How to do big Roundabouts
Objectives: You should be able to identify a roundabout ahead and understand the rules of priority using the MSPSL routine on the approach. You should be able to proceed ahead, to the left and to the right, signalling and positioning correctly on approach to and through the roundabout.
Road signs and markings
On the approach to a roundabout it is important to look out for road signs and road markings early. It can be very tricky trying to change lanes at short notice, so get into the appropriate lane early.
Mirrors and Signal
Hopefully you should know which mirrors and signal you require for turning left and right by now. You will just need to check your interior mirror for going ahead at a roundabout.
Get into the lane that you want as early as possible.
Sometimes you will see road markings that say you can use the left hand lane and the middle lane on a 3 lane roundabout to go ahead. Unless you are overtaking, use the lane to the left as possible.
As a general rule you should slow your car down to 20-25mph on the approach to a big roundabout. Even if the roundabout is really clear, you wouldn’t want to go any faster as it could effect your position especially going onto the roundabout.
As another general rule if the roundabout is clear you would normally select 3rd gear and if it’s looking busy then slow down a bit more and go into 2nd gear. If you know you will have to stop then you can wait till you get closer to the roundabout and then go into 1st gear.
Remember your danger comes from the right but also ahead. Look out for anyone hugging the roundabout- see 3 o’clock position on the roundabout diagram.
Sometimes vehicles on the roundabout may not be signalling. So be defensive, it’s better to slow down a little bit more earlier, get another check in and then make a decision to go or hold back. Try to avoid hesitancy by checking the roundabout regularly for updates and keep looking ahead to position your car. Also check the car in front has left the roundabout before you decide to go.
Lane Discipline on Roundabouts
2 lane roundabout:
If you are turning left or going ahead then you will need to use the left hand lane. Unless road markings/signs tell you otherwise. Use the right hand lane for turning right. Sometimes you can use the right hand lane to overtake and go ahead, you must make sure there is 2 lanes coming off the roundabout though.
3 lane roundabout:
If you are going left, you should use the left hand lane and use the right hand lane for going right. If you are going ahead, you should use the middle lane. Unless road markings tell you otherwise.
Entering the roundabout:
It’s important to keep in your lane when you’re on the roundabout too. See the diagram above for examples.
Exiting a roundabout:
It is important to let other road users that are on and approaching the roundabout know when you are coming off. So try to apply your signal at the right time. Look at the car in the diagram above going ahead. It is coming off at the 2nd exit, so you should put your signal on just as you have passed the first exit.