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Approaching a roundabout – tips and tricks

Approaching a roundabout can be intimidating, especially if it is larger in size, and has many lanes. This blog post focuses on lane positioning and signaling.

Lincoln A46 roundabout works begin
On approach to a roundabout you need to take the following into account:

 

  • Use the process Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre.
  • Decide which exit you want to take and get into that lane. If you are not in the correct lane you need to follow the one that you are in to ensure a safe exit. If you try to correct this lane positioning, you may cause an accident.
  • Give the correct signal, for example, if you are turning right signal right if you are going straight on signal left to leave when you are past the first exit.
  • Adjust your speed and position to match traffic conditions, when approaching the roundabout, slow down and choose a lower gear.
  • Be aware of other road users slowing down or changing lanes.
When reaching the roundabout you should:

 

  • Give priority to oncoming traffic from the right unless there are signs that state otherwise.
  • Check if road markings allow you to enter the roundabout without giving way, if they do, still proceed with caution.
  • Look out for road users already on the roundabout, they may not signal or use the correct signal.
  • Look forward before moving off to make sure traffic in front has moved off.
Signals and positioning:

 

  • If you are turning left: signal left and approach in the left-hand lane.
  • Keep to the left on the roundabout and continue signaling left to leave.

When taking an exit to the right or going full circle, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise:

  • Firstly 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 to leave.

When taking any intermediate exit (first exit), unless signs or markings indicate otherwise:

  • Select the appropriate lane on approach to and on the roundabout.
  • You should not normally need to signal on approach.
  • Stay in this lane until you need to change lanes to exit the roundabout.
  • Signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want.
In all cases watch out for and give plenty of room to:

 

  • Pedestrians.
  • Traffic crossing in front of you on the roundabout, especially vehicles intending to leave by the next exit.
  • Traffic that may be switching lanes or positioned incorrectly.
  • Motorcyclists.
  • Cyclists and horse riders who may stay in the left-hand lane and signal right if they intend to continue round the roundabout. Allow them to do so.
  • Longer, larger vehicles (including those towing trailers). These might have to take a different course or change lanes either approaching or on the roundabout because of their length. Watch out for their signals.

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