Navigating roundabouts – A brief guide
August 9, 2019
Roundabouts remain to be one of the most difficult things to master as a learner driver.
Not only do you have to stay extra aware of your observations, but you have to pay attention to your speed AND the road signs to navigate where you’re going! It’s no surprise that learner drivers find navigating roundabouts challenging! Here’s a brief guide on tackling the most difficult parts of navigating roundabouts.
Keeping your cool
Keeping your composure in a high-pressure situation is a skill that doesn’t come easily, especially behind the wheel as a learner driver. Finding a good head space when you’re driving is essential, once you’ve mastered that, the roads are your oyster! That’s not to say that it’s easy though!
Breathing techniques, meditation, driving experience; all of these things could help combat any driving anxiety.
Knowing your lanes whilst navigating roundabouts
We double checked with Stephen Hicks, a driving instructor, for his advice on which lanes to be in when approaching roundabouts.
“As an instructor of many years, I teach my pupils the rule of only 2 lanes. Being on the right-hand lane on approach to roundabouts to turn right, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and even 5th exit depending on the size and complexity of the roundabout junction.
Then for turning left and driving ahead at a roundabout I teach my pupils to stay beside the left-hand kerb on the approach to a roundabout, keeping left through-out the whole of the roundabout unless road markings painted on the road tell them otherwise.”
The right time to go
Always give way to the traffic on the right, unless road marking and signs say otherwise. Always double check even if this is the case though. Be patient, wait for a safe time to go and trust your judgement.
Observations on changing lanes
Knowing what’s around you at all times is essential when navigating a roundabout.
Assuming there is always a car next to you will prepare you if there actually is. As always, check your mirrors if you’re changing direction. You should look into your rear-view first, then your left, then look ahead to maintain your road position, double check your left mirror again to double check nobody is obstructing you and move across. This may sound like overkill, but even if you trust yourself, there are no promises that other road users will keep out of your way.
As always, we’re firm believers that if you’re struggling with a part of learning to drive, practice makes perfect. The more experience you have with navigating roundabouts, the more comfortable you will feel and more natural you’ll find it.
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