Learning how to approach a junction can be one of the more challenging aspects of learning to drive, but it does not need to be. If you’re appropriately prepared and you’re comfortable in your driving lessons, tackling junctions is safe and easy.
Different Kinds of junctions
Learning how to drive would be much easier if there was simply one type of junction, but unfortunately that’s not the case. There are several distinct types of junctions with different road conditions adding even more variation. There’s a general essence to approaching junctions, however it’s best to know the subtle differences between junction types prior to you taking your driving test; you don’t want to work it out with your examiner in the car!
If you do a great deal of driving on rural or peaceful roads, you’ll probably be familiar with unmarked junctions. They’re usually rather small, have no stop/give way sign and no useful road markings whatsoever. Unmarked junctions are popular with examiners as they truly test your control abilities and how you handle other road users.
Marked junctions are the more civilised cousins of the unmarked junction. They have give way or stop signs, are typically larger than unmarked junctions and, the good news is, have stop lines and other road markings. It’s almost certain that you’ll take on a marked junction if there’s one on your test route.
Always having traffic signals to manage traffic and normally including a bicycle waiting location, controlled junctions are often comprised of numerous lanes, making them an obstacle for new drivers. They typically consist of filter lights, which can catch out students who are unfamiliar with them.
Staggered junctions are best explained resembling a wonky crossroads. They can be challenging for new drivers, so we’ll cover them separately.
Box junctions include a yellow box filled with crossed lines and are generally (however not constantly) managed by traffic lights. No driver may enter the yellow box unless their exit is clear, this makes sure that traffic keeps streaming.
Open, closed and blind junctions
The terms ‘open’, ‘closed’ and ‘blind’ can be applied to any junction. Open junctions provide you a clear view of both directions as you approach. They’ll have a give way sign and– if the roadway is clear – you don’t have to stop to emerge from them, although you will be required to slow to a suitable speed.
The view when approaching closed junctions is a bit more minimal and you’ll be unable to see if the road is clear as you would have the ability to at an open junction. You’ll see a give way sign and road marking and you’ll need to stop to see if the path is clear before emerging.
As the name suggests, blind junctions offer a seriously restricted view of the roadway, even when pulled all the way as much as the stop sign that you’ll see at all blind junctions. To emerge from a blind junction, you’ll need to creep your vehicle forward, inch-by-inch, to see if the way’s clear. If another road user is approaching, stop and wait for them to pass.
We hope this short article helps you in understanding the different types of junctions you may come across when taking your intensive driving course. Depending on where you are located in the UK chances are that you will come across most of these. To find out more on how we can help you gain your driving licence please contact us and we will be happy to help.