Roundabouts are one of the most efficient and safe ways to navigate traffic, but only if they’re used correctly.
Here are the top 10 mistakes you should avoid on roundabouts:
Failing to give way:
This is by far the most common mistake drivers make on roundabouts. Remember, drivers already in the roundabout have the right of way, so give way to them before entering.
Entering a roundabout too fast:
Always approach a roundabout with caution, especially if you are unfamiliar with it. Entering too quickly can lead to accidents. Remember that the speed limit on a roundabout is lower than the surrounding roads, so make sure you slow down as you approach and while you’re driving on it.
Not checking your mirrors:
Make sure you check your mirrors before entering a roundabout, as well as when you’re exiting. This will help you spot any vehicles in your blind spot.
Always signal your intention to turn, even if there are no other vehicles on the roundabout. This lets other drivers know what you’re doing and can help to prevent accidents. Likewise, always signal your intention to enter the roundabout well in advance, and make sure your signal is cancelled once you’ve actually entered the roundabout.
Cutting across traffic:
Never cut across traffic on a roundabout – this is extremely dangerous and can cause serious accidents. Instead, take your time and wait for a gap in traffic before exiting.
Failing to yield to pedestrians:
Pedestrians always have the right of way on a roundabout, so make sure you yield to them before entering or exiting. Just as you need to yield to traffic on the roundabout, you also need to yield to pedestrians who have the right of way at a crosswalk.
Unless you’re stopped for a pedestrian or other obstacle, never come to a complete stop while on the roundabout – keep moving at a steady pace.
Driving in the wrong lane:
Always drive in the lane that corresponds with the direction you’re travelling in. For example, if you’re travelling clockwise around a roundabout, stay in the right-hand lane. Make sure you enter the roundabout from the correct lane – if you’re turning left, you should be in the left-hand lane, and so on.
Not using your indicator:
Indicators are essential on roundabouts – use them to signal your intentions to other drivers.
Entering a roundabout when it’s not safe to do so:
If there’s traffic backed up on the roundabout, or if the roundabout is too tight for your vehicle, wait until it’s safe to enter. It’s not worth risking an accident just to save a few seconds.
Turning left from the right-hand lane:
Never turn left from the right-hand lane on a roundabout – this is illegal and can be extremely dangerous. If you’re turning left, stay in the left-hand lane.
If you can avoid these 10 mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to safely navigating roundabouts. Just take your time, stay alert, and follow the rules of the road and you’ll be fine.