How to Position Approaching Roundabouts?
One of the most difficult parts of the test is positioning approaching roundabouts.
Typically, standard roundabouts mean the left lane is to go left or ahead. It would be easy if all roundabouts were like this. However, the difficulty for many pupils is when the road markings or signs tell you to position in another lane.
The diagram above shows a roundabout with a variety of arrow markings and positions to approach the roundabout.
As a learner, what you need to do is:
1. Listen carefully to the instruction for the direction and number of exit to turn off the roundabout.
2. Position in the correct lane on the approach to the roundabout.
To position safely, look in the far distance for the arrow markings. If you need to change lane, check your interior, door mirror and front window blind spot before indicating to move over. Always make sure there is a gap of three car lengths in front and behind in the lane you are moving over to. Getting into the correct lane early is key to dealing with the roundabout safely.
Sometimes there are vehicles blocking the lane you want to move into. The roundabout is fast approaching and you don’t want to approach in the wrong lane. What can you do?
The examiner will give you the direction for the roundabout in good time. What you need to do is look well ahead for road markings and road signs. Then, check the lane you want to move over to. If the lane is blocked, look at the vehicles speed in that lane. If they are slow, maybe you could accelerate to create a safe gap to move over. If they are approaching faster, slow down, let them pass you, and then move over. The secret is to assess the situation early; decide and act in good time to position in the correct lane, well before your mirrors and signal for the roundabout. You need to be in position at least ten car lengths from the roundabout, so you have time to mirror, signal and manoeuvre.
Rick Hardcastle (ADI)