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Approaching crossroads to turn
Approaching to turn into a minor road at a crossroads is slightly different from turning into a minor road at a T-junction. For one thing, traffic may emerge from either side road and cross your path. While you may have priority you must be prepared to stop, or give way, if someone does cross your path.
This may also happen when you are proceeding ahead, which is why you should always take observations into the side roads of a crossroads as you approach. Always expect vehicles to approach in the side roads.
Emerging from a side road at crossroads
If no vehicles are approaching to emerge from the side road opposite, emerging to the left and the right is identical to T junctions.
When turning left from a side road, take advantage of opportunities to proceed that might arise as a result of the vehicles on the major road slowing down to turn into the side road opposite.
Where problems can arise is when vehicles in the opposite side road need to cross your path or follow their road ahead. Who has priority in these situations is the same as if the two minor side roads were one major road. However do not assume that the other driver will comply.
Secondly, when turning right you may be faced with an oncoming vehicle also wanting to turn right. In this instance neither vehicle has priority. There are usually three options in this situation:
Turning Right- Options
- Turn Nearside To Nearside
- Turn Offside To Offside
- Hold back and allow the other vehicle to proceed
Turning Right- Nearside To Nearside
The nearside of the car is the passenger side, or the side nearest the kerb.
When turning N To N the vehicles should cross the front of each other, meaning that the vehicles should pass with the passengers doors nearest to each other.
Turning Right- Offside To Offside
Offside is the driver's side, or the side off from the kerb.
Usually vehicles turn nearside to nearside in this situation, although offside to offside is safer because you can more easily observe oncoming traffic before turning. Road markings, and the size of the junction may also dictate which method is used.
When turning O To O the vehicles should cross behind each other,meaning that the drivers doors are closest to each other.
Other Drivers Turning Right
Despite not having priority the other driver may want you to proceed first and therefore you need to learn to watch and anticipate their actions. Be careful if the other driver "flashes" his headlights.
The Highway Code says that you should only flash your lights to warn someone of your presence.
Bear this in mind!
Other Driver's Signals
Make sure that:
- He is signaling to YOU and
- that his signal means what you think it means and
- Ensure for yourself that it is actually safe to proceed.
Emerging at a staggered crossroads
Priorities between the traffic on the opposing side roads is not so clear at staggered crossroads therefore we have to be particularly careful.
Emerging at unmarked crossroads
Neither road is the major road therefore proceed with extreme caution and be prepared to stop. Anticipating other drivers actions and driving at a speed that enables you to stop is critical. Priority regarding oncoming vehicles is not changed. Beware at junctions controlled by traffic lights when the lights are not working. This effectively makes this an unmarked junction.
You should now be developing the skills to make progress at the various situations you will encounter. Making progress is quite simply keeping up with the flow of traffic within the speed limits and driving to suit the conditions.
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