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Study claims that 80 per cent of drivers don't use roundabouts properly in Spain

Roundabouts - a constant source of disagreement between road users in Spain.
Roundabouts - a constant source of disagreement between road users in Spain. / SUR
  • Failure to use indicators correctly and the wrong use of lanes are the most common errors, according to a recent survey

Although roundabouts were designed to speed up traffic by avoiding queues at red traffic lights, in practice they are a constant source of frustration and arguments between drivers – and probably no more so than in Spain.

A road safety survey by a Spanish association of logistics, transport and road safety training companies (Formaster) says that among the most common errors the incorrect positioning in lanes stands out, followed by the wrong use of indicators, cutting in front of other vehicles when trying exit the roundabout, or directly making across the roundabout as if it were a straight line.

The association claims that 75 per cent of motorists are unaware of the correct use of each of the lanes, and 68 per cent drive in an inappropriate lane, impairing the flow of traffic.

Formaster says that if we are going to leave a roundabout by the first exit to the right or go straight ahead, “we will preferably take the right lane.” If, on the other hand, we are going to exit the left or we are going to turn back on ourselves, “we should always enter the right lane and gradually merge into the left lane and return to the right, with caution, for the exit.”

The survey said that more than half of the drivers do not use indicators to alert other road users they are going to leave the roundabout and 30 per cent of them usually use the left indicator to warn that they are still on it and immediately change the turn signal to the right when they are about to exit. The driving school said the indicator “must be used to indicate our exit from the roundabout or to indicate our lane change within the roundabout. We should not use it to indicate that we are going straight or continuing in the roundabout.”

Spain’s national roads authority, the DGT, frequently publishes social media posts addressing the issue of navigating the road junctions – but the debate about the issue is likely to keep going round and round.