How to Drive Round a Roundabout

Many drivers get it wrong at roundabouts. The IAM's Chief Examiner Peter Rodger explains how to get it right.

Information: Look well ahead; check your mirrors so that you know what other traffic there is around you. Give any signals in plenty of time. Try and identify a gap in the traffic before you reach the roundabout, but keep an eye on the car in front – they may not go for the gap you would

Position: Approach the roundabout according to which exit you’re taking. Keep to the left lane to turn left or go straight and the right lane when taking an exit on the right. Watch for any road markings guiding you and try to give other vehicles plenty of space.

Speed: Slow down smoothly to a speed that’s appropriate for the roundabout, taking into account the position of other road users

Gears: Once you’re at the right speed, and before turning, select the correct gear. Do a final mirror check, especially the mirror on the side you are turning towards

Accelerate: At a roundabout, choose a gap in the traffic and accelerate smoothly into it – the same applies to any other junction

Rodger added: “At roundabouts, it is useful to try and consider the whole thing as one manoeuvre – that way you have a plan about which lane to be in, when to move into that lane, and what signals you expect to use. But you need to prepare to be flexible – other road users don’t always behave as we’d expect them to.”

To help drivers stay safe and enjoy their driving this summer, the IAM has a new website, with traffic updates, weather forecasts, and driving tips, including: driving abroad, cycling, coping with Olympic congestion, and loading the car for a long journey.

The IAM has also launched a new website, for biking advice and tips,, with traffic updates, touring advice by country and all you need to know about events and local groups. Tips cover riding with pillions, in groups and night riding. There’s also a videos page and you can upload your touring photos and stories - get involved at


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