Driving a Roundabout
- Approach: Slow down. Yield to pedestrians.
- Enter: Yield to vehicles in the roundabout. Wait for a gap in traffic, and merge into traffic in a counterclockwise direction.
- Proceed: Continue through the roundabout until you reach your street. Never stop in the roundabout.
- Exit: Exit the roundabout to your right. Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Download a simple rendering on How To Drive a Roundabout.
What is a Roundabout?
A modern roundabout is an unsignalized, circular intersection engineered to maximize safety and minimize traffic delay. Fundamental characteristics of all roundabouts include:
- Counterclockwise Flow. Traffic travels counterclockwise around a center island
- Entry Yield Control. Vehicles entering the roundabout yield to traffic already circulating.
- Low Speed. Curvature that results in lower vehicle speeds, generally 15-25 MPH, throughout the roundabout
Benefits of Roundabouts
- More than 90% reduction in fatalities
- 76% reduction in injuries
- 35% reduction in all crashes
- Eliminates head-on crashes and right-angle crashes
- Decreases severity of crashes
- Reduces speeds
- Can move more traffic during peak hours
- Reduces stops
- Reduces delays
- Reduces congestion
Sources: Iowa Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Center for Transportation Research and Education
Resources on Roundabouts
- Download a navigation guide from the Center for Transportation, Research, and Education
- Download: Iowa's Drivers Manual on Roundabouts
- Download: Federal Highway Administration "Roundabouts: A Safer Choice"
- General Information: Iowa Department of Transportation