By Lewis on 19th September 2017 - View Comments

Roundabouts are always an interesting topic to introduce to a pupil, they range from basic to very complicated and are often confusing. This week we’ve broken them down and brought things back to basics.

Rule 184
On approaching a roundabout take notice and act on all the information available to you, including traffic signs, traffic lights and lane markings which direct you into the correct lane. You should
* use Mirrors – Signal – Manoeuvre at all stages
* decide as early as possible which exit you need to take
* give an appropriate signal (see Rule 186, below). Time your signals so as not to confuse other road users
* get into the correct lane
* adjust your speed and position to fit in with traffic conditions
* be aware of the speed and position of all the road users around you.

Rule 185
When reaching the roundabout you should
* give priority to traffic approaching from your right, unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights
* check whether road markings allow you to enter the roundabout without giving way. If so, proceed, but still look to the right before joining
* watch out for all other road users already on the roundabout; be aware they may not be signalling correctly or at all
* look forward before moving off to make sure traffic in front has moved off.

Rule 186
Signals and position. When taking the first exit to the left, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise
* signal left and approach in the left-hand lane
* keep to the left on the roundabout and continue signalling left to leave.

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

When taking any intermediate exit, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise
* select the appropriate lane on approach to the roundabout
* you should not normally need to signal on approach
* stay in this lane until you need to alter course to exit the roundabout
* signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want.

When there are more than three lanes at the entrance to a roundabout, use the most appropriate lane on approach and through it.

Rule 187
In all cases watch out for and give plenty of room to
* pedestrians who may be crossing the approach and exit roads
* traffic crossing in front of you on the roundabout, especially vehicles intending to leave by the next exit
* traffic which may be straddling 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
* long vehicles (including those towing trailers). These might have to take a different course or straddle lanes either approaching or on the roundabout because of their length. Watch out for their signals.

Rule 188
Mini-roundabouts. Approach these in the same way as normal roundabouts. All vehicles MUST pass round the central markings except large vehicles which are physically incapable of doing so. Remember, there is less space to manoeuvre and less time to signal. Avoid making U-turns at mini-roundabouts. Beware of others doing this.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10(1) & 16(1)

Rule 189
At double mini-roundabouts treat each roundabout separately and give way to traffic from the right.

Rule 190
Multiple roundabouts. At some complex junctions, there may be a series of mini-roundabouts at each intersection. Treat each mini-roundabout separately and follow the normal rules.

Top Tips to take from this

* give way to vehicles on the right
* the default lane for left/straight is the left lane and right for right
* stay within your lane during the journey through the roundabout
* exit on the left if there’s a choice of lane and it is clear to do so
* exit in the right lane if your overtaking or turning right
* always be aware of your surroundings

We hope these simple points help you in understanding roundabouts a little more, we’ve all been there and appreciate how daunting they can be for the first time.

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