Types of roundabout & How to drive in a roundabout

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A roundabout eases road traffic, and allows motorists to head in different directions. But it only works when road users take it right. Here's our guide to types of different roundabouts & how to drive in a roundabout! Check them out!

It might seem like a basic curve on the road, and simply turning the steering according to the curve is all needed. But it is not as easy as it sounds. Besides the curve, roundabouts are often busy areas of the road especially when located in major towns. Keep reading to learn why it is important to know how to drive in a roundabout!

In the absence of a pedestrian bridge, pedestrians prefer to cross the road via the roundabout because it is a point where cars slow down. Also, there are several road signs and outdoor advertising billboards all competing for the driver’s attention. He/she is torn between successfully driving through the rotary and getting a glimpse of the materials fighting for their attention.

1. What exactly is a roundabout?

This might seem like common knowledge, but it is important to get a grasp of what a roundabout is in order to have a better understanding of the subject.

In simple terms, a roundabout is a circular intersection and one of the most popular road junctions on the road. It is round. It is constructed in such a way that it keeps traffic moving, reducing the rate of crashes and collisions. Roundabouts also reduce delays, and check behaviors of rough drivers. You may beat the traffic lights and get away with it, but with roundabouts, you are compelled to give room for oncoming vehicles. This orderliness experienced at roundabouts reduces chances of motorists getting T-boned.

multi-lane-roundabout

A multi-lane roundabout

2. Types of roundabouts

There are two major types of roundabouts namely single-lane roundabouts and multi-lane roundabouts. As always, Naijauto.com will explain both of them for your comprehension.

2.1. Single-lane roundabouts

As the name suggests, single-lane roundabouts have just one traffic lane. There is a consensus among both auto experts and motorists that this is the easiest traffic circle on the scene. Each direction has just one lane of travel.

On getting to a single-lane roundabout, the ideal thing to do is to apply your brakes completely, bringing your car to a full stop. Some drivers get carried away probably due to being absent-minded, and join the traffic without taking a proper look around. There are many other motorists on the road, hence, chances are that others are coming from that direction you are entering.

Roundabout-at-night

A single-lane roundabout is easy to comprehend

Use your eyes to survey the area. Is there on-coming traffic? A vehicle or pedestrian? If yes, remain still until the road is clear. Once you see that no one is there, drive into the lane and keep driving in the curve.

>>> Be careful when driving at night: 7 best night driving practices for road users

2.2. Multi-lane roundabouts

The name gives us an idea of what it is. It has more than one lane, and provides various lane options for movement. Multi-lane roundabouts create more room for vehicle movement than single-lane roundabouts, but that is not an excuse for you to just dive in. Remember, there are other vehicles on the road too. You must always check that the road is clear before moving forward.

Video: Navigating A Multi-Lane Roundabout

Multi-lane roundabouts can be confusing. The various lanes lead to different directions. Know the lane that leads to the turn you want to take before you enter the roundabouts, otherwise, you might be heading in the wrong direction. Do you want to turn right? It makes perfect sense to stick to the right lane. Do you want to continue on a straight path or make a U-turn? Stay in the left lane until you get to the road that leads to your direction.

Changing lanes anyhow in a multi-lane roundabout is not advisable as it could lead to a collision. The rule is, do the math in your head before entering the roundabout.

3. Rules of driving in roundabouts

There are some de facto rules for driving in a roundabout.

3.1. Right of way

Motorists who got to the roundabout before you have a right to the way more than you. Yes, it is first come, first serve. Trying to overtake them makes you look like one who does not understand the rules of engagement on the road.

>>> Other tips for you are always available! Tips to handle roundabouts like a pro!

3.2. Keep moving

Another rule is that you should not stop in a roundabout on your own. The only times you are permitted to stop is when the traffic light or official says so, or you are trying to make way for oncoming vehicles. If your car is malfunctioning, the roundabout is not the place to play mechanic. Make your way out of the curve, find a safe spot by the road to park and have a look at it.

Busy-roundabout-skyview

A busy roundabout skyview

3.3. Stay away from large vehicles

You know those large vehicles like trucks, trailers and tippers that always dominate the road, right? They can be very intimidating in roundabouts as they occupy a lot of space. For your own good, do not drag the road with them. As a matter of fact, do not drive beside a large vehicle. Jejely allow them to pass, and drive behind them slowly. The last thing you need is to collide with a truck; the result is always bad.

>>> More details at: Here's why you should be humble driving along a truck!

>>> Visit Naijauto.com for more safe driving tips.

Chris Odogwu is a freelance Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication (Public Relations and Advertising major) from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.

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