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 – the essential skills and The Highway Code.

The Mirrors – Signal – Manoeuvre (MSM) routine

Always use the MSM/PSL routine at junctions.

  • 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. Position your car about 1 metre (3 feet) from the kerb. Slow down and choose the correct gear.

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.

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.

Remember that other road users may use a different road position to you, especially

  • drivers of large vehicles, who may need to move across the road so they can turn their vehicle; for example, moving to the left before turning right
  • 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 that your indicator is cancelled.

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