12. Mini Roundabouts

Mini Roundabouts

Introduction

Once you have a good understanding of the Hazard routine when approaching and emerging at different junctions and crossroads with little or no support from your instructor it is time to look at dealing with different types of mini roundabouts.

Teaching Strategy

On this lesson your instructor will reduce their instruction on subjects previously covered and give you as much support on the M.S.P.S.G.L & L.A.D.A. routines. These routines will be used when approaching different types of mini roundabout and also used to improve anticipation/planning and anticipation of different road conditions.

Lesson aims

The aim of today’s lesson is to learn how to deal with mini roundabouts.  Learning how to take early observations to ensure you approach the roundabout in the correct position, correct speed and gears while taking the appropriate observations around the roundabout and work out the timing of gaps in the traffic.  Also judging the speed and distance of approaching traffic and in particular, to determine the size of the gap necessary to join the traffic streams without impeding the progress of other road users (plan to go, not to stop).

Objectives

Your objective will to be as independent as possible on your general drive. You will be given as much help on the new topic brief and by the end of your lesson be able to negotiate different types of mini roundabouts and work on timing of gaps in traffic. Also to improve your road position and use of your mirrors with little or no help from your instructor.
Subject brief

Roundabouts are designed to keep the traffic flowing in a clockwise direction.  Always give way to traffic already on the roundabout approaching from your right. Most mini roundabouts are closed, so the majority of the time 1st gear will be needed.
Anticipation and planning

Apply observations as early as possible (L.A.D.A). Start your hazard routine around the roundabout sign (6/8 car lengths from the roundabout).  Roundabouts can be open or closed, so if you L.A.D.A earlier enough you can assess the flow of traffic on the roundabout as you approach the line.  The purpose of early planning is to give you the time to adjust your speed and utilise the appropriate gear, usually 1st gear, so if clear you can safely merge into a gap on your right without stopping.
Unfortunately some drivers approach roundabouts as though they are give way or stop junctions and only take observations at the last minute. Consequently vehicles behind may end up running into the back of them as they wouldn’t expect them to stop if the way is clear.  Therefore don’t make this mistake and do not assume that the vehicle in front will proceed even if the way is clear. So on the approach look ahead and to the right at least 3/4 times.
Use of signals

Treat a mini roundabout like a junction with the indications, so all you need to do is signal to leave.
  1. When going left signal left.
  2. When going right signal right (only).
  3. when going straight ahead no signals at all.
When approaching you may be faced with vehicle from your right you need to give way to or stop for, in this instance the vehicle on the right has priority. So let’s break it down, use L.A.D.A and the HAZARD routine on the approach to gain information with what’s coming towards you.
The major roundabouts have directions on the sign whereas a mini roundabout has a round blue background with white arrows forming a circle.
Turning left (1st exit)

When entering a roundabout if you are going left always proceed in the left hand lane (unless road markings or signs tell you otherwise). Start the hazard routine 6/8 car lengths away from the roundabout. 
● Mirrors to the left
● Signal left  
● Position to the centre of your lane so you don’t clip the kerb as you turn, L.A.D.A for early observations.
● Speed down (OPEN JUNCTIONS ARE A WALKING PACE, CLOSED IS A CRAWLING PACE). 
● Gear on the approach (2nd if clear and open or 1st if closed and you have to stop).

Use L.A.D.A on the approach to see if it’s an open or a closed junction and to anticipate parked cars or pedestrians.  (Use the technique of putting your wing mirror on the white line). Look ahead and to the right to see if it’s clear, if it is not you will have to stop behind the white line. To enter safely, the vehicle has to be 4/6 car lengths away from you from the right.
Straight ahead (2nd exit)

When entering a roundabout if you are going straight ahead always proceed in the left hand (unless road markings or signs tell you otherwise). Again start the hazard routine, 6/8 car lengths away from the roundabout. 
● Mirrors (check all 3).
● Signal (no need to signal at this point however your brake lights will be your signal to start with).  
● Position to the centre of your lane so you don’t clip the kerb as you turn, L.A.D.A for early observations.
● Speed (OPEN JUNCTION IS A WALKING PACE, CLOSED IS A CRAWLING PACE). 
● Gear on the approach (2nd if clear and open or 1st if closed and you have to stop).

Use L.A.D.A on the approach to see if it’s an open or a closed junction also anticipate parked cars and pedestrians  (Use the technique of putting your wing mirror on the white line). Look ahead and to the right to see if it’s clear, if not you will have to stop behind the white line. To enter safely the vehicle has to be 4/6 car lengths away from you on the right..
Once you are on the roundabout and once you get to 9 o’clock, check your Mirrors but there is no need to Signal left to leave as it’s too small.
Turning right (3rd exit)

When turning right at a roundabout always proceed in the right hand lane (unless road markings or signs tell you otherwise). Again start the hazard routine 6/8 car lengths away from the roundabout.
● Mirrors right
● Signal right
● Position to the left near the kerb so you don’t clip the roundabout as you turn, L.A.D.A for early observations.
● Speed (OPEN JUNCTION IS A WALKING PACE, CLOSED IS A CRAWLING PACE). 
● Gear on the approach (2nd if clear and open or 1st if closed and you have to stop).

Use L.A.D.A on the approach to see if it’s an open or a closed junction and to anticipate parked cars and pedestrians.  (Use the technique of putting your wing mirror on the white line). Look ahead and to the right to see if it’s clear, if not you will have to stop behind the white line. To enter safely the vehicle has to be 4/6 car lengths away from you from the right.

Once you are on the roundabout and you get to 12 o’clock, check your Mirrors but there is no need to Signal left to leave as its to small. Please note: 
Always maintain lane discipline and stay in your lane.
Reflect & Review

So remember your instructor is there to HELP,  so on your driving lesson if you have any uncertainties or need anything rewording or recapping to make things any clearer, just ask.
Your training vehicle is fitted with dual controls and if necessary these will be used throughout your lesson. These are there for your safety so we can step in to keep you safe.
So don’t worry if issues arise we will aid and guide you VERBALLY or PHYSICALLY.

Risk management
Physical control of your vehicle

The aim is for you the student to have full control of this lesson, as with previous lessons, and have full talk through on the new topic. Then your instructor will reduce the support throughout. Your instructor’s job is to analyse any faults that may occur in this lesson and put them right.
● Fault identification.
● Fault analysis.
● Remedial action.

Level of instruction on your lesson
● Full talk through.
● Prompt.
● Independent.

End of lesson

● Feed back at the end of your lesson.
● Student’s responsibility for lesson and improvements.
● Plan for the next lesson.
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