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Roundabouts are big turn-off for clueless drivers

WE are driving ourselves around the bend on roundabouts, a new survey warns.

A check on hundreds of cars at some of Dublin's busiest roundabouts found many drivers don't have much of a clue about how to get on and off them safely.

The Continental Tyres survey found many ignored the rules and displayed 'woeful levels' of knowledge of what to do.

The study came with a call for motorists to brush up on Rules of the Road and make sure they know how to navigate roundabouts correctly.

It was found that:

• Nearly 70pc of drivers indicated incorrectly.

• Some 28pc failed to give way to traffic already on the roundabout.

• A total of 28pc did not use the lanes properly.

• Quite a few drivers made several mistakes negotiating the roundabout.

Men are slightly worse than women (52pc -- 48pc) for making mistakes.

Drivers in the 40-59 age group are most likely to commit an error, the study says. The most frequent mistake was incorrect use of the indicator. In other words, they were indicating to go left at the next exit but went on to one or two more.

Drivers in the "older" age bracket (60-80) were the least likely to make a mistake.

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The findings are in line with what most drivers would observe every day: that we have poor knowledge of what to do -- and when to do it -- on roundabouts. Most motorists would agree that one of the main mistakes is drivers failing to yield to traffic approaching from their right.

Disappointingly, the results follow a campaign by the Road Safety Authority to heighten awareness of the dos and don'ts.

Continental Tyres chief Paddy Murphy says roundabouts are potential danger spots because drivers overestimate their cars' stopping ability.

"Factor in wet roads, poorly maintained surfaces or badly worn tyres and the risk increases significantly."

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