Mastering Roundabouts

One of the most hated subjects for a lot of learners is roundabouts.

Roundabouts can vary in size, shape and number of exits so we need to approach each one carefully.

Roundabouts are an ideal way of allowing traffic to flow and when they are followed correctly can help ease traffic situations. They are also an ideal way of turning your car around to face the opposite direction in case you have found yourself driving in the wrong direction.

The general rule of all roundabouts is to give way to your immediate right. So when you approach roundabouts make sure you are looking as early as possible and adjust your speed if necessary. If it’s clear on the right and you will not affect anyone on the roundabout you may proceed with caution. Plan wisely and in advance. You will be given instructions on where to go by your driving instructor, driving examiner or by following the satellite navigation in plenty of time so take your time on the approach and make sure you know which one is your exit.

When to signal. Signal left if you are taking the first exit on your left, no need to signal if you are going straight and you should signal right if you are going right on a roundabout and signal left once you’ve passed the last exit before yours if you have time.

Always get into the correct lane on the approach to the roundabout and when you’re on the roundabout. So if there are 3 lanes on the approach and three lanes on the roundabout for example, then the general rule is left lane for first exit left, middle lane for going straight and right lane for turning right or coming back on yourself.

A lot of large roundabouts these days have had traffic lights added to them which can make the roundabouts much easier and less scary. Also they are supposed to be much safer as the traffic lights tell the road users when to go rather than the road users judging it. The only downside to this is that you can find yourself waiting at a red light when it would have been perfectly clear to have gone. To a lot of people these are not called roundabouts anymore but they are more like round junctions as the roundabout order has now changed.

Remember that this information is for guideline only and each roundabout may differ from the next one so always take due care and approach with caution. Seek advice from your driving instructor if you need further assistance.