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The Basic Principle of Roundabouts
Roundabouts, also known as traffic circles or rotaries, are designed to keep traffic flowing smoothly. The fundamental principle of roundabouts is that vehicles already in the roundabout have the right of way.
- Vehicles entering the roundabout must yield to those already in the circle.
- This rule applies regardless of the size of the vehicle or the number of lanes in the roundabout.
Overtaking in a Roundabout
Is Overtaking Allowed?
Overtaking in a roundabout is generally discouraged due to the circular nature of the traffic flow and the potential for confusion. However, in multi-lane roundabouts, overtaking can occur under certain conditions.
- Overtaking is permissible when there are multiple lanes, and it is safe to do so.
- The driver must ensure they do not cut off or endanger other road users.
Priority of Overtaking
When it comes to the priority of overtaking in a roundabout, the rule is simple: the vehicle already in the roundabout has the right of way.
- If you are in the roundabout and another vehicle is entering, you have the right of way.
- If you are entering the roundabout and another vehicle is already in it, they have the right of way.
Safety Tips for Navigating Roundabouts
Approach with Caution
Approaching a roundabout requires careful attention to both the traffic in the roundabout and the traffic waiting to enter.
- Slow down as you approach the roundabout.
- Look for pedestrians and cyclists who may be crossing the entrance or exit.
Use Your Indicators
Using your indicators is crucial in a roundabout to communicate your intentions to other drivers.
- Indicate left if you intend to exit the roundabout to the left or go straight.
- Indicate right if you plan to take any exit to the right of the straight-ahead exit.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Roundabouts
Failing to Yield
One of the most common mistakes drivers make is failing to yield to traffic already in the roundabout.
- Always give way to vehicles already in the roundabout.
- Remember, the vehicle in the roundabout has the right of way.
Incorrect Lane Usage
Using the correct lane in a roundabout is essential for safe navigation.
- If the roundabout has multiple lanes, use the right-hand lane to turn right and the left-hand lane to turn left.
- If going straight, you can use any lane unless road markings indicate otherwise.
Understanding the rules of roundabouts, including the priority of overtaking, is crucial for safe and efficient driving. Always remember to approach with caution, use your indicators, and give way to vehicles already in the roundabout.