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More junctions

You will encounter many different types of junction but most fall into 5 common types and all follow broadly the same rules. Take care to observe any signs relating to each junction, for example, there may be give way or stop signs or road markings. Under each of the buttons on the main photo you will find a common junction type and how to use it safely.  

Left turns are the simplest of all but you should take care to read any signs or road markings. decide on your path, check mirrors, signal, check again for cyclists on your left. Pull up to and stop at the junction - unless it is all clear - continue signalling left, check both ways and turn left when it is clear to do so.  

Turning right is much more dangerous than a simple left turn. Well before your turn check your mirror, signal right, check again and move nearer to the centre line of the road. Continue signalling right and draw up to the junction and stop. Carefully checking both ways turn right when it is clear to do so.  

Often you will come across unequal T junctions where a busy road turns right or left and, at the point of turning, is joined by a less busy road. The main difference will be in the position of any signs and road markings and, most importantly, in the respective rights of way as shown in the graphic. In this instance you should still check your mirror before making the right turn but a signal is not needed as you are continuing on the major road. You should however keep an eye on traffic from your left in case someone jumps over the line.    

At first glance the easiest of all junctions if going straight ahead but in practice frequently the scene of disaster from drivers mis-reading rights of way. There is little value protesting from your hospital bed that it was your right of way. Unless lanes are specifically marked stay in the left lane. Carefully check for any give way or stop signs and only proceed if you are sure that the right of way is yours, even then proceed with caution and look both ways as you cross.   

Staggered junctions are quite common and simply combine 2 of the other types of junction, for example, a right turn quickly followed by a left turn as shown. Great care must be taken to change the signals as soon as the first maneuvre is carried out otherwise a following driver could misinterpret your intentions.

For a right/left turn the sequence would be decide, mirror, signal  check, manoeuvre, mirror, signal, check, manoeuvre. 

  • Decide
  • Mirror
  • Signal
  • Check
  • Manoeuvre
  • Position

Article © Graham Benge 2007

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