How To Approach Roundabouts In The UK

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How To Approach Roundabouts In The UK

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Are you wondering how to approach roundabouts in the UK? No wonder!

As of five years ago, there were about 10,000 roundabouts in the United Kingdom. Some places, like Redditch, have up to forty alone. The UK has so many roundabouts, in fact, that there’s a UK Roundabout Appreciation Society.

What’s with all these roundabouts?

Well, when done correctly, they actually make driving more efficient. They keep the flow of traffic going, especially in areas with more congestion. Additionally, they prevent the local government from having to pay to put in more traffic lights. 

They’re a win-win!

So, new drivers, don’t be nervous. We can help you tackle roundabouts like a pro. Keep reading!

Know The Type Of Roundabout

Roundabouts come in two types: traditional roundabouts and mini-roundabouts. Most often, there are signs indicating you’re about to approach a roundabout. Occasionally, however, there won’t be a sign.

For regular roundabouts, look for a red triangle-shaped sign featuring three black arrows in a circular pattern.

UK Roundabout Warning Sign

For mini-roundabouts, you’ll see a circular blue sign with three white arrows.

UK Mini Roundabout Sign

Both roundabouts have the same rules. The main difference is where they’re located. Mini-roundabouts most often appear in residential areas with less traffic.

How To Navigate Roundabouts

The way you handle roundabouts has to do with which direction you’re travelling. Regardless, be sure to always give way to the traffic that’s coming from the right.

Select your lane before approaching the roundabout. If you are turning left, approach from the left lane. The left exit will be the first exit. 

If you are continuing straight, you’ll likely stay in the far-left lane. Sometimes, the left lane is designated for those turning left only. In those situations, there will be signs alerting you of this.

Roundabouts in high-traffic areas often have a lane dedicated to those going straight over the roundabout. You will pass the first left exit, and then take the next one.

If you need to turn right, you’ll need to take your third exit. Stay in the far-right lane, and keep driving on the right side while passing your first two exits. Signal left and safely begin to make your way to the left lane, where you’ll take the third exit. Be sure to check your blind spots!

Additional Tips For Handling Roundabouts Safely

When entering the roundabout, always give way to those already driving in it. Pause and wait for a gap in the flow of traffic. If there is no traffic, you don’t need to hesitate – just enter. If traffic is at a standstill, you can make your way in if there’s a break.

Always watch out for pedestrian crossings before entering a roundabout. 

Additionally, always use your indicators to alert other drivers of which direction you’re going. Be sure to check your rearview mirror as well as side mirrors to ensure you’re taking the exits safely. 

Now You Know How To Approach Roundabouts In The UK!

Driving through roundabouts doesn’t have to be challenging. In fact, with practice and by following the rules, you’ll be a roundabout pro in no time, contributing to the constant flow of traffic throughout the UK.

Now that you know how to approach roundabouts in the UK, what else can you learn about driving?

Click here to see our various other driving lessons that will teach you to be safe and smart on the road.

Olie Smith
Olie Smith
Olie Smith is a DSA Fully Approved Driving instructor with years of professional experience in driver training. Oliver set up Totally Driving to give a more bespoke, personal feel to driving lessons.

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