I believe that many drivers will fail their license tests if they were to be tested on driving at a traffic circle / roundabout.
A few minutes ago we received the following email from a visitor to the Arrive Alive website:
It would be awesome if you guys could do an ad campaign showing people how to use traffic circles and 4-way stops!
I’m 25 and the majority of road users I come across on the road daily, have ABSOLUTELY no idea what to do when a robot is out or is blinking red.
I have seen so many accidents, and frankly people in SA are too impatient to wait and often try zoom through without thinking or just don’t know better…
The most basic of suggestions to follow at traffic circles / roundabouts are:
• Vehicles approaching a roundabout must yield to all vehicles already in the roundabout that are approaching from the right and are close enough to represent a potential hazard.
• So, a vehicle already in the roundabout, in the inside lane, may check behind and to the left to see if it is safe to change lanes to the left. If safe, he may do so, irrespective of any vehicles approaching the roundabout from his left. However, keep an eye on vehicles approaching the roundabout in case they might take a chance and not comply with the yield rule (just as a pedestrian legally crossing at a pedestrian crossing should still check that it is safe and that an approaching motorist has in fact seen him and is stopping or has stopped).
• If checking to the left/behind shows that it is safe to change lanes to the left, the driver must then indicate left, then check again (to make sure it is still safe) before moving into the left lane to leave the roundabout at the required exit. This would require quick glances and alert driving at a speed that is safe for the circumstances.
• Sensible drivers in the outside lane who see a driver in the inside lane obviously wanting to change lane to the left (e.g. he is looking to the left) would not speed up, and would normally ease back to allow the driver to move into the outside lane. But … the onus remains on the driver changing lanes to make sure it is safe to do so.
• If it is not safe to change lane, then don’t indicate yet. Continue round the island and miss the desired exit and try again the next time round.
• No driver has the right to create a hazard for another driver, and lane changing should only be done if it is safe to do so (after checking mirrors and blind spots and signalling the intention to change lanes).
• In some other countries there are additional or different specific rules for driving within and exiting multi-lane roundabouts. In SA the rules given above apply.
Also visit the Arrive Alive road safety website for advice on