When taking a driving test in Essex, there is one test centre which always stands out in popularity and that is Basildon. Being a relatively new town, there is one thing that Basildon has plenty of and that is roundabouts! With both the bustling A127 and A13 in close proximity, Basildon has several large free-flowing roundabouts as well as some smaller roundabouts. Although, this can sound quite daunting to new pupils when they are first learning how to drive, with learning the basic rules of a roundabout and plenty of practise you will master them in no time!

Once you’ve started your lessons in Basildon, your instructor will ensure that you cover roundabouts fully in more depth but for now, here are a few simple guidelines to help you on your way to successfully passing your driving test in Basildon.

A Few Basic Facts:

There are 3 main purposes of a roundabout:
  1. To keep traffic moving.
  2. To ease congestion on the road.
  3. To help speed up journey times.

When driving on a roundabout, you should always give way to traffic on the right. With all the traffic travelling in one direction, this certainly increases driver safety on the road as with some other junctions, drivers can be tempted to cut through a red or amber traffic light, particularly if they are in a hurry!

One thing you may not know about roundabouts is that they are environmentally friendly! By allowing traffic to be continually moving, fuel consumption and C02 emissions are reduced as vehicles are not constantly sitting idle which will certainly help Basildon’s pollution control.

Some Simple Rules to Follow:
  1. Always give way to traffic on the right-hand side. 
  2. Before coming onto the roundabout always wait for a safety gap – this will allow you to join the flow of traffic and get into the correct lane.
  3. One thing which always confuses new drivers are when they should signal when they wish to leave the roundabout – you should always signal/ indicate as you pass the exit just before the one which you need to take.
  4. Observation is key when driving on a roundabout – be sure to make use of your mirrors and keep an eye out for traffic signs!
  5. Can I Fail My Driving Test on A Roundabout?

    It is possible to fail your driving test at a roundabout, particularly in Basildon as you are highly likely to encounter more than one. You will fail your test if you gain one serious driver fault or more than 15 minor driving faults.  The most common causes are:

    A) Hesitation – It is expected that new drivers may be a bit apprehensive of roundabouts particularly when taking your test which can in itself be stressful so if you pause briefly before continuing onto a roundabout, you will not be faulted for this. However, if you miss one or several clear opportunities to enter onto the roundabout you can gain a minor or serious fault for unnecessarily holding up traffic or if you were to come to a complete stop quite suddenly when approaching a clear roundabout, you could endanger other drivers.

    B) Lane Discipline – If you are approaching a particularly large roundabout with multiple lanes, you need to be aware of your positioning! Each lane is clearly marked and you are not allowed to go over the centre line between lanes. If you were to encroach onto another lane, even if this was only slightly, it is possible that you can cause a side collision with another vehicle. It is likely that you would gain a serious fault.

    C) Signalling – If you forget to signal when you leave the roundabout or cancel the indicator too long after leaving the roundabout, it is highly likely that you will be penalised for this as you can cause confusion for other drivers.

    D) Mini Roundabouts – A mini-roundabout should be treated the same as a regular roundabout, the only difference is that it’s on a much smaller scale. When taking a mini-roundabout, if you slightly clip the painted circle, it is unlikely that you will be failed for this but driving straight over the roundabout and its raised centre will. A good tip for this is to imagine that it is a doughnut, you are allowed to go over the ring but not the middle.

    It can seem daunting and a lot of new information to learn but you need to remember that learning to drive is not just about passing your driving test but also about becoming the safest driver that you can be. As it is commonly said, “this is a marathon and not a race”.

    If you are particularly nervous about roundabouts and feel like this will be one of your main challenges when learning to drive, please do not panic! Your driving instructor will ensure that you have as much practise as you need and are fully confident with them before taking you to test.

    With driving tests and instruction set to resume on Thursday 3rd December 2020, if you are interested in learning to drive in the Basildon area, tests and availability here are moving fast. If you have any questions about our intensive driving courses in Basildon or would be looking to get booked in, please do not hesitate to contact us on 03458 121 007 or complete one of our online enquiry forms and we will contact you as soon as possible.