in the roundabout has the right of way. Always follow the arrows and turn to the right. DO NOT TURN TO THE LEFT WHEN ENTERING A ROUNDABOUT!
  • Do not cross a solid white line.
  • Continue through the roundabout until you reach your exit. DO NOT STOP OR PASS IN A ROUNDABOUT.
  • When exiting a roundabout, signal your turn and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.


  • Cyclists share the road with vehicles and can ride with traffic inside the roundabout.
  • Cyclists who ride with traffic must follow the same rules as vehicles and must yield as they enter the roundabout.
  • Since traffic is slower in the roundabout, cyclists should be able to travel at or near the same speed as motorists, staying in line with the circulating traffic.


  • Cross only at crosswalks and always stay on the designated walkways.
  • Never cross to the central island.
  • Cross roundabouts one approach at a time.
  • Use the splitter island as a stopping point where you can check for approaching traffic.

Information for this article was shared from Blake Redfield's Roundabouts: In the St. Cloud Metro Area.