How to do Roundabouts - Highway Code

It is fair to say that roundabouts are one of the hardest sections of the Highway Code for beginners to master. Make sure you read through this page a few times until you completely understand it. If you are learning to drive and have any questions, be sure to note them down and ask your driving instructor next time you have a lesson.

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Section 184

Section 184 of the Highway Code is all about what to do when approaching a roundabout. To ensure you approach roundabouts safely you should look out for traffic signs, traffic lights and lane markings, all of which will help you to prepare for manoeuvring around the roundabout and identifying the correct lane.

When approaching a roundabout you should:

  • Use the mirror-signal-manoeuvre process
  • Decide which exit you need to take as early as possible
  • Use the appropriate signal at the optimal time to inform other road users of your intentions
  • Get into the correct lane
  • Adjust your speed and position to the traffic conditions
  • Remain aware of the speed and position of the traffic around you

Section 185

Section 185 explains what you should do when you reach the roundabout. Again it is important to be aware of the traffic around you and look out for road users who may be signally incorrectly or in some cases not signally at all!

When reading a roundabout you should:

  • Always give priority to the traffic coming from the right, unless you have been directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights
  • Check if the road markings allow you to proceed without giving way (always look right before joining just in case)
  • Watch out for other road users on the roundabout
  • Check the traffic has moved off in front of you before you proceed to enter the roundabout

Section 186

This section of the Highway Code explains the signals and positions required to exit a roundabout safely. Follow the rules and you will find maneuvering roundabouts to be much less stressful.

When taking the first exit (unless signs and markings indicate otherwise):

  • Signal left and approach the exit in the left hand lane
  • Keep to the left on the roundabout and signal left to leave

When taking an exit to the right or going full circle (unless signs or markings indicate otherwise):

  • Signal right and approach the exit in the right hand lane
  • Keep to the right on the roundabout until you need to change lanes to reach your exit
  • Signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you intend to take

When taking any intermediate exit (unless signs or markings indicate otherwise):

  • Select the appropriate lane on approach to the roundabout
  • Stay in the lane until you need to alter your lane to exit
  • Signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want to take

Section 187

Section 187 explains the road users you should watch out for and give plenty of room to when approaching and entering a roundabout. This includes:

  • Pedestrians crossing the approach and exit roads
  • Traffic crossing in front of you on the roundabout (look for vehicles intending to leave at the next exit)
  • Traffic straddling lanes or positioned incorrectly (it happens more than you think!)
  • Motorcyclists
  • Cyclists and horse riders who may remain in the left hand lane and signal right if they intent to continue round the roundabout
  • Long vehicles (including those towing trailers) which might have to take a different course or straddle lanes because of their length
  • Keep an eye out for all road users' signals

Section 188
This section of the Highway Code is all about mini-roundabouts. You should apply the same rules to approaching and entering mini-roundabouts as you would normal roundabouts. It is important to remember that all vehicles must pass round the central markings, unless they are too large to do so. You will find that when driving around mini-roundabouts there is less room to manoeuvre and less time to signal, so take extra care.

Section 189
If you are faced with a double mini-roundabout, make sure that you treat each roundabout separately (approaching and entering them in the same way you would any roundabout) and give way to traffic coming from your right.

Section 190
If you are approaching a set of mini-roundabouts (common at complex junctions) you need to treat each of them separately, following the rules stated above.

Highway Code

What Lane do I need to be when approaching roundabout?
What is the appropriate speed and gear to use to negotiate roundabouts?
When to signal (indicate) when approaching roundabout?
What routine to follow on roundabout in UK?
How to deal with cyclist, motor bikes, horse riders and pedestrians on roundabouts?
What exists are left and what exits are right on a roundabout?
Are rules for Roundabouts same as cross roads?

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