Navigating through crossroads can be a challenging aspect of driving, especially when dealing with priorities, unmarked junctions, and the necessity of keen observations. You will have learnt to approach junctions going left, ahead and right in most cases before moving onto this topic, so you will be building on already obtained skills. This blog post aims to provide drivers with a comprehensive guide on how to approach crossroads safely and confidently.
1. **Going Left**: When turning left from a minor road onto the major road, it’s generally expected that you give way to any traffic approaching from your right. This is because vehicles coming from the right will be on the main road, and thus have the right of way.
2. **Going Straight Ahead**: If you’re going straight ahead at a crossroads from a minor road into the minor road on the opposite side of the junction, you should still be wary of vehicles on your right & left. Only proceed ahead when both left & right is clear and there are no pedestrians crossing the road ahead of you blocking your entrance to the road.
3. **Turning Right**: This is often the trickiest part. When turning right, you not only have to give way to oncoming traffic emerging from the junction opposite, but also to vehicles approaching from your left & right on the main road. It’s essential to ensure the road is clear in both directions before proceeding. Remember, once you join the road you need to be able to build up your speed sufficiently so that any vehicles approaching from your left do not catch you up or have to slow down to accommodate you on the road in front of them.
Unmarked crossroads can be particularly challenging, as there are no clear priority signs. Here, the general rule of thumb is to slow down, prepare to stop, and observe the following:
– **Right-of-way**: As a safe practice, be prepared to give priority to the vehicles from any direction.
– **Eye Contact**: Make eye contact with other drivers if possible. This helps in understanding their intentions.
– **Proceed with Caution**: If the crossroad is clear, proceed with caution, keeping an eye on any unforeseen hazards.
1. **Look and Listen**: Always look both ways, even if you have the right of way. Listening for the sound of engines, horns, or sirens can also give you additional information about nearby traffic.
2. **Speed and Distance**: Judge the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles. This will help you make safer decisions about when to cross or turn.
3. **Pedestrians and Cyclists**: Be particularly mindful of pedestrians and cyclists who might be crossing the roads at these junctions.
4. **Road Conditions**: Wet, icy, or poorly lit conditions at crossroads require even more caution. Slow down and be prepared for other drivers’ unpredictable moves.
5. **Indicators**: Use your indicators to communicate your intentions to other road users. This simple act can significantly reduce confusion and potential accidents. You must indicate left or right if you are going left or right, as you approach the junction.