The roundabout road rule you might not know about

Changing lanes can be a headache for many drivers, especially in congested areas during peak traffic.

And the concern isn’t without merit – merging manoeuvres are behind a significant number of road accidents, according to VicRoads research.

So it may come as a surprise to many that changing lanes on a roundabout is perfectly legal across all states in Australia, unless indicated by road signs.

As long as drivers adhere to the usual road rules for changing lanes, including indicating, they can move between lanes as they please.

“Drivers may change lanes in a roundabout if they wish. The usual road rules for changing lanes apply,” the NSW Road Safety brochure says.

“Drivers must use their indicator and give way to any vehicle in the lane they are entering.”

Drivers can merge lanes on a roundabout as long as road signs don’t indicate otherwise. Source: Transport for NSW

Yet changing lanes on a roundabout comes at a greater risk to motorists, according to the general manager of the Australian Driver Trainer Association, Mick Humphries.

“You’ll need to be very aware of everything because your car is on an angle and usual blind spots might not necessarily be the same, so your awareness needs to be increased,” he told Yahoo7 News.

Mr Humphries stressed that motorists must be alert and check every corner of your car when doing so.

He also urged drivers to address a common error while driving, which would help reduce crashes when merging wherever on the road.

VicRoads in 2017 identified a direct correlation between the number of accidents on the road and the amount of merging manoeuvres performed.

“Lane changes are always a danger due to blind spots,” Mr Humphries said.

“Crashes come about because drivers will do a mirror check but fail to look over their shoulder.”