How To Use Spanish Roundabouts
Everyone says “I know how to use a roundabout, I use them all the time in the UK,” it’s all the same all over Europe, Well actually, NO that’s not strictly true. Read on to find out why. At the bottom there is a video that shows how to do it here in Spain..
Big Roundabouts are a relatively recent addition to the roads in Spain, and you will find that things don’t always happen on Spanish roundabouts in the same way that you’ll be used to from the UK.
The big problem is cars using the outside lane to go around to the 3rd or 4th exit of a roundabout, which surprises many visitors to the country when they first see it. Whilst this is not best practice in the UK it is, however, the correct way to do it according to the Traffic Office in Spain.
This is from the Spanish Traffic Office, the DGT. so you won’t get caught out by the slightly different way the Spanish are taught to use them. The bottom picture links to an explanation of when and how to use the innermost lane, which is where all the confusion normally comes in for UK drivers when in Spain.
The use of the innermost lane, treating it the same way as the outer or overtaking lane of a dual carriageway – unlike the way we use it in the UK.
Like everything else, you just need to exercise a bit of common sense, and keep your wits about you at all times!
Most drivers seem blissfully unaware of the rules regarding roundabouts and many people seem to think that it is OK to exit the roundabout from the inside lane: it is not. Learner drivers are taught to go round the entire roundabout on the outside lane, as long as they signal to indicate that they are not intending to leave the roundabout and this is permitted. You should choose which lane to use according to the exit you are going to take, but remember:
- You must drive anti-clockwise around a roundabout
- Traffic already on the roundabout has priority
- You must only leave the roundabout from the outside lane
The last point is very important and the DGT website (Department of Traffic) recommends that if you are not able to get into the outside lane, then you should go round the roundabout again. For an illustration showing how to drive round roundabouts, see the DGT website (revista tráfico)
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