Roundabouts are one of the hardest areas for beginners to understand. Not surprising when many experienced drivers don’t seem to know how to negotiate them either!
Here is what the Highway Code says:
When approaching a roundabout you should:
- Use the mirror-signal-manoeuvre process
- Decide which exit you need to take as early as possible
- Use the appropriate signal at the optimal time to inform other road users of your intentions
- Get into the correct lane
- Adjust your speed and position to the traffic conditions
- Remain aware of the speed and position of the traffic around you
When reaching a roundabout you should:
- Always give priority to the traffic coming from the right, unless you have been directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights
- Check if the road markings allow you to proceed without giving way (always look right before joining just in case)
- Watch out for other road users on the roundabout
- Check the traffic has moved off in front of you before you proceed to enter the roundabout
When taking the first exit (unless signs and markings indicate otherwise):
- Signal left and approach the exit in the left hand lane
- Keep to the left on the roundabout and signal left to leave
When taking an exit to the right or going full circle (unless signs or markings indicate otherwise):
- Signal right and approach the exit in the right hand lane
- Keep to the right on the roundabout until you need to change lanes to reach your exit
- Signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you intend to take
When taking any intermediate exit (unless signs or markings indicate otherwise):
- Select the appropriate lane on approach to the roundabout
- Stay in the lane until you need to alter your lane to exit
- Signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want to take
Section 187 explains the road users you should watch out for and give plenty of room to when approaching and entering a roundabout. This includes:
- Pedestrians crossing the approach and exit roads
- Traffic crossing in front of you on the roundabout (look for vehicles intending to leave at the next exit)
- Traffic straddling lanes or positioned incorrectly (it happens more than you think!)
- Cyclists and horse riders who may remain in the left hand lane and signal right if they intent to continue round the roundabout
- Long vehicles (including those towing trailers) which might have to take a different course or straddle lanes because of their length
- Keep an eye out for all road users’ signals
This section of the Highway Code is all about mini-roundabouts. You should apply the same rules to approaching and entering mini-roundabouts as you would normal roundabouts. It is important to remember that all vehicles must pass round the central markings, unless they are too large to do so. You will find that when driving around mini-roundabouts there is less room to manoeuvre and less time to signal, so take extra care.
If you are faced with a double mini-roundabout, make sure that you treat each roundabout separately (approaching and entering them in the same way you would any roundabout) and give way to traffic coming from your right.
If you are approaching a set of mini-roundabouts (common at complex junctions) you need to treat each of them separately, following the rules stated above.
Hope this is helpful.