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How To Master Roundabouts

Thinking Roundabouts

The roundabout. To some a tool to ease traffic flow and increase road safety, to others a thing of nightmares.

For those who see a roundabout sign and get into a cold sweat, rest assured that you are not alone and a roundabout really isn’t as scary as you might think.

As you approach a roundabout have in mind the exit that you need to take so that you can position your vehicle correctly as you make your approach.

A standard four exit roundabout with directly opposing entrances is the easiest to negotiate and will create a code of practice for other more complicated junctions.

If your required exit is either left or straight ahead then position yourself in the left hand lane of two unless road markings or signs direct otherwise. Indicate left if you are taking the first exit but make no indication if you are heading straight across.

Then give way to the right, or in other words all traffic that is already on the roundabout.
If you are turning right at the roundabout then indicate accordingly as you approach and position yourself in the right hand lane of two remaining in that lane on the roundabout until moving across to make your exit.

On dual carriageway routes the primary exit will normally be the main A-road and unless signposts dictate otherwise, the roundabout will be designed to carry the bulk of traffic along that trunk route. Check the road markings but otherwise assume that both lanes can be used if you are staying on the primary route, but always stay in the same lane as you cross and exit the roundabout.

More complicated roundabouts are easy to use if you remember the base rules.

For the first exit take the left hand lane and the final exit the right hand lane, indicating as such throughout. If taking one of the intermediate exits then indication is not required until you have passed the exit prior to the one you are taking. Position yourself in the correct lane as you approach and be aware of signs or road markings.

Ultimately, do not panic and should you find yourself in the wrong position then it is wiser to leave the roundabout on the exit that your position dictates rather than risk accident liability by manoeuvring on the roundabout itself.

Also, before moving off, ensure the car in front of you has already done so!

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