Crash at confusing roundabout divides opinion – but there's a simple explanation

Two cars have been filmed colliding at the exit of a two-lane roundabout in Sydney’s southwest, but people are confused as to who is at fault.

Dash Cam Owners Australia shared video of the crash, which occurred at the Henderson Road exit of a roundabout in Ingleburn in April.

The driver with the dashcam approaches the roundabout in the left lane while a red BMW sits in the right lane.

Both enter the roundabout, and just before the first exit as the dashcam driver appears to continue along the roundabout, the BMW heads straight for the first exit, resulting in a collision between the two vehicles.

The video has more than 90,000 views but people were perplexed as to who was at fault.

“My head hurts,” one woman wrote.

“I’m confused. If I was the red car and wanting to go straight (I’d) just have to signal out because you can only go left or straight on the roundabout.”

Two cars shown in a video about to crash at the exit of a roundabout at Ingleburn. They were in separate lanes and it's caused confusion as to who was at fault.
The two cars go through the roundabout in separate lanes before crashing at the first exit. Source: Facebook/ Dash Cam Owners Australia

One man wrote he had to watch the video “three times” to understand who was at fault.

However, the explanation lies with what is shown near the start of the video.

Correct lanes for roundabouts in NSW

On entering the roundabout, the left lane has an arrow pointing left and one pointing straight. The right lane has an arrow pointing straight and one pointing right.

It means all vehicles in the left lane can use the first or second exits. Use of the first exit is signalled by the left arrow on entering the roundabout.

An image from NSW Roads and Maritime Services demonstrating the correct use of a roundabout and what exits can be used by lane.
A graphic from NSW Roads and Maritime Services demonstrating correct use of a roundabout. The blue car seen here can take the first or second exits while the green can take the second, third or fourth. Source: NSW RMS

Vehicles in the right lane don’t have that option. They can only go straight through to take the second, third or fourth exits.

One woman wrote she initially thought the dashcam driver was responsible for the crash until looking at the road markings.

“Red car turned 'left' (first exit) from the straight/right turn lane, and is actually at fault,” she wrote.

The red car is seen circled in the right lane. An arrow pointing straight and another pointing right indicate it can't take the first exit on the roundabout.
The red car is seen in the right lane with arrows indicating they can't take the first exit. Source: Facebook/ Dash Cam Owners Australia

However, others were far more sympathetic calling the roundabout confusing.

One woman, who claimed to be a nearby resident, wrote that while the red car was “definitely in the wrong” the roundabout is puzzling.

“It’s a confusing roundabout as the first exit is technically straight and not left as the arrow suggests because it’s off centre, then the rest of the roundabout isn’t as confusing,” she wrote.

“This is a huge roundabout too, which doesn’t help.”

‘Roundabout rules often misunderstood’

Transport NSW has confirmed the red car was at fault as the road markings indicated it was permitted from the right lane to travel straight or right, but not left off the roundabout.

“The rules for using roundabouts are very important, but they are one of the most misunderstood road rules,” Transport NSW, Executive Centre of Road Safety, Bernard Carlon told Yahoo News.

“It is particularly important for drivers to slow down, or stop to give way to any vehicle already in the roundabout, and to take note of road markings leading into the roundabout.”

Meanwhile road users were also confused by what a cyclist is required to do at a yellow traffic light. The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads quizzed people with a diagram it posted to Facebook on Monday.

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