Once you have shown a good grasp of junction work and car control, going into a little light traffic and driving through roundabouts is the next step. You should choose an area that is not too busy to begin with.
Driving through roundabouts to most experienced drivers is an easy enough skill; you simply watch for a suitable gap in the traffic flow and adjust the approach speed to coincide with it. This isn’t quite so simple though to the majority of new drivers. A lot of observation and decision making has to be carried out before arriving at the give way point. You must begin observation from well back and continually watch the flow of traffic on your approach.
At roundabouts, traffic coming from your right has priority, but you may enter the junction when you can do so without causing others to change speed or direction.
Instead of the double white broken line to indicate the give way rule, roundabouts have a single broken line at the entrance.
Ideally you should try to time your approach so that you can filter into a gap in the traffic flow without stopping. This may not always be possible but the idea is to be ‘prepared to stop but ready to go’.
Turning Left at a Roundabout
When turning left at a roundabout, the approach is generally the same as the method for turning left you’ve already practised at normal junctions. The ‘MS-PSG-L’ routine still needs to be put into practise; the only real difference is that on roundabouts the corner you’re turning may be gentler than it would be at a T-Junction or crossroads, and the view is usually much better.
For this reason, if you’re confident and capable, it may be possible to maintain a slightly higher speed. At larger roundabouts you may perhaps remain in third gear to go through some turns.
- signal left on the approach
- keep to your normal position
- give way to the right
- make sure you’ve a clear path through the roundabout
- be aware of anything that may be on your exit road.
Although you must keep checking to the right for an opportunity to enter the roundabout, all-round observations must not be forgotten. You also need to make sure that you’ve a clear path through the roundabout. Be aware of what may lie at the exit, in case there’s something which may prevent you from accelerating away such as queuing traffic or a pedestrian crossing.