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101 Guide on How to Navigate Roundabouts

101 Guide on How to Navigate Roundabouts

Doesn’t matter how good you are at riding a motorcycle, you can have a bad day while navigating a roundabout. If you have only started riding a motorcycle a few months back, you will find it the hardest to safely maneuver a roundabout. Most riders get confused when they enter a roundabout and sometimes get clueless seeing so much traffic approaching them from different directions. Most riders go through a nightmare when they have to intersect traffic while navigating a roundabout.

It may be the most difficult section to overcome for most riders but in real, if you know the basics and guidelines of how to navigate a roundabout safely, it becomes the easiest. In this article, we will be guiding you through each step of navigating a roundabout safely. So, continue reading it to get over your fear of navigating a roundabout.

1. What is a Roundabout?

What is a Roundabout
Photo Credit: Insure The Box

A roundabout is an intersection, containing a circular road in between and usually offering almost four exit ways. It is not a hard and fast rule as certain roundabouts have more than four exits and there are some with three exits as well. However, the most common one has usually four exits.

A roundabout is an intersection of two roads but it is different from a regular T-section and provides a safer passage for riders and drivers. It also ensures a better flow of traffic while minimizing the wait time as it eliminates the need for traffic signals.

2. How Do You Navigate Through a Roundabout?

Doesn’t matter whether you are riding a motorcycle or driving a car, the rules and guidelines stay the same for everyone tackling a roundabout. However, you have to be more cautious if you are navigating a roundabout on a motorcycle as you may be less visible to drivers, especially during intersections. Motorcycles are also prone to get into the blind spot which makes them vulnerable especially when navigating a roundabout.

2.1 Traffic Flow on Roundabouts in the U.S.

In the U.S., the traffic flows in the counterclockwise/anticlockwise direction while navigating a roundabout. The flow of traffic is also clockwise in some countries. So, you must be familiar with the regular flow of traffic where you live.

Imagine yourself riding a motorcycle and about to enter a roundabout while reading this article so you can learn effectively. We will break down the whole process in steps to make it more comprehensive and better understandable, starting from the first thing first.

2.2 Watch Out for Any Road Signs

Before anything, make sure you have an eye on road signs, they can be of extreme importance to navigate the roundabout safely and check for any hazards on time.

2.3 Stop for Pedestrians

Before entering a roundabout, most of the time you will have to come across a zebra crossing. Watch out for the road sign or any other indication before entering a roundabout. Slow down, stop before the crossing, and let pedestrians cross the road first. Only proceed when it is safe for you to go.

2.4 Right of Way

After letting the pedestrian cross the road, make sure to let the vehicle enter the roundabout which has the right of way. You must stay in your lane if the road leading to a roundabout has two lanes. If you are on the right lane and there is a vehicle entering a roundabout from the left lane beside you, it has the right of way to pass first. You must slow down and stop before it passes you to maintain road safety.

Another general rule to safely navigate a roundabout is to let the vehicle pass first which is already navigating a roundabout and is one exit away from you.

3. What Is the Correct Way to Go Around a Roundabout?

3.1 Going Right – Taking the First Exit on the Roundabout

After letting the vehicle pass that is already making a circle in the roundabout, it’s your turn to navigate the roundabout. If you are on the right lane, let the other vehicle beside you on the left pass first. It is because you can collide with each other if you have to go straight and the vehicle on the left lane has to take the first exit.

After the vehicle on the left lane has passed, turn on your right side indicator and smoothly turn your motorcycle right to take the first exit.

If it’s a two-lane roundabout and you have to take the first exit, make sure to ride in the right lane. When you enter the roundabout, turn on the right-hand indicator and keep riding in the right lane to take the first exit.

3.2 Going Straight – Taking the Second Exit on the Roundabout

If you have to take the second exit on a roundabout, meaning you have to go straight, watch out first if the way is cleared. Enter the roundabout and maintain a moderate speed. After you get past the first exit, turn on the right turn indicator to inform vehicles approaching you from behind that you are taking the second exit on the roundabout.

If the roundabout has two lanes, continue riding in the lane you are in and in the same manner, take the second exit. However, it is best to ride in the right lane if you are planning to take the second exit (go straight). If there is another vehicle in the left lane, it has the right of way to go first.

3.3 Going Left – Taking the Third Exit on the Roundabout

Taking the third exit means that you are supposed to take the left turn while navigating the roundabout. Make sure to position yourself in the left lane to safely take a left turn. After ensuring that the way is clear, continue riding without giving any turn signal to the approaching vehicle until you cross the second exit. Turn on the right turn indicator as you cross the second exit on the roundabout.

While navigating a two-lane roundabout, enter the roundabout from the left lane and continue riding in the inner lane. After that, follow the same procedure as above to turn to the left by taking the third exit.

3.4 Taking a U-Turn – Fourth Exit on the Roundabout

If you follow the traffic rules, you will take the U-turn wisely without skipping the roundabout. Taking an immediate U-turn is not an option as it can not only get you a ticket for violating traffic rules but you can also meet an accident by colliding with vehicles coming from the opposite side.

To safely take a U-turn while navigating a roundabout, make sure to keep it closer to the roundabout and turn on the left indicator while entering the roundabout.

Similarly, if you are to navigate a two-lane roundabout, make sure you are riding in the left lane. Turn on the left indicator while keeping your motorcycle in the inner lane of the roundabout.

As soon as you pass the third exit, turn on the right indicator to indicate to the vehicles approaching you that you are planning to take the fourth exit.

4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

4.1 What Is the 12 O'clock Rule at Roundabouts?

Most riders are confused regarding which lane they should stick to while navigating a two-lane roundabout. To make it easy for them, the 12 O’clock rule is a great help. If you are riding in the U.S., the roundabouts allow traffic to flow in the anticlockwise direction. Considering this, the 12 O’clock rule states that:

  • If you are entering a roundabout and your exit is at the 12’O clock or before, you should ride in the right lane.
  • If you are entering a roundabout and your exit is after the 12’O clock, you should ride in the left lane.

4.2 Which are the Four Common Mistakes Made When Navigating a Roundabout?

The most common mistakes made by riders and drivers while navigating a roundabout are:

  1. Making sudden intersections or changing your lane on a two-lane roundabout and when exiting it.
  2. Stopping at the roundabout in the middle for no obvious reason.
  3. Not using turn signals to notify other vehicles using the roundabout.
  4. Ignoring yield signs.

5. Takeaway

The above-mentioned guidelines can help you become a better rider and stay safe while navigating a roundabout. Above all, the traffic laws must be followed at all times. Though these guidelines serve as a perfect step-by-side procedure to go around a roundabout safely, riders must also look for any road signs and act wisely when facing other uncommon scenarios so they can use a different strategy while not compromising on traffic rules and road safety.

Using your instincts and judgments is also crucial to safely navigate a roundabout and tackle any challenge during the course. Don’t forget to use your turn signals and also keep an eye on other vehicles on the road and their actions.

6. Aftermarket Parts and Luggage Bag Options at Viking Bags

Once you are a pro at riding a motorcycle and can overcome any challenging situation, you are eligible to take the bike on long-haul journeys and motorcycle tours. Before you plan a motorcycle tour, make sure you visit Viking Bags’ online store where you will find motorcycle parts and luggage bag options, specially made for your make and model. Talk about the most in-demand motorcycle luggage bag, Viking Bags made the finest-quality saddlebags. Other than that, we have tank bags, tour packs, backpacks, sissy bar bags, and tool bags in the store.

In the aftermarket parts category, Viking Bags have the potential to transform your motorcycle into a perfect touring option, capable of ensuring long-distance supreme comfort. The available parts include sissy bars, backrests, crash bars, fairings, handlebars, and seats.

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