Motorways, dual carriageways, multi-lane roundabouts and junction all have lanes. Lanes are usually defined by broken or solid white lines. However, some lanes are not marked by lines and drivers need to use common sense to establish the correct position they need to adopt on the road.


Failure to display good lane discipline is potentially very dangerous.


Bad lane discipline is often the result of a lack of planning and good observation which leads to a driver finding themselves in a situation they weren't prepared for. Usually this stems from a lack of concentration on the task at hand, which is of course driving.  sometimes it is down to inexperience.




Poor lane discipline at roundabouts is very common. A good driver will approach a roundabout based on what they see and, possibly, previous experience of the particular roundabout. The key to good lane discipline at roundabouts is to locate the correct lane needed at the roundabout at the earliest opportunity.  You will need to locate road signs and road markings at the earliest possible time.


Approaching a roundabout too fast is highly likely to result in poor lane discipline because the drive has no time to Look and Assess the roundabout before Deciding what to do and Acting. Approach roundabouts at an appropriate speed. If the lanes are small or the roundabout is difficult to see around, approach very slowly. Study the signs in good time to establish the correct lane needed and keep a keen eye on road markings.


As you get closer to the roundabout, do not fixate upon looking to the right. you must assess the whole junction as lanes often curve on the approach to a roundabout, a driver can easily straddle lanes if they spend too much time looking to the right. Of course a driver they need to know if they can continue or if they need to stop. This is safely done by carrying out MSPSL in good time and at an appropriate speed and not be staring in one direction.


The way to do it is, approach very slowly and to briskly alternate your look from the right to the direction you are travelling many times Just like watching a game of tennis. Constantly turn your head from right to the direction you are travelling very quickly and this will allow you to not only see if traffic is approaching to the right, but keep within your lanes. This can be easily accomplished if driving at a slow and safe speed.


Approaching a roundabout too fast not only leads to bad lane discipline, but in many cases can result in unnecessarily harsh braking and stopping due to the driver not having enough time to see if the junction is clear. It's safer to approach the roundabout a little slower than everyone else than to abruptly stop at a clear roundabout.


lane discipline junctions


Similarly, to roundabouts, the key to good lane discipline at junctions is due to good observation and the approach speed and giving yourself as much time to take effective observation as possible.


If you find yourself in the wrong lane. Use good observation skills and see if it is safe and practical to change lane. Do not take risks. If it is not appropriate to change lanes carry on as the lane dictates and find a legal "workaround".


Lane discipline when driving


General lane discipline when driving is often related more to road positioning. As a general rule always travel in the left most suitable lane. If in doubt use the left hand lane. Ask yourself: "why do I want to be in a different lane?" If you can't find a good answer, stay left.


Use your reference points to ensure you are in your lane and not straddling two lanes.


Lane discipline tips


Look well ahead whilst driving for road signs, road markings and anything that may signify a junction or roundabout is ahead such as traffic crossing in front of you. (Anticipation and preparation)


Slowdown in good time to establish the correct lane.


If the location looks busy or difficult to manoeuvre, slow even more.


Keep an eye on the lanes to see if they curve around a corner and at roundabouts alternate observations from the right to where you are going constantly and quickly.