Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Observation Skills : Roundabouts

Few weeks ago, we posted an observation or hazard perception task on our Facebook page. Their were three hazards to spot in the short video clip which was recorded while traveling off the M20 motorway and towards the Grove Green Community Centre (where we hold our meetings every month) Taking the spiral roundabout that connects the M20 and A249. 

So here are the three hazards we spotted along the way. 

The first, is the red car. You'll see that just before it enters the roundabout, it starts in lane two.That is fine in-itself. But short distance into the roundabout it crosses into lane one. You certainly wouldn't want to be along this vehicle's nearside.

The second, and staying with the red car, is it then starts to move from lane one to lane two further around the roundabout. But as it comes off it changes lane again from two to one. At least this time their was an indication. Again, being along side would certainly require some sort of action. Best advice, and given that we've seen the vehicles approach to and part way around the roundabout, is to stay clear and be aware of this little vehicles manoeuvres. 

The third, and this is a tricky one - notice as we travel around the round about, we see a vehicle waiting to enter the roundabout from the left. Although this vehicle is right on the line, waiting to go, which attracts our attention - it doesn't seem a problem. This vehicle doesn't seem to make a move as we approach. But look again. Notice the tint on his windows? Can we see the driver? More to the point - can that driver see us? 

Some may point out that there is a forth hazard developing. Coming up the slip road, in lane one is another vehicle. It looks like its traveling a speed and will lose visibility of the roundabout as it passing on the inside of caravan. However, it is at a distance and we would be off the roundabout and accelerating away by the time that one gets to the roundabout. So it's deemed not a hazard to us on this occasion. If it was closer, or we were further back, then the circumstances would be different.  One thing to consider throughout our drive, is the weather. It's a little damp on the roads (windscreen wipers are on as we approach the roundabout) It's not heavy rain and the roads are not covered in surface water, but the weather still needs to be considered never the less. 

As advanced drivers, these are the hazards we see on a regular basis. And here, its all about 'What we can see'. 'What we can't see' and 'What we reasonable expect to happen'  We call it 'The Driving Plan' and it's something that keeps us a little safer on Kent's roads.

If you found this video interesting and fancy learning advanced techniques, you can join our group. Contact Terry Nunn or fill in our online form here.

Video and text by group observer Graham Aylard.

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