Thursday, 24 January 2013


We're tackling roundabouts this week. Roundabouts can be a large topic to talk about, so I've decided to split it into two separate blog posts; Roundabouts and Mini Roundabouts. The latter will be up next Monday!

On approaching a roundabout take notice and act on all the information available to you, including traffic signs, traffic lights and lane markings which direct you into the correct lane.

The examiner on your driving test will expect you to:- 

·  Use the MSM routine.
·  Position correctly and adjust your speed.
·  Choose the correct lane where there are lane markings.
·  Watch out for motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.
·  Take effective observations.
·  Assess the speed of traffic. 


To Turn Left (taking the first exit):

·  signal left and approach in the left-hand lane.
·  keep to the left on the roundabout and continue signalling left to leave. 

To go straight on (taking the second exit):

·  select the appropriate lane on approach to and on the roundabout. If no marking on the road it is usually safest to keep to the left lane.
·  stay in this lane until you need to alter course to exit the roundabout.
·  signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want. 

To Turn Right (taking the last exit or third exit):

·  signal right and approach in the right-hand lane.
·  keep to the right on the roundabout until you need to change lanes to exit the roundabout.
·  signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want. 

Note:- In an ideal situation you should leave the roundabout in the left lane. However you may leave in the right lane if there is traffic in the nearside lane or you wish to turn right straight after leaving the roundabout.

When approaching a roundabout:-

Use Mirrors - Signal - Manoeuvre at all stages and decide as early as possible which exit you need to take, give an appropriate signal. I've always found that if you take your time and make sure you are in the correct lane a good distance from the roundabout you can't go far wrong.
Adjust your speed and Position to fit in with traffic conditions.

If you get your approach speed and gear right you can merge in with the traffic most times without stopping.
Another hint is sometimes you can judge where other drivers are going before they signal etc by looking at their faces and seeing which road they are looking into. Generally the road they look into is where they are going.
You will readily recognise body language or facial expression in other road users when eye contact has been made.

This in itself does not mean it is safe to proceed but it does mean the other person is aware of you and many accidents result from people not noticing other road users.

Always be aware of the speed and position of all the traffic around you.
Don't worry if you have to stop when you reach the roundabout. 

When it's clear, ease up off the clutch smoothly, don't rush, keep using the mirrors, and above all, stay calm.
Once you are on the roundabout maintain a reasonable speed. Failing to do this, especially when you are in the right-hand lane, may result in other drivers passing on the nearside.
Watch out for vehicles already on the roundabout; be aware they may not be signalling correctly or at all.

Always keep an eye on the vehicle in front as you're about to emerge. Don't assume the driver won't have to stop while you're still looking right. Many rear end collisions happen this way. Make sure the vehicle has actually moved away.

That's everything for part one of roundabouts! It's a lengthy topic so don't rush into it. Take your time on roundabouts, maintain a reasonable speed and be aware of other road users.
If you have any questions then feel free to comment and I'll get back to you.

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