Status: 02.12.2023, 05:32 a.m.
By: Sebastian Oppenheimer
Two-lane roundabouts make many drivers sweat: Who is allowed to drive into which lane when entering?
In Germany, the construction of roundabouts was abandoned for a long time, preferring instead to rely on traffic light intersections. This changed at the beginning of the 1990s: Since then, more and more roundabouts have been built in this country. In other countries, such as France, roundabouts have already enjoyed great popularity – even if it can sometimes be chaotic there, such as at the Arc de Triomphe. But of course, there are not only single-lane roundabouts in Germany either. But what about a two-lane roundabout? Who is allowed to drive into which lane when entering?
A two-lane roundabout: Which car is allowed to enter which lane? © PantherMedia (Editing)
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Roundabouts in Germany: What rules to follow
The rules in a German roundabout should be familiar to most people: Enter to the right and then continue counterclockwise. Vehicles in the roundabout have the right of way. The flashing lights do not flash when entering the roundabout, but only when leaving the roundabout. Driving over the central island is prohibited – even if it is only painted. However, uncertainty can be observed again and again among drivers at two-lane roundabouts: Who is allowed or must enter which lane?
Entering a two-lane roundabout: Who has to go to which lane?
For example, does the blue car – in our example graphic – have to drive into the inner lane and the white vehicle into the outer lane? In fact, this is not regulated by law. The two drivers have to communicate. However, the ADAC advises that cars that want to exit again at the next exit or the one after should get into the right lane at the entrance. According to the automobile club, the inside lane is more recommended if you don't want to leave the roundabout until later. Nevertheless, drivers must always keep an eye on the car driving to their right.
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If you are in the inner lane of the two-lane roundabout and want to leave, you must respect the right of way of the outside driver. If you can't switch to the right lane in time, you'll have to do an extra lap.
Roundabout of Extremes: The "Magic Roundabout" in Great Britain
By the way, there is still a significant increase compared to the "normal" roundabout – in Great Britain. In Swindon, the so-called "Magic Roundabout" was built there in 1972, which is still in operation today. These are two concentrically opposing roundabouts that are connected to each other by five smaller roundabouts. Sounds pretty complicated – and it is: Supposedly, even locals drive around the roundabout, also known as the "Traffic Circle of Hell".