Too many accidents occur at the multi–lane roundabout! These are also referred to by South African drivers as “Traffic Circles” and are road designs intended to improve traffic flow – but are seen by many as a source of much agitation and part to many accidents!
Driving at traffic circles/ roundabouts require a knowledge of the Rules of the Road – and some extra caution.
The problem of the multi-lane roundabout
There is not much debate about the one line roundabout/ traffic circle. Most drivers understand that you have a duty to give way to the right – and few accidents and frustrations will result from this basic rule.
It is however the multi-lane roundabout that leads to road rage and many side swipe accidents. This happens when drivers are not aware of where they need to be before exiting the roundabout, drive at inappropriate speeds or fail to signal their attentions!
How should we drive at the Multi-Lane roundabout?
We would like to share some insights from the road safety experts on how to drive at the multi-lane roundabout to avoid accidents and car insurance claims:
Which lane one is driving in round a multi-lane roundabout type of traffic circle often depends on the traffic situation at the point of entering a circle. So, sometimes one can be in the inside lane by force of circumstances when entering the roundabout, when ideally one should be in the outside lane. Similarly, you may want to take the last exit but due to traffic are forced to enter the circle in the far left-hand lane.
Therefore the issue is not so much whether a driver is in the “correct” lane in the roundabout, but more the case of, once in the roundabout, how does the driver go about exiting the circle at the required exit. And this is primarily a matter of following the rules of the road regarding the correct use of lanes, signalling, and not changing lanes dangerously. And the rules can be simplified as follows:
1. BEFORE changing lanes to the left (in order to prepare to exit), check in the mirrors and the left blind spot to see whether it is safe to SIGNAL.
2. If it is safe (at that moment), signal your intention to move into the next lane to your left.
3. BEFORE changing lane, check mirrors and blind spot again to ensure that it is still safe to change lane; if safe, move across carefully.
4. If it is not safe, and you are close to your desired exit, circle the center island again until it IS safe to change lanes and exit the roundabout.
We would also like to urge drivers to view the following sections.
This will not help you find car insurance – but might well help to avoid car insurance claims and increased insurance premiums!