Your comprehensive guide to Lismore roundabouts
THERE are more than 40 roundabouts in Lismore and it's likely 80% or more of us are using them incorrectly, driving instructor Charles Lowe said.
With the announcement of another roundabout to be constructed in Lismore, perhaps it's time to go back to basics with a "how to" on roundabouts and a reflection about the history of this city's most beautiful, annoying, confusing, plentiful and sometimes dangerous road feature.
Then, to finish it all off, take the short quiz and find out where you're going wrong (or right) when driving through roundabouts.
Roundabouts: Pros and cons
Proprietor of Professional Driving Consultancy in Lismore, Charles Lowe, said there were many benefits to roundabouts, but when people don't use them properly, it defeats their purpose.
"Their number one benefit is keeping traffic flowing," he said.
"That's the huge difference between a roundabout and a stop sign, give way sign or traffic lights.
"Secondly, they contribute to a reduction in automotive pollution because ... there's a greater chance you won't have to come to a complete stop.
"You don't need that much petrol to get you going up to normal traffic speed again so it also increases fuel efficiency."
Mr Lowe said most drivers didn't indicate on roundabouts correctly, often causing confusion, collisions and unnecessary stopping.
"Because so many people, I'd say 80 to 90% of people, don't indicate their way off a roundabout ... you don't know if they are exiting and you have to be defensive to avoid a potential collision," he said.
"It defeats the purpose of a roundabout."
He also mentioned it was common for Queensland drivers, in particular, to indicate right even if heading straight.
"From 1998 to 2000, Queensland drivers were encouraged by law to indicate right even if they were going straight ahead at a roundabout," Mr Lowe said.
"This was a long time ago but I only saw an example of that this morning.
"Equally, some cars on a roundabout turning right have not been indicating right and therefore, if you're oncoming, you tend to presume they are exiting.
"But of course they are turning right and there's a collision.
Even red P-Platers who a week ago may have got their license, because of peer pressure and lack of parental example, they've given up indicating."
Charles Lowe's tips on better roundabout-ing
- Rather than using the hand-over-hand turning technique, use push-pull because it makes indicating as easy as a flick of one or two fingers rather than moving your hand to the trigger.
- When looking rightward as you prepare to enter the roundabout, take note of an oncoming car's speed, position and the angle of their wheels. It may help you understand their intentions particularly if they are not indicating as they should.
- If you are in the inner lane of a multi-lane roundabout, glance over your left shoulder as you exit to indicate your intention to other drivers, and to ensure there is no possibility of a car in the outside lane clipping your vehicle.
- Use your indicator correctly - efficient roundabouts rely on it!
Lismore is full of pretty roundabouts
Take the Quiz
Find out how well you are navigating roundabouts using this quick, online quiz, then tell us how you did in the comments below. We won't judge!
Yesterday's poll results
57% of readers voted yes - a roundabout is needed at the intersection between Magellan and Diadem streets and the rest voted no.
Lismore City Council announced construction would begin on the new roundabout in early April.
The project will take about 10 weeks.