However, South Africa has its own set of circumstances, including some very aggressive and inconsiderate drivers as well as others who, to be honest, have had little or no formal training at all.
When approaching a roundabout, therefore, one must exercise a high degree of caution.
Approach the circle by bearing to your left, waiting to enter. Traffic already in the circle (approaching you from your right) has the absolute right of way.
The textbook procedure is that you merge safely with traffic already in the circle, without stopping. You may not feel this confident, and if not, then stop until you feel that it is safe for you to proceed.
A few points to remember:
- If your'e turning left, stay in the left-hand lane, and turn on your left indicator..
- If you're turning right, go into the right-hand, and turn on your right indicator.
- If you're going straight, keep in the left-hand lane.
- Do NOT go into the right hand lane if you intend to go straight UNLESS you're on a two-lane road. Most accidents happen when two vehicles try to "merge" into the same lane.
- In a three-lane roundabout the right-hand lane should ONLY be used by vehicles intending to turn right.
In addition South African authorities are introducing an increasingly high number of "mini-roundabout" which are used as much for traffic calming as to conduct traffic safely through intersections.
These mini-roundabouts usually have a yield sign at each road entering them, and drivers should therefore slow to walking pace and be prepared to stop when approaching these signs.
More often than not, however, these yield signs are ignored by those travelling on the major road, and drivers often go through at high speed.
Yes, he's an idiot - but YOU don't have to be one.
Do NOT enter the circle just because you're in the right if it's clear the other driver is travelling too fast. There WILL be an accident, and you'll be the one hit in the weakest part of your vehicle - the side.
A moment's hesitation is better than a lifetime of regret.
Check out our accidents gallery here