Don't drive like an idiot: This is how multi-lane roundabouts work

Just think of them like a regular intersection.

Roundabouts: Some people love them, some people hate them.

Wherever you stand, please use them correctly.

The circular intersections are becoming more and more popular in cities around the state. Richfield, which is just south of Minneapolis, already has a few and is adding more this year.

So GoMN met up with City Engineer Jeff Pearson to see what mistakes people commonly make with roundabouts.


There are a couple things to think about as you're approaching a roundabout. First, look at signs to see which lane you should be in (if it's a multi-lane roundabout).

Then yield to vehicles coming from your left and pedestrians.

Once it's clear, drive forward and don't switch lanes.

"Yielding to both lanes (of traffic) ... and not changing lanes in the roundabout – those are the two main things that can cause crashes," Pearson said.

If that's still confusing, think of it as a regular, four-way intersection.

"Take out the circle in the middle," Pearson explained. "You wouldn't turn left from the right lane. You wouldn't turn right from the left lane."


Roundabouts can be stressful for pedestrians, too. Especially since there aren't usually walk signals like there are at stop lights.

The main thing you have to remember is that pedestrians have the right of way and that vehicles should be going pretty slow. So you should just be able to cross at the crosswalk.

"I think it's just people are not used to asserting that right of way," Pearson said.

Some facts about roundabouts

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, roundabouts are actually a lot safer than other types of intersections.

They decrease crashes by 39 percent, and fatal crashes by 89 percent.

They are also more efficient than stop signs and signals in that they handle traffic with less delay. You just yield and go. There's no waiting at red lights.

Along with that, fewer idling vehicles means reduced vehicle emissions.

Now just be glad you don't have to figure out this crazy multi-roundabout roundabout in England.

Next Up

ballot voting vote

Appeals court changes rules for MN absentee ballots received after Election Day

Pending a further challenge, votes received after 8 p.m. on Election Day may not be counted.

Donald Trump

Confusion over where Trump campaign rally will be held Friday

It sounds like it'll be held at the airport in Rochester.

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 3.19.05 PM

This video of the Lowry Hill Tunnel walls being cleaned is oddly satisfying

The tunnel will be closed overnight Thursday for cleaning.

gray wolf

Gray wolf removed from the endangered species list

A decision on whether they can be hunted in Minnesota will come later.

covid saliva test

Minnesota opening its 7th saliva testing location in St. Paul

The tests are free and open to anyone regardless of if they have symptoms.

pete stauber - qunn nystrom CD8

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

It's a race between incumbent Rep. Pete Stauber and Democratic challenger Quinn Nystrom.

fire, flames

Lives saved as passerby, city workers rescue from 3 from Golden Valley fire

The Golden Valley Fire Department responded to the fire Wednesday morning.

Caribou Coffee Holiday 2020

Caribou Coffee rolls out holiday cups, menu early

The holiday season is underway at some Twin Cities stores, with a nationwide rollout planned for Nov. 5.

Malik Beasley

Charges: Timberwolves' Beasley pointed assault rifle at family on a home tour

The family was on the Parade of Homes tour when Beasley allegedly pointed the gun at them, telling them to get off his property.


Don't drive like an idiot: This is how zipper merging works

It's not budging. You're supposed to use both lanes.

Don't drive like an idiot (and other things to remember when roads are icy)

Here are 4 things you should keep in mind while behind the wheel.

Roundabouts have made intersections a lot safer in Minnesota

Fatal crashes have dropped by more than 80 percent.

Video: What causes those bad, random traffic jams?

They can come out of nowhere and have no apparent cause.

Don't test your luck by driving drunk – get a free ride on St. Patrick's Day

Extra patrols will be out this weekend to make sure people are driving sober.