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roundabout etiquette?

Travel Forums Europe roundabout etiquette?

1. Posted by Al Prazlam (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

Hi,

I will be touring (self-drive) Ireland in August. I am not familiar with the road etiquette of roundabouts (being from USA). Who yields to who? How do you handle lane changes? And any other helpful road tips would be greatly appreciated.

thanks,

Al

2. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Hi Al,

Driving in Ireland isnt as bad as people joke about. You will be fine! Here is a really useful link explaining the roundabout system. Dont be too slow coming onto the roundabouts because cars can tend to come quite fast from the right, so be zippy about it.

http://www.argus-rentacar.com/roundabouts.htm

Also here is the link for the Automobile Association - it has a route planner which might come in hand.

www.aaireland.ie

Dont be afraid to hop lanes if you need to. Indicate and someone will let you in. Most Irish drivers are very courteous (especially outside of Dublin), and if they see someone in difficulty, they will give way to them. Give them a friendly wave to say thanks and thats all they ask;)

If you are driving the winding, more narrow roads in Kerry or the West, dont freak out if cars shave right by you. Locals are very used to those roads and can gauge the distance bewteen their car and yours quite well. That said, its a good idea to slow down a bit when passing cars on the narrow roads, just to be safe.

Hope that helps a bit!

E

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 5807 posts) 11y

Hey Al,

Look to the right (because you drive on the left) when approaching a roundabout in the UK and give way to anyone coming from that direction. You shouldn't change lanes on the roundabout - just like you shouldn't change lanes on normal intersections. Get into the correct lane before entering the roundabout; there are almost always signs before the roundabout to get you into the correct lane.

Also, I'm pretty sure the UK is the same as Australia - you're NOT allowed to turn left on a red light, unlike the US, where you would be allowed to do a right hand turn. Maybe someone from the UK can confirm this.

And when on a freeway, you should ONLY EVER pass on the right. This is road etiquette that is largely ignored in Australia and the US, but strictly adhered to in the UK and most of Western Europe for that matter. I once was on a two lane freeway in Scotland where someone was crawling along in the right hand lane leaving the left lane entirely empty. There was a line of about 10 cars behind him waiting for him to go into the correct lane. Lots of honking going on, but no passing. I caved after a few minutes and used the left lane to overtake