No one knows who, when and where the Roundabout was first introduced into the traffic system. The only thing we know is that its introduction has helped ease traffic congestion.
Could you envisage what the situation would be like in the absence of roundabouts?
For the roundabout to function well and smooth, drivers should observe a few things. Amongst them are:
i) Drivers should be well disciplined.
ii) Remember traffic negotiating the roundabout should move first.
iii) Traffic approaching from the right hand side possess the right of way.
If the above 3 rules are followed to strictly, roundabouts will then function smoothly.
There exists some drivers who do not exactly know how they should drive when approaching a roundabout. They have therefore written in to ask me regarding some advice as to how to use the roundabout correctly.
In this article, I will deal with a 3 lane thoroughfare going into a roundabout.
What is being recommended represents my opinion only. It does not mean its supposed to be the best alternative. By all means, others might have their own views and recommendations with regards as to use of the roundabout.
Traveling in a 3 lane road into a roundabout, to go left, ideally a driver should keep on the left lane. On reaching the roundabout, look right for traffic approaching from the right hand side.
Allow traffic from the right side to go first. It is not necessary for you to stop actually. Only give way.
Stop only if necessary, as when a large trailer or bus approaches. If no traffic approaches, inch your way into the left and proceed on to your destination.
Should one intend to proceed straight ahead or 12 o’clock position, then as one approaches the roundabout, he should ideally take the middle lane.
Again, as in the case of those going left as earlier explained, give way to traffic coming from the right and traffic negotiating the roundabout.
Clear passage allows you to take a quarter turn and while looking for cars coming from the left hand side, proceed with indicators flashing to show your intention to move left and proceed smoothly to your destination.
And finally, to drivers wishing to go the 3 o’clock direction. As you approach the roundabout, keep on the right hand lane, slowing down as you approach the roundabout.
Again, observe if there are traffic coming from the right. Allow traffic from the right to proceed first. Traffic that are negotiating the roundabout should be allowed to move first.
Again, the maxim as in the case of those going left and those going 12 o’clock, it is not necessary to stop, only to give way to traffic.
Likewise, for those who wish to take the entire roundabout and come back the same position from whence you came from, the procedure to be followed is exactly the same as suggested for those going in the 3 o’clock direction.
Ideally, it is further suggested that you keep as near the roundabout as possible on the inner most lane.
When nearing completion of the roundabout, look at the rear view and eyeing the left side mirror. Move left slowly and proceed on to your desired destination.
If traffic should be coming from the left, the choice is yours as to whether to keep to the right hand side or to give way to the driver impatiently trying to cut in from the left.
The choice is yours. Use your discretion in such circumstances.
A final word of advice before this article ends. For the roundabout to function smoothly and well, all drivers should co-operate. Some advice we should all remember are:
i) Keep to your lane.
ii) Do not change lanes as you approach roundabout.
iii) In traffic jam situation, be patient always.
iv) Use your indicators to denote to other drivers the direction you are going.
Hopefully this short article will go towards helping you and others to negotiate the roundabout in a manner it is intended to be – to smoothen traffic congestions!