Roundabouts can send even the most experienced drivers into a panic. IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving standards, Richard Gladman, has 5 Roundabout Top Tips to help out!
Look well ahead and be sure to check your mirrors so that you know what other traffic there is around you. Give any signals in plenty of time, and identify a gap in the traffic before you reach the roundabout; always keep an eye on the car in front as they may not go for the same gap you would.
Approach the roundabout according to which exit you’re taking, keeping to the left lane to turn left or go straight and the right lane when looking to exit on the right. Watch for any road markings there to guide you and try to give other vehicles plenty of space.
Slow down smoothly to an appropriate speed for the roundabout, taking into account the position of other road users.
Once you’re at the correct speed, and before turning, select the correct gear. If you do need to change gear on a roundabout, do it when the steering is on a set position. Do a final mirror check, especially the mirror on the side you are turning towards.
Choose a gap in the traffic at the roundabout and accelerate smoothly into it; the same applies to any other junction.
“At roundabouts, your plan from a way back is to stop. But gathering information can allow you to proceed.
“It is useful to try and consider the whole thing as one manoeuvre – that way you have a plan about which lane to be in, when to move into that lane, and what signals you expect to use. But you need to prepare to be flexible – other road users don’t always behave as we’d expect them to.”
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