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Mini roundabouts

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At some point in your driver training you will come across mini roundabouts. A lot of my students have struggled with these. The aim of this blog post is to inform you of the rules and regulations pertaining to mini roundabouts and to introduce you to some tips on how best to deal with them as a driver.

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Mini roundabouts differ from other roundabouts because they have a small white painted circle in the centre that replaces the central island. The Highway Code has specific advice about these paint blobs, stating, that, "It is important to remember that all vehicles must pass round the central markings, unless they are too large to do so." This is important advice because the painted circle and other road markings are designed to direct the traffic flow. When negotiating mini roundabouts during your driving test, it won't always be possible to not drive over the painted circle. All you can do is make the best effort to go around it. Please be very aware that some drivers ignore these road markings totally!

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This double mini roundabout is located at the Pink Pub in Bognor Regis, West Sussex.

Usually mini roundabouts come in two different layouts...three exits or four exits. I advise my learner drivers to treat them just the same as they would for normal roundabouts. Having said that, there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of when dealing with them...

One noticeable difference is that it can be difficult to signal left off mini roundabouts because you are so busy steering, so, be careful of other road users who may not have time to signal left off, and take extra care! If you find you are unable to do so, don't worry, you won't be marked down for not signalling off a mini roundabout on your driving test.

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These two can be found in Chichester, West Sussex.

Another question that arises occasionally is, do I need to give way to the person opposite at the 12 o'clock position? You need to assess this carefully (ask yourself if they will have started turning before me?), and, if you have any doubt, then it's best to just let them enter the roundabout before you. If in doubt, don't pull out!

I have been asked if a signal is required if following the road ahead at a mini roundabout. It depends on the layout. If I was approaching one that didn't have a right exit (so you could only go left or ahead), then I would signal left because it would help the oncoming traffic. If it ahead and right exits, I wouldn't signal at all. Some have been taught to signal right when going ahead, but I think this could be misleading as some drivers may think your'e doing a U turn.

Occasionally, you may come across a double mini roundabout. You should treat each roundabout separately and apply the same rules as already discussed. I do hope you dont have to deal with this beastie on your driving test!

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Whatever kind of mini roundabouits you have in your area, try not to be too afraid of them, apply the same rules as you would for normal roundabouts, and take your time when dealing with them. Happy driving!

Helen Adams ADI

The Highway Code gives very useful information about how drivers should negotiate roundabouts and advises that you should apply these rules to mini roundabouts. See this link,

Highway Code roundabout tips

 

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Purple Driving, an independent driving school run by Helen Adams ADI, providing you with quality driving lessons in Bognor Regis & Chichester, West Sussex.