Why do we use roundabouts?
Roundabouts are often used in new or remodeled intersections to lower the incidence of crashes. View Video
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a video featuring roundabouts.
Roundabouts show a 39 percent decrease in all crashes and an 89 percent decrease in fatal crashes. More
Better traffic flow
Roundabouts can handle high levels of traffic with less delay than most stop signs or signals.
The tight curves slow traffic so entering and exiting are easier and more efficient.
Better fuel efficiency and air quality
Where roundabouts replace signals, idling decreases which reduces vehicle emissions and fuel consumption by 30 percent or more.
Roundabouts in Minnesota
Minnesota is installing roundabouts at some intersections that have a high crash rate or where more than two roads intersect.
How to drive a roundabout
- Slow down as you approach the roundabout.
- For multi-lane roundabouts, as with any intersection, get into
the appropriate lane as you approach the roundabout.
- Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the roadway.
- Watch for signs or pavement markings that require or prohibit
- When entering a roundabout, yield to vehicles already in the roundabout. Do not cross into the roundabout until all traffic from the left has cleared.
- After entering the roundabout, drive in a counter-clockwise direction until you reach your exit.
- Do not stop, pass or change lanes within a roundabout.
- If an emergency vehicle approaches, exit the roundabout immediately and then pull over.
Cyclists can either ride with traffic inside the roundabout or use the crosswalks appropriately.
Cyclists who ride with traffic must follow the same rules as vehicles and must yield as they enter the roundabout. Since traffic moves slowly in the circle, cyclists should be able to travel at or near the same speed as motorists, staying in line with circulating traffic.
Cross only at crosswalks, and always stay on the designated walkways. Never cross to the central island. Cross the roadways one direction at a time. Use the median island as a halfway point where you can check for approaching traffic.