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I’m nearly 30 lessons in now and I’m quite dismayed that I still don’t feel confident joining roundabouts. Staffordshire, where I live, appears to be built purely on roundabouts. Turning left? There’s a roundabout. Going straight ahead? There’s a roundabout. In fact, I think it would be impossible to make a ten minute car journey without coming across at least 5 roundabouts.

I can’t stand them. I’ve gone from fearing them completely, to hating their very existence. Admittedly therefore progress has been made but I’m still extremely frustrated that I get that feeling in my stomach when I see yet another roundabout in front of me.

I thought I figured out a smart way of winning at roundabouts. When approaching one and it’s flowing busily then slow down on approach to it till it quiets down. Nothing gets past my driving instructor.

Driving Instructor: “Why are you slowing down?”

Me: “Because I’m approaching a roundabout” (I gave half the truth here).

Driving Instructor: “The roundabout that’s about 500 meters away?”

Me: “Errr. Yeh?”

My driving instructor knew what I was doing. Slowing down hoping that by the time I get to the roundabout it would be nice and clear for me to glide round. He explained that I shouldn’t be doing this.

Me: “yeah but I’m only slowing down a bit and there’s no cars behind me”

Driving Instructor: “That may well be the case but your eyes are looking half a kilometer ahead and not at the road in front of you. How can you react appropriately to any developing hazards around you if you’re focused on something so far away”

I didn’t have anything to say to that. I’d been rumbled.

My driving instructor gave me a wry smile and I gave him a passive scowl. Outwardly I was annoyed that I’d been rumbled but truly I appreciated that he was this attentive to what I was doing and wouldn’t let me try and get around problems the short handed way.

With practise, comes perfection and confidence. So I guess I’ll be concentrating on roundabouts for several more lessons!

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