Crossing Path Of Traffic

turn right cross path copy       JUDGING SPEED AND DISTANCE
Crossing the path of traffic is potentially a “High Risk” situation if not done carefully. One of the times this              situation will occur is when you approach to turn right from a major road into a minor road. When we turn             right we normally have to give way to oncoming traffic. At no time should oncoming traffic have to slow                   down, stop, or swerve on our behalf.


In the situation where we are turning from a major into a minor road, we must be aware of any oncoming                traffic. Look especially carefully for cyclists and motorcyclists – THINK BIKE! – as they are more difficult to   see. It may be obvious we need to stop and give way – in which case, stop and give way! Other situations                  however, will require more assessment. It is, for instance, possible that a vehicle travelling towards you is quite far away, yet moving very quickly. Or, on the other hand, a vehicle may be much closer, but crawling towards you.

The important calculation here is not just speed or distance, but speed AND distance.
A simple yet effective way of making a sound judgement over whether to proceed is to ask yourself “would I walk across the road?” Most of us have built up a sound judgement of walking across roads, and as the car is travelling around walking pace near our turning point, usually if you would walk safely across, you can also drive safely across the road.
Although the walk/drive comparison can help us make a judgement, there are exceptions and we also need to consider how easily we can turn in to the new road.

For example, if a pedestrian is walking across the side road, we need to wait till they are clear, and by then the gap in traffic may have disappeared. If the side road is very tight to turn into then we may need to crawl in to it, which simply alters the “walk/drive” comparison to “crawl/drive” comparison. If you are in any doubt about turning – wait.
As a learner driver, it takes time to build up confidence and judgement in these matters.