Junctions: Approaching Junctions

When two roads join together it is a junction and there are several types of junction you will encounter when out driving including T-Junctions, Y-Junctions, Crossroads and Roundabouts. It is likely that you will meet another road user at a junction and so preparation is key to approaching all junctions safely and competently. The routine you need to follow when approaching all junctions is the MSPSL routine:

Approaching to turn left
To turn from a major road into a minor road on the left safely and under control you need to use the MSPSL routine
app-left
Mirrors Check the centre and the left wing mirror
Signal Give a left signal using the direction indicator
Position Position the car 1m from the kerb and keep on the left hand side of the road throughout the turn. Try not to mount the kerb or turn too wide
Speed Reduce the speed down to 10mph and change the gear down to 2nd gear
Look Check into the road you are turning in to to ensure there are no parked cars, obstructions, pedestrians etc.
Once you have turned then check your mirrors once more to assess the situation in the new road and ensure that your signal has been cancelled.
Approaching to turn right
To turn from a major road into a minor road on the right safely and under control you need to use the MSPSL routineapp-right

Mirrors Check the centre and the right wing mirror
Signal Give a right signal using the direction indicator
Position Position the car just left of the centre line and with the nose of the car just behind the centre line of the road you are turning in to. You do not have priority when turning right however and you will have to give way to any vehicles travelling in the opposite direction.
Speed Reduce the speed down to 10mph and change the gear down to 2nd gear if you are able to continue with your turn. If you have to stop then change back to 1st gear
Look Check into the road you are turning in to to ensure there are no parked cars, obstructions, pedestrians etc.
Once you have turned then check your mirrors once more to assess the situation in the new road and ensure that your signal has been cancelled.
Approaching to turn right – Crossing traffic
You do not have priority when turning right and you will have to give way to any vehicles travelling in the opposite direction. To assess whether there is enough time to turn, ask yourself, could you walk across the road before the car reached you? If the answer is yes then there is probably sufficient time to make your turn, if the answer is no then you should wait until the vehicle has cleared the area before you start your turn. Don´t try to ‘beat’ the approaching vehicle by turning early and cutting in front of the vehicle – this could put you into the path of a vehicle approaching the T-Junction you are turning in to. Secondly, in an attempt to keep on the move don´t try to nip in around the back of the approaching vehicle as you may miss your turning point and end up making the turn incredibly awkward and difficult to keep control of.

app-right-cross

Approaching to turn right – Exception
Check the road you are turning into and if you see a parked car on your left then you would be correct to steer early.
app-right-exception

Cutting corners
Driving isn´t black and white and sometimes a simple action can have different outcomes depending on the situation. We´re going to use approaching to turn right as an example. Approaching the junction you cut the corner when turning right. The follow 4 diagrams show how doing this simple action can have different outcomes, depending on the situation.

corner-cut1

In this diagram, there was no need to cut the corner and by doing so, we have turned into the middle of the road. On this occasion we were lucky that nothing was coming the other way as we could have been facing a head on collision.

corner-cut2

In this diagram we can see that somebody has parked their car at the mouth of the junction we are turning into. On this occasion it was correct to cut the corner, but it is important we check to make sure nothing is coming the other way before we make our turn.

corner-cut3

In this diagram there is a parked car on the OPPOSITE side of the road to where we are turning. This could lead to serious consequences as we have turned into the middle of the road, which could lead to a dangerous outcome should something be coming the other way.

corner-cut4

In this diagram our simple action of cutting the corner has created a very dangerous situation indeed. Not only is there is a parked car on the opposite side of the road, but we also have a car heading down towards the junction, passing the parked car. By cutting the corner we are forcing the green car to slow down or stop and we are potentially putting everyone at risk of an accident.

These 4 diagrams hopefully show you how a simple action can have 4 very different outcomes depending on the situation. Remember at all times, to think how your actions effect other people and vica-versa.

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