For some blissfully unaware people, a roundabout goes something like this…
For others, it’s a little less Childlike Wonder and more Apocalypse Now…
Of course, there are plenty of drivers out there who struggle with the simple concept of a roundabout. These people also tend to struggle with annoying little driving details such as indicators and turning on lights when it gets dark (both of which are covered in the links below). So, to be fair, these eejits are usually easy to spot. When they’re about six feet away. And heading straight for you.
For those very special drivers, here are a few hints on how to handle the two main roundabouts serving the town…
Crucial before reading ahead is the simple rule, covered before – if your choosing to go left or right affects other drivers, INDICATE. In advance. Not whilst you’re turning the steering wheel. You must ALWAYS indicate left when you’re leaving the roundabout. And there are plenty of occasions when you should indicate before entering the roundabout too.
THE FOUR-EXIT ROUNDABOUT
When approaching a roundabout, the easiest reference for understanding the layout is to think of it as a clock. You always enter at the 6 o’clock mark. Which means that, as with the traditional roundabout above, entering from the Greystones side, the left turn to Kilcoole is 9 o’clock, the road straight on to the N11 is the 12 o’clock, and the right-hand turn to Killincarrig is at your 3 o’clock.
Now, here comes the important bits…
THE LEFT LANE
The left-hand lane approaching the roundabout is mainly for the left turn (the 9 o’clock/to Kilcoole), and you should approach on the left lane for this route, with your left indicator on. The left-hand lane can also be used for going straight on (the 12 o’clock/to the N11) – in which case, it would be wise to have your right indicator on when entering the roundabout, switching to the left indicator as you pass the Kilcoole exit, so as signal to other drivers that you’re now leaving the roundabout. Not an entirely Rules Of The Road move, but we at GG HQ feel it should be. You have a choice between left and right that effects any car entering from the Kilcoole road – it would be good if they were sure of your next move.
THE RIGHT LANE
The right-hand lane is both for going straight on through (taking the 12 o’clock exit to the N11) and for taking the right-hand turn (the 3 0’clock exit, to Killincarrig).
If you are on the right-hand lane going straight on to the 12 0’clock exit (to the N11), you don’t need to indicate until you’ve passed the 9 o’clock/Kilcoole exit, after which you indicate left as you take the 12 o’clock/N11 exit.
If you are in the right-hand lane going right to the 3 o’clock exit (to Killincarrig), you approach the roundabout with your right indicator on, switching to the left indicator once you pass the 12 o’clock/N11 exit, to signal you’re taking the 3 o’clock/Killincarrig exit.
THE THREE-EXIT ROUNDABOUT
Not all that different to the four-exit roundabout, but the lack of a 3 o’clock exit and the fact that the straight road on through to Killincarrig is single lane does give the two approaching lanes exclusive options.
THE LEFT LANE
The left lane approaching a 3-exit roundabout is purely for the first exit on the left. You should approach the roundabout with your left indicator on, and leave it on until you’ve left the roundabout. Using this lane to go straight on through is a dick move. And should be against the rules of the road. We’re too lazy to check. Bottom line, it’s a dick movie, because it puts the car in the right lane beside you – the lane that’s designed largely for straight-through traffic – on a possible collision course with you. You dick.
THE RIGHT LANE
The right lane approaching a 3-exit roundabout is largely for going straight on through, to the 12 o’clock/Killincarrig exit. There is no real need to indicate as you approach this lane, but once you’ve passed the 9 o’clock/Charlesland exit, you should, as always, turn on your left indicator, to signal that you’re leaving the roundabout.
Coming from the Killincarrig side to the 3-exit roundabout, if you’re heading straight on to Greystones (12 o’clock exit), stay in the left lane, and turn on your left indicator before you exit the roundabout. If you’re heading to Charlesland (the 3 o’clock exit), get in the right lane as you approach the roundabout, and turn on your right indicator, changing it to the left indicator as you pass the 12 o’clock/Greystones exit, leaving it on until you’re on the Charlesland/3 o’clock road.
With all roundabouts, if you’re operating a U-turn, you should approach in the right-hand land with your right indicator on, leaving it on until you pass the last exit before returning to the road you entered on (the 6 o’clock), remembering to change your indicator from right to left as you pass that last exit.
These are just simple, homemade guidelines (so, you know, they may not stand up in court) to a simple, everyday driving challenge. Being able to use a roundabout without closing your eyes, or just assuming that every other driver will wait until you’ve randomly chosen an exit before they dare enter, can save everyone a lot of time and stress.
It might also save you from a well-deserved road rage beating.