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Spiral Roundabouts – what they are and how to master them!

Using spiral roundabouts in the UK can be challenging but following the right steps can make it manageable. ADI’s will show you spiral roundabouts and you will be expected to drive around them independently with confidence before you take your driving test.

Take a look at the above image and picture yourself coming from the bottom right of the picture, taking the first, second and third exit for an idea of what we are about to talk about below. Here’s a guide on how to navigate them, including using the MSPSL routine, looking out for traffic lights, and getting into the correct lane:

  1. MSPSL Routine:

    • Mirrors: Check your rear-view and side mirrors for traffic around you.
    • Signal: Indicate your intended direction well before reaching the roundabout.
    • Position: Get into the correct lane as early as possible based on your exit.
    • Speed: Adjust your speed as you approach the roundabout, considering the traffic flow.
    • Look: Be observant of the traffic on the roundabout and yield to vehicles from your right.
  2. Approaching the Roundabout:

    • Lane Choice: Choose your lane based on your exit. If you’re turning left (first exit), stay in the left lane. If you’re going straight on (second exit) or turning right (third or subsequent exits), choose the appropriate lane based on road markings and signs. If you look at the above image, you can see that the left lane points to the first exit and also the M60 West Motorway, the second exit
    • Traffic Lights: Some spiral roundabouts have traffic lights. Observe and obey these signals, which control the flow of traffic onto and around the roundabout. You can see in the image above that this spiral roundabout has a set of traffic lights (marked by the stop line).
  3. Navigating the Roundabout:

    • As you enter, give way to traffic from your right unless traffic lights dictate otherwise.
    • Stay in your lane on the roundabout. Spiral markings will guide you to the correct lane for your exit.
    • If there are no spiral markings, as a general rule, keep to the left for exits to the left or straight on and the right lane for turning right.
  4. Exiting the Roundabout:

    • Check your mirrors and signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want.
    • Follow the lane markings that spiral outwards to your intended exit.
    • Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists, especially when exiting.
  5. Additional Tips:

    • Be aware of large vehicles which may need more space and might straddle lanes.
    • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
    • Be prepared for sudden stops or changes in traffic flow.
    • Stay alert for road signs and markings that provide guidance on lane usage.

Remember, practice and experience are key to becoming comfortable with spiral roundabouts. You will be able to deal with these roundabouts safely before sitting your test with a driving instructor, so book today for some excellent tuition!

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