Circular Intersections Around a Central Island

A roundabout is a circular intersection, with or without traffic signals, where all traffic moves counterclockwise around a central island. Traffic entering the roundabout slows down and yields the right-of-way to pedestrians and traffic already inside the circle. Roundabouts may have one or more circulation lanes that allow for right turns to be channelized to bypass the circulating lanes. Learn more about how to navigate roundabouts on the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Innovative Intersections and Interchanges page and by viewing the roundabout video and roundabout flyer (PDF). Additionally, view the Federal Highway Administration's roundabout page.

Why Use Roundabouts?

Roundabouts have been shown to reduce fatal and injury crashes by 75%. They also save at least $5,000 per year in electricity and maintenance costs as compared to traffic signals. Reducing intersection delay and decreasing commute times creates greater efficiency and reducing wait times means reduced fuel consumption and air pollution. Another added benefit to a roundabout is that they promote lower vehicle speeds, giving drivers more time to react.

Navigating Roundabouts

When approaching the roundabout, slow down and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, bicyclists and traffic already in the roundabout. Your entry point will be controlled by a stop or yield sign or traffic signal. When the way is clear, you may enter the roundabout.

Use Turn Signals

While inside the circle, stay in your lane until you are ready to exit. Use your vehicle’s right turn signal to let drivers around you know what you want to do.

Expect Blind Spots

Expect vehicles to be in blind spots, so do not change lanes or take an exit before checking for vehicles that may be continuing through the circle in the lane next to you or behind you.

Multi-Lane Roundabouts

For multi-lane roundabouts, look for directional signs and pavement markings and choose your lane prior to entering the roundabout. View a video about navigating a multi-lane roundabout