Meet Scenarios

Meeting Traffic

A “meet” situation occurs when two oncoming vehicles – or road users – can’t pass each other due to the road being to narrow. Often this situation is created by the presence of parked vehicles, roadworks, or even skips!
The Highway code recommends that the driver on whose side the obstruction is on, should be the one to give way. The exception is when on a hill – it’s usually easier and more convenient for traffic moving downhill to give way. This is because vehicles travelling uphill – particularly large vehicles – can struggle to build up speed again, thus causing longer delay and congestion. NEVER take it for granted though, that the driver with the obstruction on their side will definitely give way to you. If they show no sign of slowing down or stopping you must take control the situation, by making sure that you do! Again, your “Really Good” instructor will guide you through this situation until you can complete it unaided.

Common “Meet” Scenarios:

Obstruction on your side.

If the obstruction is on your side try to “holdback” sufficiently to let oncoming traffic pass. If holding back does not clear the situation, stop about one or two car lengths before the obstruction, leaving enough room to move off again easily. When you stop, try to avoid positioning your car so close to the kerb as to give the appearance of it being parked – it could confuse traffic behind. Generally, positioning close to the left of the centre of the road will normally leave enough room.

Long rows of parked vehicles.
Another common scenario is when there is a long line of parked vehicles on your side of the road both ahead and behind you. In this case, look for a gap of about two to three car lengths between the parked vehicles that you can manoeuvre in to. wait for oncoming traffic to pass before moving off again.

No gaps between parked vehicles.

Shout for mother! No seriously, this situation can be remedied as you can always select reverse gear and slowly reverse back into the nearest space. Again, let traffic pass before moving on.

Gap on other side of the road.

In some cases, the oncoming driver will deal with the situation – even before you have had a chance to take action. They may have realised that it’s both quicker and easier for them to let you through by pulling into the space on their side of the road. In this case we can show our gratitude by either offering an appreciative smile or nod of the head. it’s nice to be nice, but only give a hand wave if it will not cause you to lose any control over your vehicle. If you arrive near the opposite gap before the other driver, avoid moving to the other side of the road in to the gap. Instead, wait before the gap, let the oncoming driver move in to it, then proceed.

Flashing Headlights

The Highway code states that flashing headlights should only be used to warn of your presence.

Generally ,try to avoid flashing your headlights if you are waiting – usually the other driver will understand you are giving way. If someone flashes their headlights at you be careful before proceeding. It could mean something else – such as they are beckoning another driver out of a side road – which in itself demonstrates the confusion caused by indiscriminate headlight flashing.


Dealing with “meet” situations is largely a matter of being aware of the type of road you are on and anticipating the approach of oncoming traffic. Here, i have only touched on likely scenarios and their solutions. No doubt, during your lessons these “meets” will occur and with good practice we will deal with them seamlessly!