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Kolawole Ajayi: A Few Things to Note When Navigating Roundabouts



According to the Nigeria Highway Code, “A roundabout is a place where two or more roads meet, forming a circle that ensures that all traffic must go round in the same direction. Thereby eliminating friction.”

Driving through roundabouts is enjoyable and safe when most drivers making use of them know the technicalities involved in navigating them. But in a situation where the number of drivers who understand the technicalities involved are less than those who know nothing about them, then there is bound to be a crash at any given time.

It should be known that having roundabouts constructed at junctions is a development that has come to stay in road/traffic management. This development has, over the years, proved to be safer, cheaper in maintaining, and time saving, It has served as means for the free flow of traffic, reduced environmental pollution, and has led to reduction in junction-related crashes.

Well then, let’s discuss the rules to follow when you are about to navigate a roundabout.

Slow down
It is a well known fact that an average roundabout has more than one exit and entry, so it is expected that vehicles going in and out have different exits and entries. You are also to know that your right of way slowly ends as you approach any roundabout. To avoid a crash, it is expected you slow down and observe carefully when approaching a roundabout. And as a passenger, you have the right to gently inform the driver to slow down when approaching any roundabout if you notice your driver is doing otherwise.

Signal to your direction
When you make a signal to your intended direction, this will give drivers behind an idea of where you are heading toward, thereby eliminating confusion. To those who wish to go toward another direction apart from the roundabout, you are advised to signal right. It is also worthy to note that the said signals are to be done as early as possible, in order to avoid late decisions that can probably lead to crashes.

Give way to traffic at a roundabout
At the point your car is almost at a standstill, I mean when you are about to join the traffic at the roundabout, please you are advised to yield to the traffic already there. Don’t rush to disrupt the already free flow of traffic navigating through it. Instead, wait a while, until there is enough space for you to join. And in some cases, you may wait until that good driver already in the traffic signals for you to join.

Now that you are driving through the roundabout, it is either you are making a U-turn, turning right toward another route, going left, or even driving straight. For safe driving through it all, the explanations below are to be followed.

For those making a U-turn, you are to continue driving through the roundabout with your left signal permanently on, and right before the exit, change the signal to the right.

If you are going straight, you are advised to approach on the right hand lane of the roundabout and keep navigating through the right lane. Then use the right side indicator at the exit before your preferred route.

For those turning right, it is also proper to keep navigating through the right lane with the right indicator on, for easy exit when turning right. Those turning left are to approach the left lane by driving through it with the left side indicator on before and during the course of navigating through the roundabout.

Scott Batson’s reply to the question “What is the purpose of roundabouts?” posed by a follower was: “Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world. The safety comes from the “slow and go” operation, instead of the “stop or go fast” way a stop light works.” Without mincing words, his reply summarised why we all need to embrace this ever important development by learning and exhibiting on a daily basis the simple techniques of driving through any roundabout whenever we see one on our journey from any point to the other.

Drive to stay alive!

Ajayi Kolawole K. is a Safety officer, Writer, book junkie, Arsenal FC fan and a lover of life. He speaks English and Yoruba languages fluently. A Christian and above all he is a proud Nigerian. Kindly follow him on [email protected], instagram- @kola_ajayi, email- kolawole178[email protected]

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