Different rules apply to different junctions: make sure you know the rules, especially about who has priority, for using

  • T-junctions (where a minor road joins a major road)
  • Y-junctions (where a minor road joins a major road at an angle)
  • staggered junctions (where roads join from the left and right so the path from one side road to another is not a straight line)
  • crossroads
  • roundabouts.

If you’re unsure of the rules, take a look at The Official DVSA Guide to Driving Buses and Coaches and The Highway Code (GOV.UK).

Remember that the size of your vehicle may affect how it handles at junctions and how you should position the vehicle, eg you may not be able to avoid driving over any of the painted area on a mini-roundabout.

The Mirrors – Signal – Manoeuvre routine

Always use the MSM/PSL routine at junctions and crossings.

  • Mirrors: check in your mirrors to work out the speed and position of vehicles behind.
  • Signal: signal clearly and in good time.
  • Manoeuvre: use the PSL routine.
    • Position your vehicle correctly and in good time.
    • Speed: adjust it as necessary.
    • Look for other traffic.

Turning left

When you’re turning left, use the MSM/PSL routine as you approach the junction. If you’re driving a long vehicle, you might need to move to the middle of the road to avoid the rear wheels cutting in while you’re turning. You should

  • check carefully ahead and on your right-hand side before moving across
  • signal in good time that you’re going to turn left
  • make sure the area to your left is clear before you start to turn: vulnerable road users such as cyclists might move into this area and are difficult to see.

Watch out for

  • vehicles parking or parked just before a left-hand junction or parked just around the corner
  • vehicles approaching in the side road
  • pedestrians already crossing the road – they have priority
  • cyclists coming up on your left.

Turning right

When you’re turning right, use the MSM/PSL routine as you approach the junction. Move as close to the centre of the road as is safe so vehicles can pass on your left if there’s room. If you’re driving a long vehicle, remember to allow enough space to make the turn (see above).

Watch out for

  • oncoming traffic, especially motorbikes and bicycles
  • vehicles overtaking oncoming traffic
  • vehicles waiting to emerge from the minor road
  • pedestrians already crossing the road – they have priority
  • anything that could stop you entering the minor road safely, leaving you on the wrong side of the road.

Turning right at crossroads can be particularly difficult. Look out for traffic on the road you’re joining as well as on the road you’re leaving. Check your mirrors before you start to turn, especially if you’ve had to wait.

If an oncoming vehicle is turning right at the same time as you, look at the layout of the crossroads, the road markings and the course of the other driver to see whether you should turn right side to right side (this is usually the safest way) or left side to left side. Keep looking out for other road users while you make your turn.

Remember that other road users may use a different road position to you, especially vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders, who may signal to turn right at a junction or roundabout but stay on the left-hand side of the road for safety.

Emerging into a road

If you’re joining a road from a junction, you’ll need to judge the speed and distance of any traffic on the road.

You may not be able to see much of the road until you actually get to the junction. You’ll then need to look carefully, remembering that your view might be blocked by buildings, hedges, bends, other vehicles or the weather.

Only emerge when you can safely join the road: you may need to wait some time for a suitable gap.

If you’re crossing the path of approaching traffic to turn right into a major road, you’ll need to wait for a gap in both the oncoming traffic and the traffic you’re joining.

When you’ve emerged,

  • check behind for the speed and position of other traffic
  • accelerate so your speed is correct for the road and conditions
  • keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front
  • make sure your indicator is cancelled.

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