Here's How To Use A Roundabout And Not Panic

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

Driving in a circle to improve traffic flow may seem a weird, European concept for the uninitiated, so Michigan police are encouraging motorists to get on board and understand how to tackle them.


Several police agencies in Michigan—including the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police and the Ann Arbor Police Department—launched a “roundabout enforcement project” today and runs through May 1. The effort, according to, will entail conducting traffic stop sand hanging out educational pamphlets at “high-crash roundabouts.” I wasn’t kidding; people suck at this shit.


The majority of crashes happen because a driver fails to yield or use the appropriate lane, police said in a news release.

State police offered this very handy, very straightforward four-step guide to roundabouts. Write this down on a Post-it and slap it on your dashboard if you need to. From

  1. Choose your lane before entering
  2. Yield to traffic already in the roundabout
  3. Yield to pedestrian in crosswalks
  4. Use signs and pavement marking to help you guide

And if you’re still lost, the Washtenaw County Road Commission has an informative video below. Stay in your lane, people.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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Urambo Tauro

How is signalling supposed to work here? Do you signal turns as if it were any other intersection? Or does the roundabout act as its own little road that you must merge in and out of?

Say you want to make a left-hand turn. Do you signal left as you approach the roundabout and hold it from self-cancelling until you’re through? Or do you signal right to enter the circle, and right again to exit?