Help with roundabouts

Do you see a box of chocolates here? Or do you see individual chocolates?

When you enrol on a BIG TOM intensive driving course, you are seen as one individual pupil; you are not one of 8 pupils being seen in any working day.
This matters. Every pupil comes with individual characteristics regarding experience, learning traits, beliefs, knowledge etc.
Take roundabouts, for instance. BIG TOM knows that they come in all shapes and sizes and vary depending on location. The skills needed to safely and efficiently navigate around the broad range of roundabouts will include:

  • spatial awareness
  • planning
  • assessment
  • observations
  • physical hand and feet coordination
  • visualisation

Not all large roundabouts will have white lines painted on them and yet there is a need to ensure the vehicle is correctly positioned when travelling around it. This not only provides safety for all, but the position is in itself a signal to other road users about the intended path. Spiral roundabouts will often have a temporary gap of white lines on the roundabout so as not to create confusion with other white lines in another direction, and yet, there is still the need to be able to visualise the path that is needing to be maintained.
There are conventions of how a vehicle should be navigated around the range of roundabouts, and they differ. Some incorporate the routine of Mirrors, Signal, Manoeuvre when the vehicle exits the roundabout, others not. Sometimes there is the need to signal, others not. These are examples of the knowledge that is required in order to deal with a variety of roundabouts.
Some roundabouts are huge and have a large number of fast moving vehicles on them at any one time, other roundabouts are tiny and need to be approached at slower speeds in order to maintain an accurate position. These factors can create confusion or an imbalance in the mind of some drivers, which then has a knock-on effect later on.
There is often a sequence of driving actions needed to manage roundabouts effectively, and not everyone can easily recall or perform actions in specific sequences.
Appreciating the type of roundabout ahead and how that affects the options available to achieve a certain exit/location is not a given. Accurately identifying safe gaps to pull out, or speed and distance of other vehicles is challenging for some. Certain pupils will make a poor decision to go and then struggle to wonder why they made that decision.
On a BIG TOM course, you do not have any pressure to achieve certain goals in particular timescales. Pupils rarely enjoy such pressure. What is required to help pupils is precise, well-timed feedback, lack of judgement, patience, and clear, understandable communication.
Please don’t confuse the BIG TOM intensive driving course with other providers; they are not the same thing. At BIG TOM, we offer a choice of courses that suit the needs of the pupil.

For more information on pricing and the range of courses for 2020, call BIG TOM on 0800 689 4174

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