Essential Steps to Deal with Junctions
Following our last Pass Me Faster meeting on the Top 5 reasons for failing your driving test a common theme began to emerge. Not only a call for a more exciting biscuit than the ginger snap but more importantly observations at junctions were causing us all some grief.
With junctions knocking the donkey over more so than anything else on test we decided to address the issue below.
For plights on the biscuit front, issues were sorted promptly resulting in a chocolate bourbonesk revolution and the end of the ginger snap reign.
What is a Junction
If you want to know junctions –
They’re where two roads meet. Traffic has to determine if its safe to turn in or out of the junction taking into consideration certain priorities. All this with a melee of pedestrian and cyclist activity thrown in to the mix.
If you are wanting to really wet your whistle with junctions click here for some info from the highway code.
A junction can be a regular give way T junction, Stop T junction, Y junction, cross roads or even a roundabout. There are also variations of these to consider such as –
- Unmarked and marked junctions
- Boxed junctions
- Open or closed junctions
- Junctions on bends
Can you now see why many of our seasoned instructors identify junctions to be the bread and butter of driving. .
Talking of identification lets have a look at our first problem.
How to Identify a Junction in the Essential Steps to Deal with Junctions
The reason many a student comes a cropper is not spotting a junction early enough. Try not to forget that looking as far ahead as possible is something you should be used to, being an early theme on your lessons.
So do that!
Look for the early warning signs ahead.
Some of these may include –
- A dead end in front of you
- a sign post
- other traffic turning in and out of the junctions
- signs with street names on
- curbs bending round corners
- road markings
- traffic light systems
Did you spot the junction or were you distracted?
Approaching the Junction
To maximise your chances of taking effective observations (which is what this is all about) its all about getting the approach speed right.
Too fast you come barrelling into the junction with no time for grace.
On the other hand –
Too slow you cheese off the traffic behind opening yourself up for a rear end shunt.
Your judgements are made easier by spotting junctions early and getting your braking right on approach which with practise will soon become the norm.
Observations at the Junction Mouth
All things considered spotting the junction early and getting your speed down smoothly is a great way to get things right. If we look at emerging from T Junctions a point often overlooked is parked cars on the road you are joining. It may be necessary to edge out of the junction if obstructions cause problems with your view.
leaning forward in your seat is a great way to optimise your view and don’t forget to look out for those cyclists.
Looking left and right from a decent vantage point is a necessity but what about the view ahead. A car could quite easily move off in front of you.
If its a roundabout it should be a nice open view so look as early as possible. Remember we give way to the right!
The initial first leap of faith on test may be the most daunting but hopefully all going well things should calm down as you get into your groove.
Keep that head moving and those eyes peeled!