Roundabouts are considered a circuitous or circular intersection, and they are often one of the greatest challenges that a new driver must learn to conquer. If you are feeling nervous about negotiating this type of road, reminding yourself of the following dos and don’ts may help keep your anxiety at bay, and secure safe passage for you and your vehicle.
- Don’t enter into a roundabout without sufficient prior observation.
Study traffic patterns and routes of the roundabout as early as you can but without taking your attention off the road, of course. With proper observation, you will be able to determine the best approach and optimal speed for entering the roundabout.
- Do avoid making assumptions that other drivers will be as careful as you are.
As you should know by now, not all drivers have made the effort to study in driving schools. Not all those who graduated from driving schools will also bother to apply what they’ve learned. Consider the rule above for example. Don’t expect other drivers to do the same when entering circuitous routes. They could easily stop at the very last minute – even if it’s absolutely wrong to do so. As such, it is better if you are always on your guard and keep your distance from cars in front of you. It’s a basic rule in driving but it’s even more important in this type of situation.
- Do remember to make the right signals.
Signals are what many people rely on when negotiating roundabouts. Be very sure then that you are using the right signals when you are making any kind of turn in this situation. If you are about to turn left, you should signal left then as you get closer and closer to your destination – and vice versa. Don’t forget to maintain your car’s position in the lane even as you prepare to make a turn.
- Do not assume that the rules are the same for smaller or mini roundabouts.
They are mostly similar but they are not always exactly the same. Take your car’s speed for example. In smaller roundabouts, a reduced speed for your car is always safer. Moving more slowly in smaller roundabouts is essential because you also have to contend with more limited space when turning or maneuvering. Sometimes, you won’t even have enough time to make the right signal before you’ve reached the place for turning.
Keep in mind as well that smaller roundabouts are not designed and are not suitable for making U-turns. But there are drivers who will still insist on doing this, and you just have to keep your distance from them and adjust your driving accordingly.
- Do treat double roundabouts as separate “entities”.
There are times when you’ll find yourself driving into one mini roundabout after another. If this happens, you should remember to consider them as separate “entities” with their own traffic patterns and routes.
- Do not make impulsive decisions when in doubt.
Because of the circular pattern and the various lanes that roundabouts consist of, it is so very easy to let your panic get the better of you. Letting your panic take control may force you to make the wrong decisions while on the road. If you are in doubt, reduce your speed – but not without causing trouble to those behind you of course – and take the time to think about what you should do next.
After reading the information provided above, you can see that roundabouts are not difficult to negotiate – you simple need to know exactly what to focus on – and who to pay attention to. By staying in control and applying the information provided here, you will be able to easily master roundabouts while staying safe in the process.