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How to Safely Navigate a Two Lane Roundabout in the UK – Thats It!

How to Safely Navigate a Two Lane Roundabout in the UK – Thats It!

Driving laws in the UK are very different from those found in the United States and in many other countries.

This is why I wrote down several of the questions I had about driving in the UK and researched them in preparation for my trip there.

One of the questions I had was “How do I safely navigate a two-lane roundabout in the UK?” It turns out that this is a very common question, so I decided to share what I’ve learned. Read on to learn more.

 

Safely Navigating a Two-Lane Roundabout in the UK

The rules for navigating a two-lane roundabout in the UK are essentially the same as they are in the US, except you must keep the car on the right side of the road. Before you get into the roundabout, you will have the opportunity to choose either the left lane or the right line. You can choose either if you are going straight. If you are turning left, you must go into the left lane, while you must choose the right if you are turning right. Yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians and drive around the roundabout until you reach your exit.

 

Turning Left

If you are planning to turn left from a roundabout, you should get into the outside lane when you see the sign for the roundabout.

As you approach the entrance of the roundabout, check for traffic that has already entered. You have to yield to any cars that are already in the roundabout.

Also, make sure to check for pedestrians,

When it is safe to go, enter the roundabout and go left. You will reach your exit approximately a quarter of the way around the roundabout.

 

Going Straight

If you are planning to continue through a roundabout and go straight, you can stay in either the outside lane or the inside lane.

It does not make a difference if you are going straight. As always check for traffic already in the roundabout as you approach the entrance. Yield to anyone already in the roundabout.

When you enter the roundabout, bear left and begin making a clockwise turn.

You will pass the exit that you would take if you were turning left. You will reach the exit for going straight after you have driven about half of the way around the roundabout.

 

Turning Right

Turning right may be the trickiest maneuver in a British roundabout. You must enter the inside lane when you are approaching the roundabout.

It is best to do this early because you cannot change lanes in the midst of a roundabout and you cannot turn right at all if you are not in the inside lane.

Once you have entered the inside lane and approached the roundabout, yield to any traffic that is already making its way around.

Keep in mind that you have to go all the way around the roundabout to make a right turn, so you will need to yield to traffic entering from your left and from across the roundabout.

When the roundabout is clear, enter and bear left. You will need to pass the exit you would take if you were turning left and the exit you would take if you were continuing straight.

This means that you will need to travel roughly three-quarters of the way around the roundabout before you reach your exit. Traffic is supposed to yield to you, but keep an eye out in case someone disobeys the traffic rules.

 

Making a U-Turn

If you are making a U-turn at a roundabout, you must move into the inside lane as if you were turning right. After yielding to cars already in the roundabout, you must bear left and continue all the way around.

This means that you will pass the exits by turning left, going straight, and turning right.

As with turning right, other cars are supposed to yield to you but you should keep an eye out just in case someone disobeys this rule. You must drive all the way around the roundabout to make a u-turn.

 

Navigating a Roundabout in a Large Vehicle

Navigating a roundabout in a large vehicle like a van or a truck can be very tricky. Just how tricky it depends largely on the narrowness of the roundabout.

Going around a two-lane roundabout in a large vehicle will not be as difficult as going around a single-lane roundabout due to the extra space.

If you are navigating a two-lane roundabout in a large vehicle, make sure to go slowly. It is okay if your vehicle drifts into the opposite lane a little.

British drivers are taught not to enter two-lane roundabouts alongside a large vehicle.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Driving in the UK

 

What if I’m driving in Scotland?

Roundabouts in Scotland are under the same rules as roundabouts in England. This is because traffic laws in the UK generally cover the entire nation.

 

What if a police officer catches me navigating a roundabout incorrectly?

If a police officer catches you driving around a roundabout incorrectly, you will likely get pulled over. However, they may let you slide after they learn that you are not familiar with British driving laws.

 

Can I drive in the UK on an American license?

You can drive temporarily in the UK on an American license. If you are planning on staying for more than 18 months, you must get a UK driving license.

Driving Safely in the UK

If you are unsure about driving in the UK, keep in mind that taxi cabs and public transport are always an option. Public transport and taxi cabs are more readily available in the UK than they are in America