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Cowley’s School of Motoring

Roundabouts

Roundabouts are designed to keep traffic flowing. 

On your next driving lesson, you will be learning about roundabouts, the key points you will cover are;

M.S.P.S.L

Rules of roundabouts

Positioning on roundabouts

Signals on roundabouts

Procedure entering and leaving a roundabout

Priorities on roundabouts

Different types on roundabouts

M.S.P.S.L

For all junctions we will be using the M.S.P.S.L routine.

Mirrors

Check your mirrors to assess if your actions will affect the vehicles behind and also how they may affect you.

Signal

Signal in good time, before you start to slow down, however avoid signalling too early as this may be misinterpreted by other road users.

Position

Choose the correct positon for the roundabout in good time. Positioning can be a good sigal to others where you’re going.

Speed

Choose an appropriate speed so that you can both control your car on the roundabout and assess the traffic.

Look

Look for other traffic and hazards.

Assess the situation.

Decide wether to go or wait.

Act on your decsion.

Lets take a look at how you will apply this routine to different routes around the roundabout. 

“At the roundabout turn left and take the first exit”

Using your M.S.P.S.L routine,

Check your middle and left mirrors

Signal left

Position your car in the left lane

Slow down to a speed you can both, control the car and gives you enough time to make a decision. Select a gear that matches your speed.

Look for a safe gap to enter the roundabout, don’t forget to keep checking ahead to keep your car positioned in the correct place.

“At the roundabout follow the road ahead and take the second exit”

Using your M.S.P.S.L routine,

Check your mirrors

No signal

Position your car in the left lane

Slow down to a speed you can both, control the car and gives you enough time to make a decision. Select a gear that matches your speed.

Look for a safe gap to enter the roundabout, don’t forget to keep checking ahead to keep your car positioned in the correct place.

Keep left on the roundabout, leaving room for a car on your right.

After passing the last exit before leaving the roundabout, you will need to check your mirrors and signal left to exit the roundabout. (Marked with a yellow line.)

“At the roundabout follow the road ahead and take the second exit”

Using your M.S.P.S.L routine,

Check your middle and right mirrors

Signal right

Position your car in the right lane

Slow down to a speed you can both, control the car and gives you enough time to make a decision. Select a gear that matches your speed.

Look for a safe gap to enter the roundabout, don’t forget to keep checking ahead to keep your car positioned in the correct place.

Keep right on the roundabout, leaving room for a car on your left.

After passing the last exit before leaving the roundabout, you will need to check your mirrors and signal left to exit the roundabout. (Marked with a yellow line.)

Balls Corner Roundabout Newton Abbot

 

If you’re taking your driving test in Newton Abbot, you’ll need to get the hang of Balls Corner roundabout.

Let’s talk about the procedure for this roundabout. It follows the same rules as other roundabouts but the extra lane on approach can make it slightly more confusing.

The main points that are different to the above examples, are that when going ahead we use the middle lane.

One thing that catches people out on this roundabout is where to position on the roundabout. When going ahead keep left of the red markings, when turning right keep right of the red marking. As always check mirrors and signal to exit. (Marked with a yellow line.)

Wear Barton Roundabout Newton Abbot

If you’re taking your driving test in Newton Abbot, you’ll need to get the hang of Wear Barton roundabout. Particularly from Newton Abbot direction heading towards Torquay

Let’s talk about the procedure for this roundabout. It follows the same rules as other roundabouts but it’s larger so you’ll have to count the exits and your spiral out of the roundabout is more exaggerated.

Traffic will generally be moving faster on a roundabout of this size, so take this into account when choosing a gap.

Turning left on this roundabout is the same any left turn on other roundabouts.

Following the road ahead is also the same and you will be starting in the left lane with no signal. Keep in the left lane on the roundabout, signalling left once you are past the first exit.

Turning right third exit is where it can get a bit trickier. You will start in the right lane signalling right. Keep right on the roundabout, as we pass the second exit, check your middle and left mirrors and then drift into the left lane ready to exit at the third exit. Signal left once past the second exit. (see video for an example of turning right to Torquay)

Priorities on Roundabouts

Learning to find gaps on roundabouts takes time and practice. Your driving instructor will guide you through this and help you gradually take responsibility for making these decisions.

Key points to consider are,

Give way to traffic already on the roundabout or approaching for the right.

Only go when you feel that’s it’s safe and that you wouldn’t cause anyone to slow down.

Start assessing the traffic as early as possible as this will give you the best chance to find a gap on the approach.

Look out for blockers to help you into the roundabout. (See the video for more information.)

 

Types of Roundabouts

Mini-Roundabout

Mini roundabouts follow the same rules as other roundabouts. You don’t need to signal as you exit. This is because nobody will benefit from the signal as you will already be leaving.

You must make sure you go around the central markings.

Spiral Roundabouts

Spiral roundabouts are slightly different from normal roundabouts in that you will have a lane that spirals outwards as you go past exits.

Use signposts and road markings to guide you and beware of other driver in other lanes.

Penn inn in Newton Abbot and Countess Wear in Exeter are great examples of these types of roundabouts.

Double Mini-Roundabout

 

These are two mini-roundabouts next to each other. They follow the same rules as other roundabouts, you must give way at both roundabouts. You may need to consider your signals as they could be mis-leading.  

Newton Abbot Lessons

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