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Tackling Roundabouts and Junctions

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The rules of good driving also encompass certain basic things a driver must observe while approaching and negotiating the crossroads and roundabout – whether signalled or otherwise.

SIGNALLED CROSSINGS 

As you approach a crossing with traffic signals, even if the light is green, slow down to your comfort level. It is quite possible that as you are hurtling at speed the green signal may turn red just as you are about to cross it and if your vehicle is not in your control you may find it difficult to stop in time, and thus get involved in an accident.

Beyond the highways and into the interior you may encounter crossings without signals since the traffic is low there. In such cases too you must slow down to look left and right to ensure you will not run into another approaching vehicle.

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It happens often that the traffic at some junctions is heavy for those going straight but light for those turning left. There is, thus, a temptation among some wayward drivers to join the queue of those waiting to turn left, and then surreptitiously try to join the moving traffic going straight by giving the right indicator. This a wrong, unethical and dangerous practice. You must not switch lanes between traffic lights and take the risk of getting into an accident which is bound to happen if an irritated driver, seeing through your game, blocks your attempt to change the lane.

If you mean to take a U-turn, you must ensure it is allowed. Not all traffic junctions allow this luxury. While numerous junctions have a notice board to say heavy vehicles cannot take the U-turn, there are others where no U-turn is allowed for any vehicle.

On many junctions, before you approach the signal a road may be seen turning to the right to facilitate traffic. If you mean to go to the right, take only that road. If you drive beyond the right turn and on reaching the signal change your mind and turn right, that’s illegal. You must then go straight, and take a U turn ahead and then come back.

If you do not do so and insist on turning right from the signal itself, remember that the right-going vehicles do not expect anyone to come from their left so you may fall foul of them.

ROUNDABOUTS 

As one approaches a roundabout one must slow down since, in the absence of any signals, it is a region of first-come-first-go. Once you have slowed down, keep an eye on the traffic on your left. Once you have entered the circle, making sure no vehicle from the left will interfere with your movement, you have the right of way until you exit the circle. Having realized this, you must give the same courtesy to the vehicles inside the circle while you are outside it.

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