Road Junctions Tutorial

A junction is where two or more roads meet.

Key Signs

Distance to Give Way

Distance to give way line ahead

Staggered Junction

Staggered Junction





Give Way Road Sign

Give way to traffic on a major road

Junction on a bend

Junction on a bend

Stop Road Sign

Stop and give way

Distance To Stop Line

Distance to stop line ahead

When taking your practical driving test your examiner will expect you to:

Approaching A Junction

As you approach a junction, you need to assess what type of junction it is and plan how you intend to deal with it. To help you do this, look for the following:

Priorities At Junctions

Give way signs, road markings, stop signs, and traffic lights indicate priorities. On an uncontrolled junction, where there are no signs or markings indicating priority all vehicles have equal priority. If you encounter an uncontrolled junction, you should slow down, look for traffic in all directions, and be prepared to stop and give way if necessary.

Pedestrians and Priority

If you turn into a road that pedestrians have already started to cross, they have priority, and you must give way.

Emerging From Junctions

When emerging from a junction, you may be joining heavy or fast-moving traffic. If making a right turn, there is the additional hazard of crossing the path of oncoming vehicles. Cautious, careful judgment needs to be exercised, and you should constantly assess the changing road environment.

When approaching and emerging left from a junction:

When approaching and emerging right from a junction:

When stopping at a junction for more than a few seconds you should apply your handbrake. This will prevent your car from being shunted into traffic if hit from behind.

Assessing Traffic Speed

Remember, you must be able to pull out of a junction without forcing other vehicles to slow down or change position. On the other hand, you mustn't hesitate and miss a valid opportunity to pull out (do this on your driving test, and you will earn a minor fault).

To make such judgments takes a driver some time to learn. However, whether an experienced driver or not, it is likely that you have experience in crossing a road on foot.

So when waiting to pull out into traffic, ask yourself this question - given the current road traffic situation would I cross the road on foot?

If the answer is yes, it is likely to be safe to pull out in your car.

Choosing The Correct Gear To Use

As a general rule, the most versatile gear to select when taking a junction is second. However, the second gear may not always be the appropriate gear to use. The gear you select will depend on the safe speed for the corner. The safe speed depends on how far ahead you can see into the junction and the angle through which you will need to turn.

A wide, gentle turn with a clear view ahead can be taken at a higher speed than a narrow road with a restricted view, so such a turn can be taken using third gear. If the angle of the turn is very sharp and the view into the junction restricted, you may have to slow right down and select the first gear.

Whichever gear you select, make sure you use it. Never 'coast' (travelling with the car in neutral gear or with your clutch pedal pressed down) around the corner. Coasting will reduce the control you have over the braking and steering.

Open Junctions

An open junction allows you to see clearly in both directions as you approach it. Such junctions are actually quite rare. They will have a Give Way sign and road marking.

When at an open junction, if the road ahead is clear, you don't have to stop, just slow down to a speed that will enable you to emerge safely from the junction.

Closed Junctions

Most junctions are closed junctions. They offer a limited view in one or both directions as you approach them. Again they will have a Give Way sign and road marking.

Blind Junctions

These give a restricted view even when at the Stop Line. They have a Stop sign and road marking, so you must come to a stop before emerging from the junction. To safely negotiate them, inch your way forward until you can see the road is clear. If another vehicle approaches, you should stop and wait for a clear gap.

Open Junction

Open Junction

Closed Junction

Closed Junction

Blind Junction

Blind Junction

Lane Discipline At Junctions

Where there are two lanes, or room for two lanes that are not marked unless road markings or signs show otherwise when intending to:

Where there are three lanes, unless road signs and markings show otherwise, when intending to:

Two-Lane Junctions

Two Lane Road Junction

Where there are two or more lanes marked for the direction you wish to take, choose the most convenient lane for you.

If you don't know which lane you need to take, road signs and lane markings leading to the junction should be able to give you the correct guidance.

Unless you need the right lane at the next junction, it is normally better to select the left lane. This will avoid you having to change lanes after you turn. If you select the right lane for the turn, check carefully to the left after you turn to make sure there is no one in your blind area before returning to the left lane.

Give way to major traffic

Give way to traffic on a major road

Give way line

Give way to traffic from the right at roundabouts

Stop Line

Stop line at stop sign

Stop Line at signals

Stop line at signals or police control

Give Way ahead

Seen on the road just before give way sign

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