The Roundabout Rule We've All Gotten Wrong

Do you actually know who has the right of way at a roundabout?

It's been debated around dinner tables and during road trips for years, but people are still confused about the rules on giving way when entering and exiting roundabouts.

The NSW Centre For Road Safety said it's one of the most common questions they get asked, and it's one of the most misunderstood road rules.

"It's one of those really controversial misunderstood rules," Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon said during a live online Q&A this week to address the confusion.

"You must give way to cars already in the roundabout, naturally they're on the right," Carlon explained.

"Give way means slow down and if necessary come to a complete stop to avoid a collision with another vehicle".

So what about that pesky indicator?

According to the Road Safety website, when using a roundabout to make a U-turn, you must approach in the right lane and signal right.

You must also signal left when leaving a roundabout, but only if it is practical to do so.

So what about when you're going straight ahead?

According to the Centre for Road Safety, you don't need to signal on approach if you're going straight ahead.

Not only that, but when you are travelling straight ahead on a small single-lane roundabout, it may be impractical to indicate when exiting, the website said.

So why is the road rule so important?

Carlon said roundabouts actually are much safer in the road network.

"They facilitate much more even traffic flow, but they also reduce the risk because when there is a crash it's on angle that deflects the vehicle".

READ MORE: Is This Australia's Most Confusing Road Rule Yet?

The Centre For Road Safety this week hosted the live Q&A event as part of Road Safety Awareness week to target some of the key misunderstandings which can lead to accidents.

The rules included: who gives way at 4-way intersections where pedestrians, cyclists and motorists are involved, rules on overtaking heavy vehicles, giving way to pedestrians when turning, tailgating and leaving a three second gap with the vehicle in front, slowing down on curves in country roads and stopping at an amber light.

"Already this year tragically we've had 114 people die on NSW roads and last year more than 11,000 people admitted to hospital," Carlon said.

'We know that if all follow the rules we could massively reduce that amount of trauma and the impact it has on people's lives and our community".

Featured Image: Transport for NSW