is it safe to pull up beside a lorry (truck) at a roundabout

  • Jojocarlson52's Avatar
    Hi guys I'm having trouble deciding whether this is safe or not. I have also attached a picture of the roundabout. For example, let's say me in my car and a lorry are approaching a 2 lane roundabout. He takes the left lane to turn left and I take the right lane to go right. Would it be safe to pull up next to the lorry when waiting to enter the roundabout or is it better to stay behind the lorry and wait for it to finish its maneuver before approaching the roundabout?

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  • 5 Replies

  • Santa's Avatar
    Given the apparent width of the road, I would say it was safe and normal.

    In that situation I would either accelerate hard when the traffic cleared, so that I was in front of the truck, or if that wasn't practical, hang back a little in case the truck driver cuts the corner and the trailer wheels encroached on my lane.

    Truck drivers are taught to take a wide sweep to avoid cutting in, but it's not always possible, and not all truck drivers drive the way they were taught.
  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    @Jojocarlson52Unless you've got a very slow car, and/or you're a slow driver, it should be safe. Lorries generally don't move off quickly from stationary.
    Whatever, don't assume that the lorry is actually turning left.
  • Rolebama's Avatar
    The way I see that roundabout, if I was at the front of the queue, then I would do exactly as Santa and Beelzebub say. If, however, I were not at the front of the queue, then I would act according to how people in front accelerated, dropping behind if I felt it safer.
  • Santa's Avatar
    There is a roundabout near me over the M42. There are three lanes at the entrance with arrows on the road indicating that one is for left and straight on, two is for straight on and three is for right turns.

    I have nearly been caught out several times over the years by lorries in lane one, who suddenly decide to turn right, usually those with left-hand drive. You can never assume that any other driver knows where they are going and this especially applies to roundabouts.
  • Drivingforfun's Avatar
    A bit extreme maybe but I have seen people say never enter a roundabout alongside another vehicle because almost all collisions on roundabouts go 50-50 by insurance regardless of who was at fault.

    Sometimes not possible on large, busy roundabouts, obviously.

    I notice a lot of people have extremely poor lane discipline on the large multi lane roundabouts that you get on motorway junctions.

    I always try to keep at least one direction clear so I have some swerving/braking/accelerating room in case someone decides to move into my lane.