How Does Traffic Move in a Roundabout?

Home/Driving Safety/How Does Traffic Move in a Roundabout?

How Does Traffic Move in a Roundabout?


This is a follow up of an earlier article on how traffic moves in a traffic light situation.

In this article, an attempt will be made to explain how traffic should ideally move in such a situation.

Roundabouts are but an ingenious invention. Roundabouts are intended to disperse traffic. Some readers have written in to inquire and request an explanation be made on the subject to assist them. Roundabouts in Malaysia are fed by usually 2 lane or at the most 3 lane thoroughfares.

Let’s begin by explaining the first type- the 2 lanes.

The 2 Lane Type

First, do remember “traffic on the right have the right to proceed first”. Without this maxim, a roundabout simply cannot work.

Second, keep Left if you’re going to the left. Stay on the Right lane if you intend to go Straight ahead or take the roundabout to proceed towards the 3 o’clock direction.

The ideal manner to drive, when approaching a roundabout is slow down, stop if you have to, look Right, give way to the traffic on the Right and finally proceed. Everything should move smoothly, if everyone follows this maxim.

In cases where 7 or even 8 roads meet at a certain junction, today even at roundabouts, we have the help of traffic lights. In such cases, the problem is solved.

In the absence of the traffic lights, at extremely busy or congested areas, the presence of traffic policemen, does help. Or does it you decide for yourselves.

The 3 Lane Type

Let’s proceed then onto the 3 lane thoroughfare leading towards a roundabout. Intending to go Left, like the 2 lane example, keep or stay on the Left lane. The Middle or Centre lane is to go straight ahead (12 o’clock position) as already explained earlier.

What about the 3rd lane? The 3rd lane or lane on the Right, would ideally be for drivers who wish to take the roundabout, turn slightly and proceed towards the 3 o’clock direction.

It is also for those drivers who wish to take the entire roundabout, and coming back to the direction they came from, only to remember to drive on the Right or Opposite side they originally came from.

The completion of this article, it is therefore hoped will put an end to confusion faced by potential drivers. This explanation represents the writer’s approach towards how to use the roundabout ideally.

Be it be known or realised however, other drivers or instructors might profess to follow other modes of driving. Therefore, they are free to adopt other styles or methods they deem fit. As the saying goes, “there are a hundred ways to skin a cat!”

By | 2012-09-22T10:39:00+00:00 September 20th, 2009|Driving Safety|2 Comments

About the Author:

2 Comments

  1. Albert June 12, 2010 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Dear Cikgu Yap,

    Can you advise on how to deal with roundabout ? Coming from a two lanes road ,some roundabout have two lanes and others have three lanes. What’s the different and how to use it safely ?

    • Cikgu Yap June 12, 2010 at 11:05 pm - Reply

      The 2 lane and 3 lane roundabout have already been explained. Please read the article above.

Leave A Comment