Stopping at mini roundabouts
Unnecessarily stopping at mini roundabouts is an easy way to fail a driving test. The reason, a vehicle behind you will not be expecting you to stop and so could result in a rear collision accident. If the roundabout is closed or you need to give way to a vehicle or cyclist from the right, this is usually the only reason you should need to stop.
Obviously mini roundabouts are small and for a learner driver to see a car approaching the roundabout from the left, can be tempting to stop, especially if the vehicle appears to be traveling at speed. Unless the vehicle is relatively close to the roundabout, is traveling at excessive speed and you feel that they will not be able to stop, don't be tempted to stop and give way to them. Remember, this is dangerous for vehicles behind and will fail the driving test.
Mini roundabouts and cyclists
Although it is legal to overtake a cyclist on a mini roundabout, during a driving test it may be more appropriate to slow down behind the cyclist and wait till they have cleared the mini roundabout before overtaking. This is for two reasons; cyclists can be unpredictable and change direction on or close to the roundabout or there may not be adequate room to overtake the cyclist without driving over the central circle.
Learning mini roundabouts
Although the general procedure for using mini roundabouts is similar to their larger versions, due to their small size and placement, often found in narrower residential areas, a great deal of observation and care needs to be taken whilst dealing with mini roundabouts.
Mini roundabouts can be difficult to see due to their size. A blue mini roundabout sign isn't always located before the roundabout, so during a driving test, keep a keen eye on road markings and road signs. Whilst driving, look for road signs, traffic crossing in front of you, junctions to the left and right or road markings that may help you identify a mini roundabout. Mini roundabout road markings are either a painted circle or a white circular hump with 3 clockwise directional arrows around the inner circle.
Open and closed mini roundabouts
Mini roundabout right of way
As with all roundabouts in the UK, drivers approaching a mini roundabout must give way to traffic to the right that is already on the roundabout.
Mini roundabout indicating
As with normal roundabouts, if turning left or right at a mini roundabouts, an indication must be applied. As mini roundabouts are small however, a secondary exit signal does not have to be implemented. On normal roundabouts, vehicles frequently do not indicate, on mini roundabouts however, vehicles usually indicate, especially if they intend on turning right. If a vehicle is turning right at a mini roundabout, due to its small size, it is far too dangerous not to indicate.
Mini roundabout rules
Mini roundabout road markings
The white centre circle of a mini roundabout can be either simply painted onto the road or it may actually be a circular hump in the road. Whilst navigating a mini roundabout during a driving test, try to avoid driving on the centre circle. Although clipping the circle slightly with the wheels is unlikely to fail a test, blatantly driving over the circle is likely to result in a failure.
Try also to avoid driving over any hatch marking lines on or close to the roundabout. These markings are put in place as a safety feature to separate vehicles. Hatchings surrounded by a solid white line must not be crossed, hatchings surrounded by a broken line can be crossed but it is advised not to.
Lack of indicating and unnecessarily stopping at a mini roundabout when vehicles behind you aren't expecting you to stop are the most frequent cause of mini roundabout accidents.