No ESI data
Skip to main content
roundabout rules
May 26, 2023
3 min
How to Use a Roundabout: All You Need to Know

Cities and municipalities constantly look for ways to improve roadways while making driving conditions safer, quicker and more efficient. 

Some common ways that cities and municipalities do this are by investing in construction projects, fixing roadways, altering speed limits, installing red light cameras and building roundabouts. Roundabouts are popping up in towns and cities across the country, so it's essential for drivers to know how to use them properly.

If you're not familiar with the roundabout rules in Canada, you're in luck — today's blog will teach you the ins and outs of roundabouts.

Continue reading to learn more.

Find the best car insurance rates today.

What are roundabouts and why are they beneficial for drivers?

Before learning how to use a roundabout, you should familiarize yourself with the basics.

A roundabout is a circular intersection that connects two or more roads. Unlike traditional intersections, roundabouts allow multiple drivers to use the space at the same time. 

Traditional intersections (with or without a traffic light) only allow traffic to flow in one primary direction (for example, north to south and vice versa). On the other hand, roundabouts speed up the flow of traffic by allowing drivers to travel in multiple directions at the same time.

Some roundabouts only feature one lane, whereas others can have two or more lanes. We’ll touch on why this is important later on in the article.

What are the benefits of roundabouts?

Roundabouts are growing in popularity amongst Canadian municipalities for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Less expensive than installing traffic lights
  • Roundabouts have fewer conflict points than traditional intersections
  • Improves the flow of traffic
  • Are better for the environment (drivers spend less time idling)
  • A safer alternative for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Lower risk of collisions

The latter is particularly important for motorists; avoiding costly collisions doesn't just help you stay safe, it also helps you maintain your low car insurance rates.

How to use a roundabout in Ontario — An in-depth guide for motorists

If you're a new driver, approaching a roundabout for the first time can feel a little bit intimidating. 

Thankfully, if you take the time to learn the roundabout rules in Ontario, you should have little to no trouble navigating the roads.

If you're feeling a little intimidated, feel free to use our step-by-step roundabout guide for drivers in Ontario:

  1. Slow down as you approach the intersection and be ready to yield to oncoming vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, etc.
  2. Look for road signs that lead you to your exit
  3. Stop at the entrance if any vehicles, pedestrians, etc., are using the roundabout or blocking the entrance
  4. Enter the roundabout when there's a safe gap in traffic
  5. Prepare to use your right turn signal as your approach your exit

How to use a double-lane roundabout in Ontario

As we mentioned earlier, many roundabouts in Ontario have more than one lane, so you should be comfortable using multi-lane roundabouts as well. 

Multi-lane roundabouts are very similar to one-lane roundabouts, and they follow the same principles. That being said, there are some key differences that drivers should be aware of before using a multi-lane roundabout for the first time.

Here's our step-by-step guide for using multi-lane roundabouts:

  1. Slow down as you approach the intersection and be ready to yield to oncoming vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, etc.
  2. Looks for signs that indicate which lane will lead you to your exit
  3. Stop at the entrance if any vehicles, pedestrians, etc. are using the roundabout or blocking the entrance
  4. As you enter the roundabout, make sure that you're in the correct lane. You cannot change lanes while you're driving or exiting a roundabout (unless you're avoiding an accident)
  5. Prepare to use your right turn signal as your approach your exit

As you can see, the process is practically the same; the key difference is that you need to make sure that you're in the right lane.

3 important roundabout rules for drivers in Ontario

Even if you're comfortable using a roundabout, you should take a minute to familiarize yourself with the following rules:

Right of way

Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists have the right of way while using a roundabout. If a vehicle, cyclist or passerby is using or blocking the entrance to the roundabout lane, you have to wait until they've safely passed.

Yielding for emergency vehicles

One of the important aspects of roundabout driving is knowing how to react while sharing the road with an emergency vehicle. If an emergency vehicle is approaching you while you're driving on a roundabout, do not pull over. Instead, proceed to your exit and pull over to the side of the road once it's safe to do so. 

Circling around the roundabout

There's no denying that roundabouts can be confusing, so it's only natural for drivers to miss their exits. If you miss your exit while driving on a roundabout, you can circle around the roundabout once more in order to reach your destination.

However, drivers aren't allowed to circle the roundabout more than once. If the authorities catch you circling around a roundabout multiple times, you can get charged with careless driving. Being convicted of careless driving is a serious offence that not only comes with legal consequences but can also have a very negative impact on your auto insurance rates.

If you're looking for auto insurance in Ontario, you should consider teaming up with a reputable online insurance brokerage like Surex. 

Save up to 25% when you bundle with your Surex insurance advisor

Finding affordable insurance feels like an impossible task, especially for drivers in Ontario. Thankfully, shopping for insurance has become much easier; instead of calling individual agents, you can opt for the one-stop-shop approach and team up with an online insurance brokerage like Surex.

At Surex, we've streamlined the quote comparison process and made it easier than ever before. Contact your personal Surex insurance advisor today to start comparing auto insurance quotes in ten minutes or less!

Don't forget to ask your personal insurance advisor about your bundling options; bundling multiple policies with one of our trusted providers can help you save as much as 25%.

Our Reviews

Start an insurance quote now