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1 in 8 drivers do not know roundabout priority rules

© Belga
The apparent lack of knowledge on using roundabouts is worrying when Belgium has 500 accidents with deaths and/or injuries and multiple collisions every year.
© Belga

Some 1 in 8 drivers do not know the priority rules when leaving a roundabout. This emerges from a survey produced by the institute Vias (previously the Belgian Institute for Road Safety or the “IBSR”), and published on Thursday. There are other striking results from the study. Only 1 in 3 people can correctly identify a roundabout, and one driver in five does not give priority to pedestrians when leaving this type of road feature.

In detail, 1 in 8 drivers (13%) do not know that when driving on the inside lane of a roundabout that they must give way to those driving on the outside lane, upon leaving the roundabout. Some 1 in 5 (21%) drivers also do not know that when leaving a roundabout that they must give way to pedestrians crossing.

The study also highlights that 2% of drivers think that keeping right applies, and 13% of them think that it is compulsory to pause for a period before entering the roundabout. In Brussels, this is even as high as 1 in 5 drivers (20%).

Furthermore 1 in 7 drivers (14%) put their indicator on when entering a roundabout, especially common amongst the over 35s. Moreover, 13% of drivers believe that they should always keep right. Lastly, only 1 in 3 (35%) can identify a roundabout. 

Overall Brusselers (47%) are better pupils than the Walloons (who score 39%), and especially compared to the Flemish (with a score of 30.4%).

Each year roundabouts cause some 500 accidents with deaths and/or injuries and multiple collisions, which is 1.2% of all road accidents. Benoit Godart, the spokesman from the institute Vias, comments, “This is one of the subjects on the Belgian traffic regulations that users approach us most about. However the rules relating to the use of roundabouts have existed for nearly 20 years. They came into force on October 1st, 1997.”

A short film has been produced to remind users as to the correct way to use a roundabout. It can be viewed on YouTube: https://youtube/w_UiK3NVHKk The survey was conducted by iVox (the marketing company) for the Vias, from a representative sample of the population, consisting of 1,001 Belgians.

The Brussels Times