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driving question - roundabouts and lane markings

(37 Posts)
time4tea Sun 24-Jul-11 16:59:24

Hello, I have passed my driving test and know the rules of the road, but I have a real practical problem on big roundabouts with keeping to the proper lane.

I start in the right lane marked for the road I want to take, then the road markings disappear and I inadvertently find myself obviously in the wrong place, as I get honked very aggressively - even though I've taken what I thought was a steady course in the correct lane.

I have done the pass plus course and asked my driving instructor about this - but he just said - well, keep to the lane. which I thought I was doing today and still got honked like mad, and then saw that the road I was intending to take was in the lane to the left, I had drifted between the proper lane and the one to the right.

I'd be really grateful for hearing of your experiences and any tips...

ExitPursuedByAGryffin Sun 24-Jul-11 17:05:06

Inside lane - 1st exit (without exception imo)
2nd lane - 1st exit (if two lane) or next exit.
3rd lane - 2nd or 3rd exit.

If people are driving correctly, if you are in the second lane and heading for the second exit, the people in the inside lane should have left at the first exit, thereby leaving the lane clear for you to move into to exit the roundabout.

I was taught that you did not need to use indicators on a roundabout, that your road position should be enough.

Remember though, you can't drive in the middle lane and then suddenly decide to exit the roundabout.

Not very helpful but it is sort of swirly - people leave the roundabout and you take over their space.


ruddynorah Sun 24-Jul-11 17:10:25

You must indicate on a roundabout!! If turning right you must indicate right on approaching the roundabout then indicate left as you approach your exit. If taking the first exit you must indicate left as you approach the roundabout. For all others you must indicate left as you approach your exit, ie as soon as you pass the previous exit.

time4tea Sun 24-Jul-11 17:25:20

thanks for the responses. Taking the first exit isn't a problem - you just follow the kerb. I know the rules about the indicators, and I always start in the correct lane - I know this as on the kind of roundabout I'm talking about, they mark the road number in the lane you are taking (A10 or whatever). It is what happens next, as you are on the roundabout, that is difficult. I suppose I just didn't get that the lanes are not marked, yet that other cars were honking me for being in the wrong lane.

thanks - I imagine it is a matter of experience - what I might do is look at some GoogleEarth pictures of massive roundabouts, to see how they fit together from above a bit more. but any other tips are most welcome.

PrincessJenga Sun 24-Jul-11 17:27:10

I was taught that if turning right you stayed in the right hand lane (closest to the roundabout itself iyswim) until immediately before turning off. This feels unnatural tbh as you sometimes have to cut across lanes to do it, but it's always worked for me.

Of course, the bigger roundabouts (especially at motorway junctions) have markings all the way round, which is helpful!

fortyplus Sun 24-Jul-11 17:28:25

Disagree that left lane is always first exit - on a roundabout where 1st exit = left and 2nd exit = straight over it's perfectly correct to be in the left lane on approach, then start to indicate left as you go past 1st exit and take the 2nd exit. No one ever honks at me wink

NickNacks Sun 24-Jul-11 17:38:34

Do you not cut people up who are in the right hand lane though fortyplus. I imagne you do as many do on my local roundabout but are oblivious to it! grin

zandy Sun 24-Jul-11 17:49:20

Go on to google earth and examine the roads from above, look at the lanes at your leisure.

fluffles Sun 24-Jul-11 17:54:29

if you're in the middle of three lanes and the left lane people all leave at the first exit, then your lane will move outwards to then become the left lane... you just go with it...

try to find some roundabouts with lanes all the way round and then follow that idea on the ones that don't have them.

ExitPursuedByAGryffin Sun 24-Jul-11 19:00:42

I foresee roundabout rage wink

time4tea Sun 24-Jul-11 21:14:05

hello all, thanks for this. I'll definitely do google earth views. I really appreciate the advice - hoping to avoid roundabout rage EPBAGriffin - some really scary-looking fellows in vans round my way.

time4tea Sun 24-Jul-11 21:25:40

google earth - all is clear now.... I feel much less spacially challenged. cheers Zandy. X

ruddynorah Sun 24-Jul-11 22:53:20

fortyplus- left lane is for first exit, this allowing those in the right lane to filter across as they approach their exit.

fortyplus Mon 25-Jul-11 00:58:30

ruddynorah - suggest you look it up in the highway code - there's even a picture to illustrate correct procedure at roundabouts with the vehicle from the left hand lane going past the first exit and indicating to leave at the 2nd.

fortyplus Mon 25-Jul-11 00:59:51

Nick Nacks you obviously haven't read the highway code either! A

breadcrumbs Mon 25-Jul-11 01:08:51

If in doubt, drive slowly, indicate copiously and allow other cars to go where they need to. There are plenty of tourists on our roads who dont always know exactly where they are going; just pretend to be one of them, behave couteously to other drivers and you will be fine grin

fortyplus Mon 25-Jul-11 01:22:41

Best advice I was ever given was during advanced driving course when I was told always try to make eye contact with other drivers if possible - that way you know they're watching what you're doing - and smile smile

NickNacks Mon 25-Jul-11 07:20:44


So what happens to the drivers in the right hand lane who are correctly leaving at the second exit. You ARE cutting them up.

ruddynorah Mon 25-Jul-11 09:36:54

Fortyplus you are wrong. People are swerving to avoid you.

hmmSleep Mon 25-Jul-11 09:51:35

Agree with fortyplus here, many roundabouts here have road markings telling you to use left lane for left and straight on (1st, 2nd exits), right for turning right (3rd exit). It often depends on the roundabout. If everyone is giving way as they enter the rounabout, going at a sensible speed and not undertaking there shouldn't be a problem.

ruddynorah Mon 25-Jul-11 09:56:22

If there are road markings then yes obv follow them...though many don't. Near me there's one where you can go in the left lane to turn right. Causes much confusion.

NickNacks Mon 25-Jul-11 18:32:36

OK.....different ways of reading fortyplus's orignal post. I assumed she was talking about a roundabout where there was only two options, left and straight on.

Agree it's much more down to the individual roundabout.

fortyplus Mon 25-Jul-11 23:23:42

Nicknaxks & ruddynorah - why don't you just look at the link to the Hiighway Code - then you might learn to drive properly. If you're in the inside (ie left hand lane) at the roundabout you either indicate left as you approach and take the first exit, or go straight on (not changing lane so not cutting anyone up), indicate left as you go past the first exit and leave at the 2nd exit. It's beautifully simple - as illustrated in the diagram from the fucking Highway Code.

fortyplus Mon 25-Jul-11 23:25:24

Ps - if you click the link I gave earlier then what I'm talking about ids the car following the blue line - on the roundabout where there is also a 3rd exit!

HauntedLittleLunatic Mon 25-Jul-11 23:32:32

Agree that the highway code essential says that you stay in teh lane you start in all the way round to your exit. So if you start in teh right lane to go right you stay close to teh roundabout until you exit. You do not spiral outwards (with disclaimer below). XP is a drivig instructor and that is the official line.

BUT The vast majority of roundabouts have road markings forcing you to spiral outwards - and you should obey road markings rather than highway code.

TBH I think the highway code is stuck a bit in teh dark ages with this particular rule. In the "olden days" there would only have been smallish roundabouts. There would have been no cutting up because cars would only really have been in single file (although in their own lane; just ot side by side IYSWIM). Tha rule doesn't really account for the humumgous motorway exit roundabouts and such like that we get now - hence the newer road markings.

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