Does this sound familliar...
"I hate roundabouts! I never know whether to go or stop. I'm so confused I just stop and rely on my instructor to tell me when to go..."
If this does sound familiar or if you have other issues with roundabouts then you can take some comfort in the fact that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Many new drivers struggle with roundabouts, but hopefully I can help shed some light on things. This post deals with the approach.
First of all you must understand why we have roundabouts in the first place. Why use them when a set of traffic lights do a similar job? Well the main difference between a roundabout and a set of traffic lights is that roundabouts are designed to keep traffic flowing where two or more roads intersect. (With traffic lights if yours is on red you can't move until it goes green, even if there is no traffic flowing from any other direction).
So the First point is that your approach should reflect the fact that we need to keep traffic moving where possible.
Use a structured approach.
You need to follow a structured approach. Use the Mirror-Signal-Position-Speed-Look routine religiously when approaching any roundabout.
1: Check all mirrors
2: If you're taking the first exit signal Left, if you're turning right signal right. Any other exits no signal
3: Position your car to the appropriate lane
4:Slow down! This is a very critical stage. Many people underestimate how much to slow down. You will also need to change gear (usually to 2nd) once you have reduced speed.
5:Look. After you have completed this routine you should be 10-20 meters from the roundabout with your left foot covering the clutch pedal and your right foot covering your brakes. Your speed will be around 10-15MPH Once you have the car under control it will be easier to look for space to enter the roundabout.
If space is there then a gentle press of the gas pedal will get you into the roundabout. If it is not clear then a push of the clutch and brakes will bring the car to a halt at the line smoothly and under control.
You can then move the car away when there is a space to move into.
Click here to see a video