Roundabouts - How To Do Roundabouts Video Tutorial
Roundabouts allow traffic to merge smoothly together and in doing so keep the overall traffic stream flowing smoothly.
Approaching A Roundabout
As you approach a roundabout look well ahead for the advance warning sign (image top right).
This will tell you the layout of the roundabout and show you which route direction you need to take and therefore which lane to get into.
You should then:
- Use the MSM/PSL routine
- Get into the correct lane in good time
- Look for and respond to any lane road markings (image bottom right)
- Straddle lanes
- Change lanes at the last moment.
Once on the roundabout, build up and maintain a reasonable speed. Failing to do this, especially when you are in the right-hand lane, may result in other drivers passing on your nearside, who may then come to block your exit route.
Always check for vehicles on your left before leaving a roundabout. If the left-hand lane of the exit road is blocked or if there are vehicles in the lane to your nearside, you should leave in the right-hand lane.
Roundabout Information Sign
Priority At Roundabouts
At most roundabouts traffic already on the roundabout has priority, so you must give way to traffic approaching from your right.
There are a few roundabouts where traffic on the roundabout has to give way to traffic entering. These will be signed by Give Way signs and road markings.
Increasingly, large roundabouts are being controlled by traffic lights. On such roundabouts it is the traffic lights that determine priority, so simply get into the correct lane and follow the lights
Look Out For Vehicles
- Turning right without indicating
- Indicating right but going straight on
- Using the right-hand lane to go straight ahead
- Making a U-turn.
Going Straight Ahead
Which Lane To Take
Sometimes the layout of a roundabout may make it difficult to judge which lane to take when approaching the roundabout. As a guide, imagine the roundabout as a clock face, with you approaching from the six o'clock position. If your exit road is past 12 o'clock and there are no other road markings to guide you, approach in the right-hand lane.
If there are three lanes on the approach to the roundabout, use
- the left to turn left
- the middle lane to go straight ahead
- the right lane to turn right.
Other Types of Road User
Cyclists, horse riders and long vehicles can all take unusual courses at roundabouts. For example, cyclists and horse riders may stay in the left-hand lane even when turning right.
Long vehicles may need to use more than one lane in order to negotiate the roundabout.
Approach these as you would a normal roundabout. You must pass round the centre markings, but remember there is less space,
- you have less time to signal to leave the roundabout
- larger vehicles may not be able to avoid driving over the roundabout road markings
- you should not enter the roundabout unless certain that other vehicles on it will be able to clear the route you intend to take.
At double mini-roundabouts (see image right) and multiple roundabouts, follow the normal rules of priority and treat each roundabout separately.