Trying to unpick what makes the circumnavigation of the humble roundabout in Spain such an event.
Roundabouts are a relatively new concept in Spain. They have been around for “only” 20 or 30 years so I guess it’s understandable that some older drivers might still struggle to navigate them. But no, it seems the humble roundabout defies even the youngest or most experienced drivers in Spain.
I don’t want to be seen as a grumbling Brit abroad and I know we’ve had roundabouts in the UK for many decades but whilst living in Spain for 15 years I have never ceased to be amazed how many toots, bumps, prangs and waved arms I have witnessed at virtually every roundabout I've had the dubious pleasure to circumnavigate.
My ex Business partner, a 40 something Spanish Lawyer with over 20 years driving experience, simply doesn’t understand roundabouts. When he is on the inside lane and wants to take the next exit, he doesn’t see the problem with simply cutting across the front of any driver in his path so he can take his exit. Of course, any incident that occurs is always the other party’s fault.
Conversely, when he is on the outside lane and he is going all the way round to the last exit, he can’t see that he is blocking the exit of anybody trying to move from the inside lane to the outside lane to take the exit they need. Of course, any incident that occurs is always the other party’s fault.
In both cases we get the same result. Horns tooted, brakes stamped on, crash stops, arms waved and – quite often – a dented panel or two!
I’ve looked into the reasons for this and it seems I am wrong. In fact, the official, correct way to navigate a roundabout in Spain is for everybody to use the outside lane at all times.
On reflection, this seems to make perfect sense. Using this method everybody follows each other around in a nice line and when you reach your exit, you simply leave the roundabout.
In fact, unlike driving the UK, you should never use the inside lane at all.
This does beg one question though.
If you can never use the inside lane on Spanish roundabouts, WHY ARE THERE INSIDE LANES ON SPANISH ROUNDABOUTS!!??
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