Accidents can occur on roundabouts for many reasons. One of the more common reasons involves the driver being unsure of where they are going and so they end up in the wrong lane for the exit that they want. Rather than going around the roundabout twice and entering the correct lane using a safe manoeuvre, the driver attempts to cut accross the traffic to get to their exit and has a collision.
When approaching a roundabout it is important to get into the correct lane for the exit that you need. Roundabouts can have several entry lanes depending on the number exits off the roundabout and the volume of traffic it was designed for. On multi-lane roundabouts the entry lane typically dictates the lane you should use on the roundabout itself and also the exit you should take.
The rules for a simple 2 lane roundabout are fairly straightforward and are shown below.
For a left hand exit
For an exit straight ahead
- Signal left and get in the left-hand lane
- Stay in the left lane on the roundabout and keep signalling left until you leave the exit
For a right exit
- Get in the left hand lane and do NOT signal left or right
- When on the roundabout, keep in the left lane as you pass the last exit before the one you want, indicate left
- Approach in the right hand lane and signal right
- When on the roundabout, stay in the right lane and as you pass the last exit before the one you want, signal left
- Check your left wing mirror and glance over your left shoulder before you move across the left hand lane to check that it is clear and continue out of your exit
Generally you should use your mirrors frequently, check your blind spot and make sure you are aware of the traffic around you. Always indicate as early as possible to let others know your intentions.
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