Your vehicle may not block the passage of vehicles at an intersection. You must determine that there will be sufficient space within and beyond the intersection to accommodate your vehicle without blocking traffic. If traffic has slowed, or stopped in the roundabout to such an extent that you would block traffic, do not proceed to enter the roundabout.
What can we do about people who do not yield?
First, practice defensive driving like you would at any other intersection. Second, be sure to follow all the yield rules yourself. By setting a good example other drivers will learn by watching you.
If there is a driver in the circulatory roadway that stops for you to enter, refuse to take them up on their offer. If we all provide the right example by following the yield-at-entry rule, the other drivers will eventually learn.
Do I have to use my turn signal?
Yes. Oregon law requires drivers to signal their exit from roundabouts.
Can I pass slow moving vehicles in the roundabout?
No, you should not change lanes in an intersection, roundabouts are no exception. Just like at any other intersection, drivers must determine their lane upstream of the entry.
Can I change lanes in a roundabout?
No. If you find you are in the wrong lane to exit where you want, you need to continue to the proper exit for the lane in which you are traveling. You will have to correct your mistake by traveling around the block as necessary.
Isn't a roundabout just another form of intersection control?
Absolutely, and, just like stop signs and stoplights it is important for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to learn the rules for roundabouts.
How do pedestrians cross the street at the roundabout?
All modern roundabouts have pedestrian refuges, called splitter islands, to separate entering and exiting traffic flows, and have marked crosswalks. Pedestrians should cross only at the crosswalks. The splitter island allows pedestrians to cross half way and concentrate on traffic approaching from one direction at a time.
Just like at any intersection, pedestrians have the right of way over other vehicles. This means drivers should yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks. Pedestrians, however, need to determine when it is safe for them to cross and pick a safe gap in traffic. Pedestrians should wait for traffic to stop before they cross and make sure drivers are aware they are crossing.
How do cyclists use a roundabout?
Bicyclists have a legal right to ride in the street with traffic when traveling through single-lane and multilane roundabouts just like other intersections. However, in general, bicyclists riding through intersections with multiple lanes of traffic increase their exposure to vehicles compared to single-lane environments. The same is true when considering single-lane and multilane roundabouts. Riding through a single-lane roundabout presents less exposure to vehicles compared to riding through a multilane roundabout.
Remember…whenever taking to the roadway take the time to…Be Seen, Be Aware, and Be Smart.
If you decide to act as a car:
• Take your lane
• Enter at appropriate speeds, yielding to traffic in the roundabout
• Ride defensively - motorists may not see you
• Follow the rules of the road for autos.
If acting as a pedestrian:
• Exit the bike lane onto the sidewalk system
• Use the cross walks and follow the rules for crossing as a pedestrian
• Walk your bike at the crosswalk - drivers will not have a chance to react to a fast moving bike entering the crosswalk.
Download a Bicyclist Brochure
How do trucks use a roundabout?
Truck aprons are added to roundabout designs to accommodate large truck turning movements. Sometimes truck aprons are located on the outside of the circulatory roadway to accommodate truck over-tracking for wide right turns, but mostly can be seen on the inside of the circulatory roadway to accommodate over-tracking for left turns. Trucks should use the truck aprons whenever they are provided.
In multilane roundabouts trucks will need to use more than their lane to accommodate wide turns. Drivers and bicyclists should never drive alongside large trucks due to this over-tracking into adjoining lanes. Trucks should take both lanes when entering a roundabout to ensure that drivers will not try to drive alongside.
Does traffic approaching from one direction have priority over traffic approaching from another direction?
The only priority rule at roundabouts is that entering drivers must yield to those already in the roundabout. Every entrance has a yield sign to remind entering drivers of this responsibility.
I learned the rule as "yield to the right." Is that correct?
Not in Oregon. Even at all-way stops in Oregon, there is no rule for drivers to yield to the right. After stopping at a stop sign, drivers are required to yield to ANY vehicle in the intersection or approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver is moving across or within the intersection.
At roundabouts in the USA, traffic circulates counter-clockwise, so it will be coming towards you from your left. Yield at the entry to circulating traffic. This requires you to yield to traffic on your left. Enter the roundabout when a safe gap exists.
Is a roundabout like a 4-way stop?
A driver at an all-way stop is required to stop before entering the intersection and is required to yield the right of way to any other vehicles that pose an immediate hazard.
At roundabouts, drivers are required to yield the right of way to all circulating vehicles, which may or may not require them to stop before entering the intersection.
Do I get a turn to go?
Roundabouts are not like 4-way stops. You do not get a turn to go. You may only enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in the traffic flow.
Do I have to stop at the yield signs?
It depends on the amount of traffic already in the roundabout. When there is a lot of traffic, you will probably have to stop. Ideally, however, you should try to judge a smooth entry into the traffic stream without stopping. You should always be traveling slowly enough to stop for pedestrians and other traffic as necessary.
What is the appropriate speed to drive through a roundabout?
Single lane roundabouts are designed for speeds less than 15 to 20 mph due to their turning radii and traffic conditions may require even slower speeds than these.
Multi-lane roundabouts have similar design speeds due to their geometry, but their speeds will vary more depending on traffic conditions. Drivers should proceed slowly enough to allow entry drivers the ability to take advantage of gaps in the traffic stream to enter the roundabout smoothly and efficiently. Drivers should drive slowly enough to be able to stop at any time for pedestrians or other traffic.
How large of a gap do I need?
You will have to use your own judgment based on the vehicle you are driving, the weather conditions, and traffic flow around you. It is always your responsibility to select a safe gap before you cross your yield line.
Is it OK to "let someone in?"
The goal is smoothly and efficiently flowing traffic. The more slowly you drive and the more uniform everyone's speeds are, the easier it is for drivers to merge into the traffic stream and use gaps in traffic efficiently. This increases the capacity of the roundabout and reduces the delay for all users.
You should not stop in the circulatory roadway with the intention of allowing an entering vehicle into the roundabout ahead of you. Yield-at-entry is the only operations rule observed at roundabouts.
In the case of emergency vehicles, drivers should clear the intersection before they pull over to the right and stop. This means that drivers should not stop in the circulatory roadway to let an emergency vehicle enter. Rather, they should stop before entering the roundabout prior to the yield line, or they should pull through the roundabout and stop after they have cleared the intersection.
I know the rule is "do not stop inside the roundabout." What should I do when someone else stops inside the roundabout?
Be patient. Wait for them and make sure they go first. You should not change lanes within an intersection and roundabouts are no exception. With more experience, all drivers gain enough confidence so they will not stop inside the roundabout.
Don't let a driver who stops in the circulatory roadway convince you to enter in front of them. Practice the yield-at-entry rule at all times.
What do I do when the driver in front of me is too timid at the yield line?
Be patient and wait for them to choose their safe gap. Try to avoid honking your horn because it tends to cause timid drivers to make mistakes.
Can I block the marked pedestrian crosswalks?
Your vehicle may not block the passage of pedestrians at an intersection. You must determine that there will be sufficient space on the other side of the marked crosswalk before you move forward to occupy that space.