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When you’re learning to drive, how to approach and how to turn at a junction will be two things you’ll learn early on in your driving lessons. Knowing when it’s safe and when it’s not safe to go is something you must learn quickly with practice, and which you’ll require to master before you take your driving test.

Kinds of junctions

There are many different type of junctions and you’ll need to learn to respond to each kind, whilst finding out how to turn safely. Learn what sort of junctions you’re likely to come across and how to turn securely on each kind in our student drivers’ guide to junctions.

How to turn left at a junction

Turning left is easier than turning right as you only have one lane of traffic to contend with, but you’ll still need to be able to judge whether or not there’s time in which you turn safely at a junction.

When you approach a junction and you’re wanting to turn left, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down carefully. Inspect your left side mirror before using your left indicator and position yourself on the left hand side of the road. You might be able to see traffic approaching from the left before you reach the junction, so begin aiming to the left upon your approach.

If you can see that the road is clear before you come to a complete stop, slip into second gear and check your left side mirror again as you turn. If, however, there are cars approaching, you’ll need to come to a stop prior to picking first gear. Wait until there is a safe area in the traffic to pull into. You will need to be able to judge the speed of approaching traffic in order to choose when it’s safe to turn left. Once again, keep in mind to inspect your left side mirror to look for cyclists and pedestrians before making the left turn.

How to turn Right

Turning right at a junction is more complex than turning left. In order to understand how to turn best, you’ll need to be able to evaluate when there’s a safe gap in traffic originating from both the left and right.

Unlike with a left turn, you will not have the ability to judge whether it’s safe to go upon your technique to the junction. Instead, check your mirrors and apply your right sign as you pull up at the junction. Select initially gear.

Look left, then right, then left again to see if it’s safe to go. If there is a car approaching from either direction, continue to examine both ways as they pass. Once it’s safe to go, ensure you inspect your ideal side mirror to keep an eye out for any cyclists or pedestrians, before you take out.

Turning in to side roads

MSPSL

When coming into a side road, you need to make certain you follow the mirror, signal, speed, position, appearance (MSPSL) routine. Check your mirrors as you approach the turning and apply your left or right signal.

Make certain you remain in the correct position as you approach the turning. If you’re turning right, there may be a filter lane in the middle of the road for you to wait in. If there is, position yourself in here till it’s safe to become the side road.

When you’re turning left, you won’t need to wait for any traffic to pass however you may require to wait on any pedestrians or bicyclists crossing the side road that you’re driving into. Change your speed as you approach the road, decreasing to prepare to turn.

Whenever you turn into a side road, examine the side mirror of the instructions you’re turning before you turn. This is truly crucial as there may be, for instance, a bicyclist passing next to you.

Lastly, ensure you look ahead once again as you turn, guaranteeing it’s still safe to go.

Stop and give way signs

At a junction, there might be a road sign informing you to stop or to give way. When there is a stop indication, you should stop, even the road is clear. If, in your driving test, you do not come to a complete dead stop at a stop sign, you will fail.

A give way indication, on the other hand, is not directing you to stop. You must, instead, guarantee that you wait for all drivers, cyclists or motorcyclists to pass previously coming up with the road.

Reacting safely to other road users

You might discover that other roadway users signal you to pull out at a junction by flashing their headlights or making a hand gesture. Never ever assume that it’s safe to take out even if another driver has signified you to do so. Make certain you make all of the pertinent checks and that you check your mirrors properly prior to pulling out.

Likewise, when you’re waiting at a junction, another driver might approach on the road you’re waiting to join with their left indication on. Do not immediately presume that they’re coming into the road you’re coming out of and that it’s safe to go, as they might have signalled by accident or forgotten to turn their indicator off.

It’s important not to pull out till the approaching vehicle actually starts to turn. Doing so in advance could cause a mishap.