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Roundabouts

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 6 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Roundabouts

Along with junctions, roundabouts are another headache for many drivers, especially inexperienced ones. Fortunately, roundabouts aren’t as intimidating as they might seem.

Approaching a Roundabout

Be sensible when deciding on the route to take to get around the island. This will often be indicated by road signs, road markings and traffic lights, but if not, you should use your common-sense knowledge to tell you which lane you should take. At some roundabouts, there will be three lanes. You need to make the decision as quickly as possible to avoid compromising other drivers.

Use your indicators to let other road users to let them know of your intentions, but time this carefully so that you don’t cause confusion.

When you commit to a lane of traffic, you’ll probably need to alter your speed to match that of other vehicles. Keep an eye out for the placement and speed of other vehicles and be prepared to adjust your own position in accordance.

Reaching a Roundabout

When you get to a roundabout, give way to traffic coming from the right unless road signs or road markings say otherwise. Road markings will indicate whether you need to give way to other traffic before entering the roundabout. Even if there are no road markings, you should still slow down and look around beforehand.

When you’re on the roundabout, keep an eye out for other drivers, especially those that are indicating. They may not always indicate accurately (for example, they may indicate too early or too late) and some drivers may not bother to indicate at all.

Exiting a Roundabout

When taking the first exit on a roundabout, indicate and switch to the left-hand lane.

When taking one of the middle exits (not the first or last exits), choose the appropriate lane and indicate if this isn’t the lane that you used to enter the roundabout. Indicate at the exit before the one that you want to turn off on.

When taking the last exit or going all the way around the roundabout, signal and indicate to the right-hand lane. Stick to the right throughout unless you need to switch lanes to exit. As with the middle exits, indicate at the exit before the one that you want to exit on.

Mini-Roundabouts

These work in much the same way as normal roundabouts. However because they are smaller, there is less room and less time available.

At double mini-roundabouts, you should treat them as two separate roundabouts. Give way to traffic coming from the right.

Other Considerations

There may be pedestrians trying to cross the road around the entrances and exits, which you need to look out for as you approach and leave roundabouts. If you come across them, give them plenty of space.

Keep an eye out for drivers looking to turn off at the next exit, as not all of them will indicate to inform other drivers. If this is the case, be prepared for drivers cutting across you to get into the correct lane to exit the roundabout without much prior warning.

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