What is it with mini-roundabouts? You don’t have them in the US as far as I can remember, favouring instead your 4-way stop junctions and that kind of thing. People’s ability to navigate roundabouts varies inversely according to their distance from the capital city. Out here in the country in the west of Ireland, they’re hilarious entertainment.

At mini-roundabouts with 4 or more approaching roads, people either wait at them politely, even though they might have the right of way, or else they blithely head on through without a care in the world. Farmers are legendary for this, on the rare occasion they venture out from their place of work.

Then you get mini-roundabout that were formerly T-junctions. At this treacherous kind of a roundabout, cars plough across the top of the T at great speed, in both directions, whereas those approaching the T edge up timidly to avoid being totalled, even though they might have the right of way.

So here, dear reader, I offer my rules for mini-roundabouts. By way of disclaimer, I should say that I have no idea if these are the highway code rules for your particular country, so don’t take them as gospel, but they make sense to me anyway. Note that they only apply to places where you drive on the left :-).

1) A mini-roundabout is like a proper roundabout, except that a proper roundabout might have 2 lanes, so your lane position is important.

2) A mini-roundabout is not like a large roundabout with traffic lights on it, or even a huge roundabout with lights on it, or a ‘huge-about’ as my daughter calls them. You simply obey the lights at these kinds of roundabouts.

3) You approach the mini- roundabout and give right of way to the cars on your right. So, if a car to your right is on the roundabout, or is close to the roundabout and if you pulled out you’d cause it to slow down, let the car pass and wait until the road to the right is clear.

4) Once on the roundabout, signal as you’re about to exit the roundabout. This lets the person know who’s giving right of way to you that you are coming off and they can get on.

5) If you don’t use your indicators, or if you keep your indicator on as you pass one or more exits, folk don’t know what you’re doing and will hate you for it.

Being a good driver is as much about communicating to other drivers what you’re doing as it is watching for what they’re doing. Pretend other drivers are your customers. You want to please them and improve their lives, right?

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