New study shows 80% of drivers can’t use roundabouts properly
According to a study by the Professional Association of Training Companies for Transport and Road Safety, most drivers say they know how to use roundabouts, but 80% make one or more mistakes. Among the most common ones are using the wrong lane, not using indicators, crossing in front of other vehicles when exiting, or directly taking the roundabout as if it were a straight line.
The association say that 75% are unaware of the use of each of the lanes, and 68% drive in the wrong lane impairing the flow of traffic, mainly when using the right lane when you want to exit on the left or go all the way round.
Another general error is on roads with two lanes, as 65% of the drivers don’t position themselves in the correct lane. That is, if we are going to exit from the right we must position ourselves in the right lane, and if we are to exit from the left we must position ourselves in the left, whenever traffic allows us. Yes, in both cases we must join the outside lane and progressively go inside if we need them.
The study shows that 45% of drivers use the inside lane and exit from it, which is one of the most dangerous manoeuvres possible, and the one that causes the most minor accidents on roundabouts.
DGT guidelines say: “If we are going to leave a roundabout by the first exit to the right or straight ahead, we will preferably take the right lane. If, on the other hand, we are going to exit the left lane or we are going to make a 360 degree turn (direction change), we will always enter the right lane and gradually merge into the left lane and then return to the right, always with caution, for the exit.”
60% use their indicators incorrectly, and in fact more than half of those drivers don’t use them at all when they are going to leave the roundabout, and 30% of them usually put use their left indicator to warn that they are still in it (which is effectively indicating to turn left), or that they will not exit the next exit without changing to the centre lane, and immediately change the turn signal to the right when they are about to exit.
The indicator must be activated to indicate our exit from the roundabout or to indicate our lane change within the roundabout. They are not to be used to indicate that we are going straight on or continuing in the same lane in the roundabout.
The study also revealed that 15% of drivers, drive straight on in a roundabout crossing lanes, which is the cause of the most serious accidents and cause of deaths than anything else on roundabouts in Spain. In addition, this recklessness is usually coupled with speeding for these intersections, and not making the correct yield to vehicles that are in the revolving square.
The correct way to use roundabouts:
In all roundabouts, regardless of their design, the driver must abide by the same principles:
- yield to those who are already on it, and choose the lane that is the most appropriate depending on the exit you are going to take;
- once on the roundabout, the vehicle that is occupying a lane has priority over the one that is going to access it;
- to exit the roundabout, it is essential to previously position yourself in the outside lane, after having indicated your intention correctly by using your cars indicators.
If there are no established lanes for the exit you are going to take because, for example the roundabout is on a one-way road, generally with several lanes, which has the exits located in its right lane, as if it were a highway. In this situation you must ask yourself if it would be correct to exit from the left lane of a highway by cutting off the path of the vehicle travelling in the right lane.