roundabouts in Spain

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16 Mar 2009 00:00 by Nati Star rating in Manilva (Costa del .... 237 posts Send private message

Hi everyone,

Can anybody explain how to do roundabouts in Spain? Spaniards don´t do it at all the way I learnt to do it in the UK, e.g. what do you do if you know you are turning left in a roundabout; do you signal left? do you go on the inside lane and signal right when leaving the roundabout? This is what I do but, what about Spaniards? They don´t seem to do the same and it is becoming very dangerous when going on roundabouts.

Thanks a lot

Ana



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16 Mar 2009 12:35 by TechNoApe Star rating in Duquesa, Manilva. 1278 posts Send private message

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I have noticed that at roundabouts here in Spain, that are on a dual carriage way and that have four exits or more, often have three lanes as you enter the roundabout itself.

In the UK when you have such a roundabout, the inside lane should be used for the immediate exit to the left, the middle lane should be used for the exit straight on, and the outside lane used to exit on the right and/or the exit to the immediate right, unless the lane markings are different!

Here in Spain the inside lane should be for the immediate exit on the right, the middle should be for straight on, and the outside should be for the exit to the left and/or the immediate exit to the left.

However here in Spain I have noticed that people use the inside lane for straight on in addition to the immediate exit to the right, and have also noticed that they use the middle lane for straight on or the exit on the left and tend only to use the outside lane if they are using the exit to the immediate left as if they are turning around.

Also, when you are coming around the roundabout, if you are indicating left as you pass the exit for straight on, and they see you indicating and they are entering the roundabout in the opposite direction from straight on, then they tend to pull out in front as they think you are not going to use the exit to THEIR immediate right.

So now I don't indicate until left if I enter a roundabout and intend to exit to the immediate left, I wait until I am just about to pass the last exit to my right BEFORE the exit on my right I want to take - Just as it says in the UK Highway Code.

This way as they approach the roundabout they don't know which way I'm going and don't enter the roundabout until I have passed them. I don’t know if this is what you are supposed to do in Spain, but it works for me!

 


 



This message was last edited by TechNoApe on 3/16/2009.



This message was last edited by TechNoApe on 3/16/2009.

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16 Mar 2009 12:42 by Nati Star rating in Manilva (Costa del .... 237 posts Send private message

Technoape,

that´s the theory. Being with my uncle in the car this weekend we approached a roundabout. He knew he was turning left but kept in the right lane going left so a car went on the inside lane and wanted to go straight so my uncle cut him off due he was turning left but using the outside lane. Discussing this with him, my uncle said he was right and that the other car should have waited to see what he was going to do as my uncle approached the roundabout before this other car. My question is what is the inside lane for if you can turn left using the outside lane? I don´t agree with what my uncle said. We were about to have a crash.

Ana



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16 Mar 2009 13:19 by TechNoApe Star rating in Duquesa, Manilva. 1278 posts Send private message

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This is the trouble with so many drivers ALL from the EU and yet we don't really have Highway Code that is used for all the EU countries. There are common elements but there are also different rules and different perceptions.

All I know is that if you Uncle had driven that way in the UK and was seen by the police, then he would have had a ticket. Here in Spain as you said there is this 'perceived' law that whoever enters the roundabout 1st has the right of way, if that is true, then why is it that people pull out in front of me whilst I am on the roundabout???

 



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16 Mar 2009 15:23 by Marksfish Star rating in Sandy, Bedfordshire/.... 2413 posts Send private message

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Have Spain changed their roundabout routine recently (ish)? All the roundabouts near us have a sign up which says "You do not have priority!" In France you used to have to give way to those entering the roundabout until about 10 years or so ago, I wonder if that is how the Spanish system was?

With regards indicators, I think most people in Spain/ UK/ name you country here treat them as an optional extra and believe everyone else on the road is a clairvoyant .

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16 Mar 2009 17:21 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 8581 posts Send private message

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Preference always for those already in the roundabout and then for those on the left.

In practice, out of commun sense: external lane is to exit next one, medium to exit the following one and interior for the rest... even though, there is no rule for the use of them. Just out of the use of indicators... it is actually a kind of fight of ability and skills...



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16 Mar 2009 17:39 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 794 posts Send private message

Hi maria and all as i have just hire a car for the first time in Spain for my next holiday and after reading the posts on roundabouts in Spain i am thinking of cancelling the car and using the train now Irene




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16 Mar 2009 17:49 by Nati Star rating in Manilva (Costa del .... 237 posts Send private message

Irene,

please don´t do that. I am Spanish but I learnt to drive in the Uk and never drove in Spain till 2 months ago. I am not a great driver myself and I dont like the way people drive in my own country. I still do roundabouts in the British way but I am extra cautious and check mirrors before moving.

hope this helps

Ana



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16 Mar 2009 18:44 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 794 posts Send private message

Hi ana thanks for that and if i do get the car i will  let you all know of my experience that for sure thanks Irene




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16 Mar 2009 22:11 by claire T Star rating in Torremendo, Orihuela. 689 posts Send private message

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Now you've got me all confused!  I have adopted our local practice of staying in the outside lane all the way round the roundabout - regardless of which exit I want - and it works here in Torrevieja.  The only time I see the inside lane being used (other than by Brits) is to overtake!



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16 Mar 2009 22:15 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3871 posts Send private message

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I'm confused. There's a roundabout at the bottom of our street, and as far as I can make out, it's used almost exclusively for parking on while drivers nip to the nearest ATM. Apparently, so long as you leave your hazard lights on, the police see this as perfectly normal. As for actually driving around it, I just follow the lead of everyone else - start sounding my horn as I approach, close my eyes, hope for the best, and don't let up on the horn until I'm out the other side. Right of way is ALWAYS in favour of pizza delivery bikes - as everybody instinctively knows they definitely stop for nobody, and nobody really wants pepperoni all over their bonnet.

What are indicators? I vaguely remember learning about them when I learnt to drive in England, but it's a distant memory.



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17 Mar 2009 00:17 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 794 posts Send private message

Hi Roberto i am so nerves just driving from the airport is enough for me at night and i don't even no the back road into where we are in cavajal and your post tonight has not help me in anyway i hope your not on the roads when i am there i am going to some of my favourite restaurant's down at the port and as i only drive 30 mph god help Spain bye Irene




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17 Mar 2009 00:28 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3871 posts Send private message

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When are you arriving? Next weekend I'm driving down to Los Boliches for a little Iranian New Year knees-up at Persepolis on the seafront, and I may come off the motorway and freewheel down through your urbanisation to save fuel. I expect the gravel dirt road at the bottom near the station should slow me down enough, in time to pull up in Boliches. Do Persians get tanked up at New year? If so, I'll be sloshed when driving back, but don't worry - so will everyone else on the roads.

         

                           



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17 Mar 2009 13:20 by TechNoApe Star rating in Duquesa, Manilva. 1278 posts Send private message

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The use of indicators on Spanish Roads by TechNoApe.

a) Optional - Depends on the direction of the wind if you use them? Then you think everyone else on the road is clairvoyant, has a crystal ball sat on the dashboard, or just don't care about anyone else on the road anyway as it is your right of way in the 1st place!!! High probability of being Spanish!

b) When coupled with driving slow? Then you have had a drink or two on the way home and hope that by driving unusually slow you won’t attract attention to yourself from anyone else, especially the police. Applies to all nationalities on Spanish roads!

c) When coupled with extremely slow driving and excessive caution at roundabouts? Then you are in a hire car and not driven in Spain before. Don’t worry it’s not your car and the Spanish Car Hire company won’t believe it if the car comes back clean and without a scratch on it and will keep you there for hours just to make sure that the petrol tank is full-full. Definitely not Spanish by a long shot!

d) When coupled with death defying, high speed manoeuvres that would make Mario Andretti scream? Then you are on way home from work and can't wait to get to the pub to see the match. Most definitely British - as Brits know how to drive fast as we have always done so in the UK, and when we are indicating, we are probably either going in the opposite direction, or have just forgotten to cancel the indicator from about 8 miles back!

e) It's the breathalyser test you are looking at in disbelief- Your drunk, you have been stopped by the police and you are about to go on a long trip to a nasty, cold place with lots of bars on the windows and locks on the doors to which you won’t have a key, where you will be surrounded by people who are suddenly your best mate and want you to bend over and pick up the soap for them!!!! Whatever nationality - then you are bloody stupid and deserve to be taken off the road before you kill yourself and probably someone else!!!!

 


 



This message was last edited by TechNoApe on 3/17/2009.

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17 Mar 2009 13:26 by Nati Star rating in Manilva (Costa del .... 237 posts Send private message

Claire T,

I think that´s the way roundabouts in Spain are done. However, I find it very dangerous as there are people who cut you off on your left. I don´t agree but talkig to people here I guess that´s the way of doing it.

Ana



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17 Mar 2009 15:13 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 8581 posts Send private message

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 My first driving teacher always advise me to look through the left mirror and even turn on the left indicator when I was in the roundabout, it is not orthodox, but it keeps you safe from people cutting you off on the left..



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17 Mar 2009 15:16 by Nati Star rating in Manilva (Costa del .... 237 posts Send private message

Maria,

that´s what I do and will keep doing. I feel safer doing it in that way.

Ana



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17 Mar 2009 16:01 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 794 posts Send private message

Hi Roberto i arrive on 31march for 15 days the road by the station is still bad. Well what can i say about you closing your eyes on the roundabouts in spain  and if i was you i would have plenty of coffee after your meal in los boliches but i am sure you will not.The hill up to our apt from the station does not get any easier so even if i leave the hire car at the station and use the train after reading the way you drive there in Spain.Sorry i am not there to give you a coffee or am i glad i am not on the road there next weekend  ?bye irene/peter




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17 Mar 2009 19:51 by Acapulco Star rating in Costa Blanca South.. 341 posts Send private message

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Been driving in Spain for about a month now and using roundabouts much as in the UK ( except going the other way around  )

By doing this and using a bit of common sense and allowing for the fact that many road users around here are under stress as they are having to drive on the "wrong side of the road" I have had no problems.People who drive all the way around the outside are a nuisance (sorry Claire) but I always assume that it is because they are not sure where they are going or are very nervous.

Use of indicators is no worse that in the UK and personlly I feel at least as comfortable driving in Spain than in the UK. 



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17 Mar 2009 20:44 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3871 posts Send private message

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Been driving in Spain for 12 years now...................and I beg to differ.

It sounds like you are driving around Little Britain - I assure you, most people here know which side of the road is the "right" side, although you really wouldn't know it. Most drivers, when going straight on, do just that, meaning they start on the outside, pass into the inside lane to clip the kerb of the roundabout, then back over to the outside, maintaining a straight line all the time. Those going around a roundabout rarely indicate at all, but then get angry when traffic joining doesn't give way to them.

But you get used to it all, and personally I also feel equally comfortable driving in Spain, UK or anywhere else in the world for that matter. The trick is just to go with the flow. When in Rome...........



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