Emerging From Junctions

Dealing With Junctions – Emerging To The Left and Right

A Structured Approach


A junction is where two or more roads meet, and as drivers we need to be able to recognise them and form an appropriate driving plan to deal with them. If the driving plan is to be effective we must firstly know what type of junction we are approaching. There are five main types, which are: T junctions, Crossroads, Y junctions, Staggered junctions and Roundabouts.


Priority at a junction can be determined by the presence of traffic signs, road markings and also traffic lights. Some junctions may have no signs or markings and here the correct procedure would be to treat these junctions as equal priority. If you are on the road with priority, this would be known as the “Major” road. If we are on the road which gives priority, then we are on the “Minor” road.


Visibility at a junction will help you decide on the correct speed to approach it. Generally, visibility into a road is termed as either being “OPEN” or “CLOSED.”

Open visibility means we can see clearly into a junction, so an early decision on whether it is safe to proceed may be possible.

Closed visibility means our view into the junction is obstructed, and we would normally have to slow till almost stopped to make a decision on whether to proceed.

To Emerge To The Left


Gathering all (but not exclusively) the above information now allows us to decide and act on a driving plan. The structure of any driving plan follows what is known as the Mirror Signal, Manoeuvre (Position, Speed, Gear, Look) routine.
Let us assume that we have gathered the following information: We are approaching a “T” Junction (TYPE) where there is a give way sign and give way lines in front of us – we are, therefore, on the minor road (PRIORITY). The visibility into the new road is “Closed” (VISIBILITY).

Okay, so the information we have tells us we will need to slow to a “crawling” speed in order to decide if we need to wait or carry on.


Firstly check your Mirror in “pairs” – interior and passenger side – well before the junction. We are looking for traffic to our rear – perhaps a cyclist is approaching from the rear left of us, or another driver is very close behind us. Either of these situations could affect our plan.


Apply a left signal to warn other road users of your intentions, but time the signal carefully. A premature signal could be interpreted as we are about to park on the left, or turn left if there is a road to the left before the one we want.


Approach in the normal driving position – well to the left.


We need to time our braking to be smooth and accurate – neither arriving at a crawl far too early, or still being far too fast to take effective observation. We should aim to arrive at the crawling speed just when we can start to see into the new road. This normally takes a bit of practice and all ” Really Good” driving instructors will be able to give you easy steps to achieve this.


Now it’s decision time. We must avoid causing any other road user to have to slow down, stop, or swerve to avoid us. That means we must look both ways and apply judgment. If the new road is clear we can proceed without stopping. If we see something whose way we would obstruct, then we must wait. This could be a vehicle on our left which is overtaking a parked car, and, therefore, in our half of the new road; or a vehicle to our right which is too close or fast for us to emerge safely. Again, “Really Good” instructors will help you to build your judgment.

Emerging To The Right


Interior and drivers side. Look for vehicles passing you, approaching fast, or very close behind.


A right signal, carefully timed, so as not to confuse.


This time position the car just to the left of centre of the road, unless you are in a narrow road where you must keep well to the left. If you are approaching on a one-way street, move over to the right.


As described for turning left.


Again, look both ways, making sure it is safe to carry on.

If you have to wait behind Give Way lines you may well need to apply the Handbrake. “If a pause turns to a wait, use the handbrake.”

Whether emerging Left or Right, after turning check all mirrors again. It is possible that someone is trying to overtake you, which would make accelerating unsafe. If things are clear, accelerate to an appropriare speed for the new road.

Remember, the above information is a guideline and by no means an extensive guide. Our instructors will give you all the necessary training to carry out junction procedure in a safe, controlled environment. As always, the more practice you get, the better and safer a driver you become!