Learning how to drive is one thing, but mastering every facet of it is another. It’s more than just stop-and-go movements—you have to know how to drive in more complicated scenarios as well. One situation in particular which some might consider tricky would be driving in a roundabout.
Roundabouts, or rotundas as Filipinos call it, is a road junction wherein traffic circles an island and all cars are headed toward the same direction. A local example would be the famous Welcome Rotonda and Elliptical Road.
The bigger the roundabout, the more daunting it might seem for some drivers. If you’re one of them, then it’s a good thing we’ve got you covered. Check out these three easy steps on how to easily get in and out of a roundabout.
1) Slow down as you approach the roundabout.
Treat the roundabout like your typical turn or intersection. You should never approach it too fast because in most cases, you may need to come to a full stop first before passing through—or in this case, entering.
Just remember that no matter how big the roundabout is or how many lanes it has, the same rules apply. Decrease speed driving toward it, and once you do reach the roundabout...
2) Wait for a decent opening, then enter with caution.
Be patient. Make sure it’s safe to enter the roundabout before you make your move, because traffic flows in these circles are continuous, cars tend to be fast—especially for bigger and wider roundabouts.
Although cars will be coming from your left since roundabouts are one-way roads, it’s still advisable to get a good look at all angles before entering. There’s no need to rush into the roundabout anyway, so you should try your best to merge in smoothly just to be safe. Simply start from the outermost lane and merge into the inner lanes (if you need to) one at a time. Then, once you’ve successfully entered the roundabout...
3) Stay on your lane until you make your exit.
We all know how crazy Philippine roads get. On most wide roundabouts with more than three lanes in it, you’ll see that some drivers tend to switch lanes a lot just to get ahead. This is unnecessary—not to mention dangerous—since you’ll all be making your turn toward the exit anyway.
Select a lane you wish to drive in as soon as you enter the roundabout and stay inside of it until you make your exit. As long as you keep yourself steady inside one lane, you’ll be able to avoid any accidents and keep your focus on what’s in front of you until you reach your intended exit.
Also, always take note of how far you are before you reach your exit. If you’re already making the turn just soon after you entered, stay on the outer lanes of the circle. If you’ll need to drive past a few exits before you make the turn, try to merge into the inner lanes just to avoid clogging the other exits. This will also help you avoid those drivers who force the issue and cut through five different lanes just to make it to their exits—do not follow the lead of these neanderthals.
PS: If you miss your exit, you can always go around again.
In the event this happens, don’t panic and just remember to drive on through. Just keep driving and circle the roundabout until you make it back to the exit you were aiming for. You’ll eventually make that turn.