Undertaking Coming off a Roundabout
So I passed my test two weeks ago, and have been really enjoying driving around until today.
I was approaching a roundabout, which had three filter lanes. When I was learning I was taught to use the left lane on roundabouts like this if I wanted to turn off before 12 o'clock, the middle lane if I was going straight ahead and the right lane for turnings after 12 o'clock. Today, I wanted to go straight on, so I entered the roundabout in the middle lane. Visuals here:
As I passed the junction to my left, I checked my mirrors and indicated to show that I was turning left. As I started coming off the roundabout in the left lane of the dual carriageway, a car appeared to the left of me. Because of the angle of driving off a roundabout, there wasn't room for the both of us in the one lane so my reaction was to slow right down immediately, almost to a stop, and he drove past giving me the middle finger and mouthing what I can only assume what was a torrent of abuse. I was shocked because when I checked my mirrors before I signalled, he wasn't behind me or coming out of the junction to the left- there were no other cars around, so I'm guessing he was driving at a fair speed.
Not only did this really shake me up, but the fact that HE was swearing at ME has made me doubt my own driving know-how/lane discipline. I was just after a bit of advice really- did I do anything wrong to warrant his manouver and subsequent abuse, or did I just run into one of the road's many idiots a little early into my driving life? It's a route I went over plenty of times when I was learning and ever since, so if it was my mistake I want to be sure that I don't make it again.
Last edited by RhiRhi; 17-05-10 at 09:50.
Sorry to say your link doesn't show a roundabout.
I don't really think it matters where the other car came from, only that you didn't see it's approach to the roundabout. It may well be that he was going too fast for the circumstances, and that is very common today. After a while, you will grow 'eyes in the back of your head', and develop the skills that will make you more aware of what is going on around you. As to the abuse and gesture, there is a section of motorists who seem to use this instead of indicators or common sense.
Reading your post, in principle I agree with Rolebama but I would add the following points.
1) Always monitor the appropriate mirror when changing or about to change lanes.
2) Have another look at how your mirrors are set – I have my interior mirror set so it is in my peripheral vision. Outside mirrors are often adjust so the sides of the car are visible and for reversing, reset so the sides are just not visible, turn in your seat to reverse.
3) Develop a thick skin – driving brings out the worst in many people they probably throw their toys out of their prams as well.
4) As with any incident on the road, do not worry about what they did wrong - work out what you can do to prevent being involved next time, e.g this time you did not see the other vehicle, why, did he come in from your left?
5) You can give yourself a pat on the back, you did have the sense to give way rather than fight for position.
Last edited by wagolynn; 17-05-10 at 12:40.
In response to wagolynn's point 4- I went over the same route today, and drove round the roundabout in exactly the same way as I did yesterday and I'm sure that I did so correctly both times.
As I approached the left junction there was nobody waiting to come out and there was nobody behind me, same when I did my mirror-signal-manouver as I passed the left junction and again when I checked my mirror to start coming off the roundabout. The other car just seemed to appear to the left of me as I was coming off, so I can only assume he came from the left junction at a high speed, didn't see me and then didn't have time to stop when he DID see me.
I've thought it over, and going over the roundabout again today has reassured me that I did everything correctly- I think, as wagolynn said, I just need to develop a thicker skin!
Thanks both for the advice I'm waiting on my pass plus course so hopefully that will help with the confidence/thicker skin.
The problem might be the way you have been taught - do this, then do that, then look, then do this, etc. You need to be looking all around, all the time - scanning your mirrors should not be a separate special action, but more or less continuous.
Quote "so if it was my mistake I want to be sure that I don't make it again."
It wasn't a mistake on your part at all, if you hadn't slowed down as you did, there is every chance he would crashed into you!
As on here we read similar posts like that quite often.
As mentioned earlier, you will be "more aware" of other such motorists as you go on.
At roundabouts and junctions you need, and will attain a 6th sense, which makes you scan all around you before entering, don't worry about the Gesture, our roads are full of such idiots.
Having looked at your picture of the junction,I think that both the left and middle lane is for travelling across the roundabout(as indicated by the white arrows pointing forward).
Although you had every right to use the "middle" lane,I would have suggested that if there was no traffic in the nearside lane,that would have been the one I would have used.
I would not use the middle lane to go straight on, unless there were vehicles in the left lane that I wanted to pass.
I have also had near misses on rare occasions over the years where people in the left hand lane have wanted to turn right! and just cut in front as you are about to exit in the middle lane. If you are in the left lane, it will negate this risk.
Never ever overtake on a roundabout; you are increasing the risk of a crash beyond a sensible level, time is never that important.
Originally Posted by snapdragon
When you were taught about lanes on approach, you should have been made aware of the caveat in the Highway Code "unless signs or markings indicate otherwise".
In this case, on the approach to the roundabout there are two lanes marked for "ahead", i.e exit 2. Whichever one of these you take, you need to be aware of the other one and keep to your lane. If you take the middle lane, i.e. the right-hand of the two "ahead" lanes , then you should be going into the outside lane on the new road, which is why the other driver was upset.