Many years ago, when I was a new instructor, I noticed some of my clients were failing tests for doing the same things wrong, in the same places. I decided I should make sure my clients understood these tricky “features” before going for their test and hence my “Features List” was born.
Rather than teaching the features themselves though, I endeavour to teach a methodology for dealing with them that can then be transferred to other, similar situations. Here’s the next feature in my list;
Location – North Lane Roundabout, Crossing A1237 towards Huntington
- Incorrect choice of lane approaching roundabout
- Taking the wrong exit
How To Do It Right
In order not to just teach one junction or roundabout, we will look briefly at the principles and methodology we can employ.
- Gather as much information on approach to the roundabout as possible
- Straight ahead at roundabouts is normally the left lane on approach
- Third exit out of four is normally the right lane on approach
- When it is unclear which lane to use, keep left initially, slow down and search for signs and road markings
- Count exits whilst negotiating roundabouts
- Use the screen on Sat Nav as well as the voice
All About The Approach
If doing this whilst using Sat Nav during the independent drive, the Sat Nav will say “Cross the roundabout and take the third exit.”
You should verify this by glancing at the Sat Nav screen to see that the third exit is directly ahead. Because we drive in the real world and not in the Sat Nav, this should then be verified with real world signage, which matches the screen shown on Sat Nav: the third exit is directly ahead – straight on.
Because the principles (above) suggest using left lane for straight, but right lane for third exit of four, it is not clear at this point which lane to use on approach, and therefore also on the roundabout itself. Consequently, let’s then follow the principle of slowing down to gather further information. This further information comes in the form of extremely faded (but still visible) road markings, arrows painted on the road showing you should use the left lane for left and ahead, and the right lane only for going right. As we are going ahead here, it is now clear that we want the left lane.
Round The Roundbout
The road bends left significantly on the final approach to the roundabout, which then makes the third exit seem like going right, rather than straight, Consequently, if we haven’t looked across the roundabout and visually identified the North Lane exit, many folk will incorrectly take the second exit (signed for Monks Cross) instead. In order to take the correct exit, we can firstly, like I say, look across the roundabout on the final approach to identify the exit we want, or, probably more usefully, count exits as we go around the roundabout and easily identify the correct exit. Easy!