T-junctions, emerging to the left and right and minor to major.
First we need to spot the junction, which is important as it is the end of the road and unless it’s a dead end, there may well be traffic in the major road at the end of it. You will notice the end of the road as there will be buildings, bushes, trees and cars but no more road leading ahead. Closer to the junction there will normally be a ‘give way’ or stop sign and on the road there will be road markings like ‘give way’ or stop lines. Sometimes, junctions have direction arrows and other types of markings.
There are two types of junctions: open and closed. An open junction has a less obstructed view, so that you can see before you get to the give way line and decide whether it is safe to proceed. Remember to be sure to look properly though, as emerging on to a main road at the wrong time is very dangerous. The cars already on the carriageway may be travelling at speed; at worst, not looking properly can cost lives. But remember if there is nothing coming then there is no need to stop. Just slow down enough to give yourself time to see and to steer round the corner. Remember: plan to stop while looking to go.
A closed junction has obstructions which reduces the view of the major road you are planning to emerge in to. These can be permanent obstructions like a building, bushes, or a road sign, or temporary obstructions like cars which are not always there. In these situations we use the creep and peek technique, by moving the give way line to the end of the object that is reducing your view and creeping forward while using anything that can help you see into the road. You can look through the car windows, in the reflection of windows and cars opposite to see if it’s safe to emerge. When looking left and right, keep looking both ways when you see a gap in the traffic. Find the bite point and get ready to go. There are also stop junctions. This type of junction requires you to stop completely and pull the hand-brake up to allow your concentration to focus on the traffic. These junctions can be on a bend on a major road, which means they need much more care and consideration. These can be recognised by a red octagon shaped sign with the word stop printed on it in white and an unbroken white line where you would normally find the broken give way line. Other types of junction include crossroad junctions, box junctions and controlled junctions. We will cover all of these during lessons so I can show you diagrams and help you understand much better than I can explain here.
You will be using the M-S-P-S-L procedure from the ‘Approaching Junctions’ module. Most of it is similar so I will go through it here, and it can only help to have another look to refresh your memory.
When turning left, position over to the left and as you come to the give way or stop line you must then follow the kerb around so that you are facing slightly to the left, ready for the left turn when the way is clear enough. Turning right is the same as approaching a junction- over to the right but left of the centre line. With both left and right you can position door mirrors so they appear to be over the give way or stop line. This means that the front of the car will not be over the give way or stop line.
Look right and left until you can see a gap. This is known as L-A-D-A. Look, Asses, Decide, Act. Use the ‘if you walk across you can drive across’ rule, for crossing the path of oncoming traffic as pointed out in ‘Approaching Junctions’. For the traffic on the carriageway you are joining, you can judge this by asking if you can walk across the road and back again. If you can do this, you can join the flow of traffic. Remember to pay attention to the speed of the nearest vehicle and if it is being overtaken by anything, especially if it’s a large vehicle. Once you have emerged, check your mirrors again to make sure all is clear all around you.
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