On a fairly open roundabout I can see a car approaching from a road on the right. Given that I will be on the roundabout first who has the right of way? Is the rule give way to traffic on the roundabout or give way to traffic on the right?
I see so many cases where because the driver entering the roundabout sees there is no traffic on his right he assumes he has right of way.
The Highway Code doesn't seem to be clear on this, either. In the
section on Roundabouts, it says "When reaching a roundabout you
Always give priority to the traffic coming from the right, unless
you have been directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic
and so on.
But it doesn't stipulate whether 'the traffic coming from the right'
is actually on the roundabout, about to come onto the roundabout, or
approaching the roundabout and fifty yards away.
I guess you have to use your common sense, much like at any road
junction, along the lines of 'can I safely get out onto the roundabout
before the traffic coming from the right reaches the space I'm about
Also if you are chasing around so fast you cannot stop before hitting the
car in front you are either too fast or too close or both!
Cyclists seem to think they have priority too, even over poor pedestrians,
since if they can at a junction they zoom up the crossing and go onto the
This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
On the approaches to this roundabout:
a barrier has been erected so that you can't see traffic already
on the roundabout until the last minute, presumably with the
intention of making you approach the give way line more slowly,
rather than speeding through if you think it is clear.
Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
The very large business park that I work on has access from the
motorway. The junction serves only the park and a small commercial waste
Bushes and trees planted at the top force drivers coming up the
slip-road to almost stop, with the result that they are going too slowly
to take advantage of gaps in the traffic coming around the roundabout.
All the vehicles stopping or nearly stopping causes a tailback, which
sometimes trails right back onto the motorway, causing stationary
traffic in the first lane.
The stupid thing is that removing the bushes and trees would allow
drivers to adjust their speed and slot in (as roundabouts were always
intended to be used).
Even worse is that they have just widened the road from the roundabout
to the business park to a dual-carriageway, but did not take the
opportunity to make the (newly constructed) left lane separate from the
roundabout, allowing exiting motorway traffic to flow without hindrance.
There are three cases:
- driver on right gets there first: he has priority and you must give way to
- you and driver on right get there at the same time: he has priority and
you must give way to him
- you get there before other driver: you don not have to give way, but
should aim to be clear of the roundabout so he can pass behind you without
having to brake more harshly than needed for negotiating the curve of the
There is no obligation *always* to give way to traffic on your right (on the
roundabout or about to join) if you will be clear and will not affect them.
Consider the case of a car on your right that is 100 yards away from the
roundabout as you arrive. You don't have to stop (and it would be bad
driving to do so) just because he is visible in the distance; you will have
exited the roundabout on the far side long before he even crosses his
Obviously there are boundary cases where people cut it very fine and *do*
make the driver on your right brake hard to avoid hitting you. On a busy
road where I can see traffic queueing to join, I expect that cars might cut
it fairly fine even though I have priority over them, and I am prepared to
brake harder than normal (and give them a warning hoot!) just in case.
Roundabouts don't work well if there is far more traffic going in one
direction, such that traffic coming from the left never gets chance to join
the roundabout because there is never a large enough gap to do so: that is
when peak-hours traffic lights are needed.
Straight from the highway code
give priority to traffic approaching from your right, unless directed other
wise by signs, road markings or traffic lights.
Basically anyone approaching from your right and that might be straight ahe
ad on a 3 road roundabout has priority, however you have to make a judgemen
t call regards have you time to clear the way before someone approaching fr
om the right reaches you. Essentially you should not enter if a vehicle or
other means of transport has to brake in order to let you through.
On Monday, 13 January 2020 18:49:46 UTC, ARW wrote:
otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights.
t ahead on a 3 road roundabout has priority, however you have to make a jud
gement call regards have you time to clear the way before someone approachi
ng from the right reaches you. Essentially you should not enter if a vehicl
e or other means of transport has to brake in order to let you through.
The requirement for vehicles entering a normal roundabout* is to comply
with the legal definition of give way:
'No vehicle is to cross the transverse line ... so as to be likely to
endanger any person, or to cause the driver of another vehicle to change
its speed or course in order to avoid an accident.'
* There are roundabouts where the traffic in the roundabout has to give
way to traffic entering. E.g. the A24 northbound has priority at the
Give Way doesn't mean Stop. It doesn't matter if it's a roundabout or
a clear stretch of road. If you can go without impeding the other
vehicle then you do so. Overhesitation is (used to be) a negative on
the driving test.
If it is a two lane roundabout and the other car is on the inside lane
then it can still be clear to go.
If two cars approach a roundabout on adjacent entry points at the same
time and approximately the same speed then both can safely enter the
roundabout at the same time. That's the beauty of roundabouts.
Unfortunately some roundabouts are "uneven" so if the traffic from
right is approaching at National Speed limit and you're on a 30mph you
are unlikely to be able to proceed without impeding the other car.
On Tue, 14 Jan 2020 10:40:44 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (AnthonyL)
I'm not sure I agree with that. If the other vehicle changes lane (to
exit) and you collide with it, I think you would have a difficult task
persuading anyone the accident was other than the result of fault or
negligence on your part. I would certainly argue if I were on the
roundabout and another vehicle entered the roundabout and collided
with me, that liability was prima facie with the other vehicle. A
decent dashcam I think would assist such argument.
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