Tips For Mastering Mini-Roundabouts
The traffic can be fast-moving and at first glance appear to be coming from all directions at once. It’s important to wait until it is your right of way and pull out safely.
However, any driver will know that during peak times of the day when there are high volumes of traffic, spotting the opportunity to do this can be much easier said than done.
But mini roundabouts are a million times easier… surely?!
You’d be forgiven for thinking so, and much of the time you’ll be glad to know that they are. However, sometimes mini roundabouts cause just as much of a struggle and can leave even the most experienced and confident drivers feeling flustered and frustrated.
The trouble with mini-roundabouts is that… well, they’re smaller meaning that they can often only accommodate one vehicle at a time.
As larger roundabouts tend to have several vehicles travelling around them at once, they are often much more free-flowing. Mini-roundabouts, on the other hand, will often require you to wait longer for your right of way and lead to traffic queues.
Speaking of right of way…
Sometimes there will be a vehicle at each entrance to the roundabout with no-one quite sure whose turn it is to enter.
Mini-roundabouts can be much less forgiving if you misjudge when it is your right of way. While the traffic will be travelling much more slowly than on a larger roundabout, there will be a shorter distance between you entering the roundabout and exiting.
This means there is much less room – if any at all – for either party to ‘get out of the way’ should an error of judgement occur.
So, what should you do?
Keep calm and simply approach the mini-roundabout as you would any other roundabout:
- Approach slowly
- Be prepared to give way to traffic approaching from the right
- Follow your MSPSL rules
Tips for approaching mini-roundabouts during peak traffic times:
- Use the ‘block off technique’ – if traffic directly to the right of you stops to give way to the traffic on their right this gives you an opportunity to enter the roundabout
- Sometimes it may be necessary to give a clear hand signal to another driver to indicate their right of way at a busy mini roundabout. It is important to be courteous of other road users.
- Avoid doing a U-turn at a mini-roundabout, this will be a very tight manoeuvre and will not be expected by other road users, so could cause a collision.