Roundabouts would have to be one of the most confusing things about Australian roads. What should be a simple way of approaching and using intersections can quickly turn into chaos as everyone seems to have their own idea as to who has right of way.

Technically, no one ever has the ‘right of way’ at a roundabout. Instead, there are laws you must follow as an individual while using common sense to avoid any to give way at a roundabout

Here’s how to give way at a roundabout.

How to give way when approaching a roundabout

Signs indicating a roundabout in the near distance are a signal that you should slow down and prepare to stop in order to give way to other vehicles using the roundabout. It’s also at these signs that you need to begin indicating left or right if you plan to turn at the roundabout.

If you fail to slow down and end up in a collision on the roundabout, even if another driver hits you, you can still be found at fault for not approaching safely and preparing to give way.

How to give way when entering a roundabout

Who has the right of way when entering a roundabout? To put it simply, any car already on the roundabout has the right of way and all other vehicles must slow or come to a stop in order to allow them to continue use of the roundabout.

If two vehicles are approaching at the same time, whoever reaches and therefore enters the roundabout first has the right of way, no matter which way they enter from. So basically, you need to give way to anybody who is already on or about to enter a roundabout ahead of you.

If you’ve been following the rule that vehicles on your right have the right of way, no matter who gets to the roundabout first, you’re not losing your mind. It’s a common myth that’s likely come from the fact that the majority of the time you’re required to give way, the vehicle will have approached from your right and will be driving in the path of your car. Most drivers still follow this practice so it’s something to be aware of in order to be as safe as possible.

How to indicate at roundabouts

This one is pretty simple yet very few people manage to actually indicate properly, if at all!

When turning left, you must indicate left on your approach to the roundabout and continue indicating until you have safely left the roundabout. When you’re turning right, you must use your right-hand indicator on approach to the roundabout and continue using it until you are about to leave the roundabout. When you are preparing to exit the roundabout, you must signal left to let drivers approaching from the road you’re turning onto that you’re exiting and not continuing around the roundabout. The same goes for times you’re doing a U-Turn at the roundabout.

If you’re going straight, you don’t need to indicate until you are preparing to exit the roundabout. When you’re through the main section and getting ready to exit straight ahead, you need to flick on your left indicator to let people approaching from in front of you that they’re safe to enter the roundabout.

What’s most important, is that you take responsibility for yourself when indicating at a roundabout and always watch for other vehicles. Be cautions in trusting that someone will be following the turn their indicator is signalling!

How to give way on two-lane roundabouts

It’s important you know how to give way when using two-lane roundabouts. It starts by making sure you’re in the correct lane to use the roundabout.

If you’re turning left, you must be in the left lane. When you’re turning right or doing a U-Turn, you must enter and exit the roundabout in the right-hand lane, and if you’re going straight, you can use either the left or right lane.

Once you’re in the correct lane, all of the give way rules for roundabouts with a single lane apply. Always give way to anybody already on the roundabout no matter what lane they’re using or direction they’re entering from, and always follow the correct signalling patterns. If you need to change lanes while on the roundabout, you need to indicate your intentions and give way to all traffic in the lane you want to enter before safely moving across.