ROUNDABOUT DISCIPLINE

Discussion on Advanced and Defensive Driving. IAM, RoSPA/RoADA, High Performance Course. All associated training. Car training.

Postby capnjacksparrow » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:53 pm


Hi
This is my first post on this forum, so go easy on me please. I'm interested to know other advanced drivers views on roundabout discipline (or lack of), in particular on what appears to be a growing trend on some roundabouts about the choice of lane some drivers are making when making a right turn exit (not an intermediate one).

There's a four junction roundabout I know locally (Hedge End in Southampton) where each junction is 90 degrees to each other and with the exception of my 12 o'clock opposite exit, all the others have two lanes approaching and exiting, as part of the 40 mph dual carriage way system. I regularly approach this roundabout to make a 90 degree right turn to exit along the dual carriage way and approach the roundabout in the right hand lane naturally).However on numerous occasions I have encountered other vehicles approaching in the left hand lane only to go around the roundabout to the right and exit the same junction as myself. In doing so I am forced to use the outside exit lane of the dual carriage way when exiting the roundabout and are thus prevented from 'filtering across' to the nearside lane as I pass the exit before mine.

There are no lane markings on approach to this roundabout from any direction, or on the roundabout itself and whilst some approach lanes are busier than others there are no signs to indicate both lanes to be used when turning right (as some roundabouts do).

A few years ago when I was an 'Observer / Demo driver' for our local I.A.M group I would regularly use this area to highlight lane discipline as well as getting associates to 'make progress', when using opposite junctions on roundabouts but would never advocate making a '90 degree right turn' exit on a roundabout by using the left hand approach lane.

Have I missed something here regarding lane discipline, or could it be that some drivers are 'making progress' by using the quieter left hand lane and thereby 'jumping the queue' ? If they get to the right hand exit before me, have they 'undertaken' me, by passing me on my nearside? If they remained in my nearside 'blind sector' around the roundabout and I 'filtered' over into the nearside lane across their path, who's to blame?

Your thoughts please.
capnjacksparrow
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:05 pm

Postby GJD » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:17 pm


Hi capn!

People do funny things. I can imagine a few reasons why someone might use the left-hand of two lanes to turn right:

Queue jumping
Lacking the confidence needed to manage space and assert yourself in busy traffic
Not understanding what lane you're supposed to use
Intending to take a left turn shortly after exiting the roundabout
Signs and/or lane markings say that's what you're supposed to do on a particular roundabout (although you said that doesn't apply in this case).

...and I'm sure there are others. I don't suggest any of them (except the last one) are justified, but if you were to ask the drivers in question their reasons, maybe those are some of the answers you'd get. Ultimately I suppose, it doesn't matter what their reasons are when you're in the situation. Being alert to the possibility and doing your best to keep space ahead and to the sides is your protection against whatever they throw at you.

As to who would be at fault in the collision you describe, I'm not an expert on the intricacies of apportioning blame (either criminal or insurance-wise) but from the tales people tell, I get the impression that simply being in the right as far lane discipline is concerned is not necessarily sufficient to absolve you of all responsibility. Out of interest, if your exit has two lanes, do you need to filter left while still on the roundabout? Could you exit directly into lane 2 and filter left once you're clear of the roundabout?
GJD
 
Posts: 1299
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:26 pm
Location: Cambridge

Postby Gareth » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:26 pm


My guess for a link to Google Maps ... OP coming from top left to exit bottom left.
there is only the road, nothing but the road ...
Gareth
 
Posts: 3370
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:58 pm
Location: Berkshire




Postby Gareth » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:30 pm


One reason for using two lanes to turn right is that it allows a greater throughput of traffic, which might be significant during busy periods. I've certainly seen this at a number of other roundabouts, both marked and through customary practice. It would be interesting if someone used the right lane to go straight on, coming into conflict with someone using the left lane to turn right, which is why StressedDave's rule about never entering a roundabout adjacement to another car applies.
Last edited by Gareth on Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
there is only the road, nothing but the road ...
Gareth
 
Posts: 3370
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:58 pm
Location: Berkshire




Postby ROG » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:54 am


Gareth wrote:My guess for a link to Google Maps ... OP coming from top left to exit bottom left.

Deffo two lanes can be used if that link etc is correct

capnjacksparrow wrote:However on numerous occasions I have encountered other vehicles approaching in the left hand lane only to go around the roundabout to the right and exit the same junction as myself. In doing so I am forced to use the outside exit lane of the dual carriage way when exiting the roundabout and are thus prevented from 'filtering across' to the nearside lane as I pass the exit before mine.

I see nothing wrong in what others are doing providing they are indicating their intention and keeping in their lane

When negotiating this type of situation my first plan is to exit in lane 2 and then the second plan is to exit in lane 1 if clear because a lane 1 exit usually means a straighter drive
ROG (retired)
Civilian Advanced Driver
Observer - Leicester Group of Advanced Motorists
EX LGV instructor
User avatar
ROG
 
Posts: 2512
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:19 pm
Location: LEICESTER

Postby apple tango » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:11 am


There's a few roundabouts near me without any road markings where you can observe this behaviour. At others you see people use the right lane to turn left (onto the dual carriageway), again oblivious that the left lane may proceed straight on... at others, people use the correct lanes. It seems a matter of local practise as to which behaviour is considered "normal"

The highway code is quite clear that unless the lanes are marked differently, to turn left you use the left lane, to turn right you use the right lane, and to go ahead you use the most appropriate lane (usually the left). Therefore I would never use any of these unofficial local practises because the behaviour is unexpected and that is what can cause collisions.

From an AD point of view I would say the best thing you can do is control the risk. Assume the lanes around you may not be going in the direction you would expect and make allowances for that. Maintain all round observation and take a route that increases safety for everyone. Avoid being alongside other vehicles on the roundabout - this will reduce the risk of conflict, but also means it is easier for you to keep an eye on them too. As you are exiting onto a dual carriageway you can exit onto the offside lane if you have to, which although not the original plan is still a safe one. Do not try to impose the "correct" lane discipline - it is futile and only increases risk.

ROG wrote:
Gareth wrote:My guess for a link to Google Maps ... OP coming from top left to exit bottom left.

Deffo two lanes can be used if that link etc is correct


How so? I see two lanes on each approach with no markings. Therefore the highway code's advice should be followed.

I don't see how using either lane to turn right would be any more correct than using either lane to turn left.
Alex
User avatar
apple tango
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:37 pm

Postby chriskay » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:03 am


apple tango wrote: Therefore I would never use any of these unofficial local practises because the behaviour is unexpected and that is what can cause collisions.



I think we should remember that the majority of drivers, at any location and especially at busy times, are likely to be local and regular users. In that case, these "unofficial local practices" are not unexpected by the majority. I think that as long as one remains aware of what is happening, the risk of accident should not be increased.
There are many situations in which the advice in the Highway Code is ignored and in such cases it may be safer to go with the flow. To my mind, one of the important featured of advanced driving is flexibility: I'd rather do something technically wrong than be involved in an accident by rigidly following the rules.
Last edited by chriskay on Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I can only please one person a day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow's not looking good either.
User avatar
chriskay
 
Posts: 1021
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:23 am
Location: Shrewsbury

Postby Gareth » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:04 am


apple tango wrote:I would never use any of these unofficial local practises because the behaviour is unexpected and that is what can cause collisions.

That's the rub; local practice is expected behaviour for the majority of road users.
there is only the road, nothing but the road ...
Gareth
 
Posts: 3370
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:58 pm
Location: Berkshire




Postby Gareth » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:29 pm


It might be handy if the OP will say if the link to Google Maps included previously is the correct roundabout.

capnjacksparrow wrote:If they remained in my nearside 'blind sector' around the roundabout and I 'filtered' over into the nearside lane across their path, who's to blame?

The driver of the car on the outer lane should be continually watching for the possibility of the car in the inner lane starting to move across, and be prepared to give a warning toot while at the same time taking action to avoid a collision. Equally the driver of the car on the inner lane should be aware of other vehicles in the outer lane and not move into them. Both drivers should be signalling their intentions so as to inform other road users, and each should be attempting to understand the intentions of those around them.

I expect 'blame' would be shared, and probably about equally.
there is only the road, nothing but the road ...
Gareth
 
Posts: 3370
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:58 pm
Location: Berkshire




Postby capnjacksparrow » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:41 pm


Thanks All

The Google maps link as shown is the right one and I am coming from the upper left junction to take the bottom left one.

I know there's a section in the various 'Advanced Driving manuals' that advocate 'going with the flow' when local interpretation of road junctions appear to differ from what is set out in the Highway Code. I suppose you could say that for any roundabout / junction there will be some users who will interpret it differently to most ( intentionally or otherwise ) and in doing so may gain some advantage over drivers who are using the junction and road layout in adherence to and within the 'spirit' of what the Highway Code intends. Maybe one of the first 'Rules' in the Code should be "Thou shalt not cause confusion or conflict with others" with a caveat "strict adherence to the rules may not absolve you from any blame".

So where do we draw the line?
capnjacksparrow
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:05 pm

Postby YorkshireJumbo » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:51 pm


Funnily enough, I was just thinking about this as it happened to me yesterday here - heading down (south) and wanting to turn right (west). I've used that road a fair amount and never seen it happen before.

The problem I had was that the car on my nearside didn't indicate on approaching the roundabout, and then shadowed my nearside round the roundabout. I couldn't even see his indicators, let alone tell if he was indicating. The road markings clearly show the left lane being left or SO, and the right lane being SO or right, but there were no separate signs. Who would have been blamed if I'd hit him?

In reality, I saw him in plenty of time, but it did remind me to expect the unexpected - it can be too easy to relax on roads you travel regularly
You may have speed, but I have momentum
User avatar
YorkshireJumbo
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:38 pm
Location: Yorkshire end of the M1

Postby apple tango » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:00 pm


Personally if it was me I would use the right hand lane on approach. I would aim to move across to the left after passing the 2nd exit and then enter the dual carriageway in the left lane, like I would for any right turn at a roundabout. However if this is not possible I would just enter the dual carriageway in the right hand lane.

Gareth wrote:That's the rub; local practice is expected behaviour for the majority of road users.

It is the minority of road users in this scenario that would create the uncertainty and resulting danger.

I can understand some local variation where exits are close together or not in the conventional 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions but at this kind of layout I don't see how the correct lane choice can be any clearer. I suspect these local customs are formed when some people try it to avoid queuing, and then others see it and copy it without questioning the wisdom.

capnjacksparrow wrote:If they remained in my nearside 'blind sector' around the roundabout and I 'filtered' over into the nearside lane across their path, who's to blame?

I believe most roundabout accidents of this type are settled 50/50
Alex
User avatar
apple tango
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:37 pm

Postby Mr Cholmondeley-Warner » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:33 pm


If you want to see brazen pushing in from the left on a roundabout, come along to Swindon in the evenings and have a play on the roundabout above J16 of the M4. I'm afraid I have to confess to using the horn as a rebuke occasionally here. The other evening a chap in a Merc decided to adopt a collision course with me and just kept going, despite horn "warnings". I was fairly annoyed. I said several Hail Marys of course, when I got home.
User avatar
Mr Cholmondeley-Warner
 
Posts: 2583
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:03 am
Location: Swindon, Wilts




Postby MrToad » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:36 pm


Uncle Tony's six-point plan for roundabout success (works every time !).

1. Know where you're going before you get there - use the signs, look across to your selected exit.

2. Time your arrival to coincide with a gap in the traffic flow. If you can't and have vehicles on your right that could block your view, use the gaps between them to maintain vision onto the roundabout

3. When circulating, be aware of others - avoid their blind spots and check your own. Stay alongside gaps, not other vehicles.

4. Be clear and consistent in the messages you're giving other road users by your position and signals. Don't expect this in return.

5. Every time you change direction or cross paint there's potential for conflict - go around again if necessary to avoid a collision.

6. Listen to this song, and remember these selected lyrics - make it your driving theme song:

It's the simple things in life that bring me down
Like always being right
It leads to fights - oh no no
I'm running low on energy
The world keeps bugging me

Let it go
Let it go
Let it go
'Cause it's out of my control
Let it go
Let it go
Don't have to have it all
Grips so tight it shatters
Only thing that matters
Only got one life
Heaven knows
What I'm stressing for
I've let it go


Do less, better.
User avatar
MrToad
 
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:56 pm
Location: Bristol




Postby ROG » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:50 pm


Where does it state that where a dual or two lanes enter and exit a roundabout then both cannot be used unless of course markings dictate otherwise :?:

By 2 lanes I do not mean one lane splitting into two just before the roundabout

If they remained in my nearside 'blind sector' around the roundabout and I 'filtered' over into the nearside lane across their path, who's to blame?

the one who changes lane without ensuring it is safe to do so
ROG (retired)
Civilian Advanced Driver
Observer - Leicester Group of Advanced Motorists
EX LGV instructor
User avatar
ROG
 
Posts: 2512
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:19 pm
Location: LEICESTER

Next

Return to Advanced Driving Forum (Cars)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 2 guests