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Approaching junctions

A junction is where several roads join together eg. T-junctions, Crossroads, Y-junctions or roundabouts. A convention between the two or more roads is called a junction. Junction is called marked when there are Give Way or Stop lines where the roads meet, so road users know who has priority.

You must give way to traffic on the main road when emerging from a junction with broken white lines across the road. You must stop behind the line at a junction with a 'Stop' sign and a solid white line across the road. Wait for a safe gap in the traffic before you move off. But when the junction is not marked, you have to be very careful as no-one has priority.

How you should approach a junction?

Speed : The ideal speed for while approaching junctions is between 10-15 km..
Look for other road user behind you.

Gears : You should be at correct gear, while at junctions you can be at 1st gear if you need to stop and if there is no traffic at junction you can be in 2nd gear. It is advisable to use foot breaks so that you get enough time to change the gear, if required.

Using mirror : Always make sure to look at your mirrors while at junctions while turning right you must also look for other drives who might try to take overtake.

Signal : Timing of signal is very important especially at junctions; don't signal too early as it may confuse other road users.

Positioning : Stop only where you think it is safe. Do not stop on yellow lines, or where it may cause obstructions.

At junction you should
  • Observe for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians as they are not always easy to see.
  • Always give way and priority to pedestrians crossing the road into which you are turning.
  • Always look at for long vehicles which may be turning at a junction ahead; they may have to use the whole width of the road to make the turn.
  • Wait and make sure when waiting at a junction that a vehicle coming from the right and signaling left will actually turn. Do not just assume and move.
  • Always remember that you donít cross or join a road until there is large gap between two vehicles.
  • Take extra care when your observation is blocked.

Before turning right at the junction :
  • Always Use mirrors to make sure you know the position and movement of traffic behind you.
  • Give a right-turn signal.
  • Take up a position just left of the middle of the road or in the space marked for traffic turning right.
  • Leave space for other vehicles to pass on the left, if possible.

Before turning left at the junction :
  • Use your mirrors and give a left-turn signal well before you turn left. Do not overtake just before you turn left and watch out for traffic coming up on your left before you make the turn, especially if driving a large vehicle. Cyclists and motorcyclists in particular may be hidden from your view.

While turning :
  • Keep as close to the left as is safe and practical.
  • Give way to any vehicles using a bus lane, cycle lane or tramway from either direction.

Common mistakes by new drivers at junctions :
  • Poor co-ordination with gears, speed.
  • Turning without signals .
  • 'swan necking' - i.e. going too far past the normal turning point.
  • Making turn in wrong gear
You can refer the driving test maneuvers/manoeuvres animation which will help you to understand what to do while approaching junctions
Crown copyright material has been reproduced by permission of the Driving Standards Agency which does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the reproduction.
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