Crossroads

Crossroads

People often overthink cross roads but they really are only a T Junction with a road opposite as well.  As you approach the junction you follow your normal Mirror Signal Position Speed Look routine. However when it gets to the Look part of the routine the driver needs to look using ‘ROLO’, right opposite left opposite until they are happy that it is safe.

Turning left at a Crossroad from minor to major road

Mirror – check the breaking mirror (rear view mirror) to see what’s behind and how the breaking may affect the Vehicle behind.  So if the vehicle is too close to you, you would need to start breaking further out from the junction at the end of the road than you would normally so they have more time to react to your breaking.  You then check the left mirror to make sure that it’s clear down your left side.

Signal – so you have checked what’s going on behind you so now it’s time to inform other road users what you are going to do.  We need to push the directional indicator down and that activates the left signal.

Position – your position for turning left does not change from your normal driving position which is approximately 1 metre from the curb and when you turn left you should follow that bend keeping the same distance.  Which is why slowing down is so important.

Speed – as a rule of thumb, start by at least halving your speed (you should be even slower by the time you get to the junction at the end of the road).  Then change your gear down to the one you need, which should be normally second gear, first gear if its a narrow road or a closed junction. Bring your clutch back up and keep breaking so you have time to look correctly at your turning. If it is closed then to be safe you must stop and have a good look.

Look – the car must be slow enough that as you get closer to the junction you have time to look and see what’s happening and process the information that your seeing and take action.  The routine is called LADA which stands for ‘Look Assess Decide and Act’. This is why slowing right down is so important, as you get to the end of the road. Your asking yourself is it an open or closed junction? If it is open then you would, ‘look right, look opposite, look left, look opposite, look right again and if safe move out’. This is the minimum that you should look not the maximum. If it is a closed junction then you would slow the car right down (almost stopped) to do your observations, your always planning on stopping when you approach a closed junction, because that’s the safe thing to be doing.

You have the second highest priority at the cross roads, because when you turn onto the new road you as only affecting one lane of traffic.  Remember that the gap has to be large enough for you to not only get out only but also pick your speed up to the speed of the traffic on the road. (Highest priority is to the cars that are on the main road with no give way lines the concern them).

Your Steering when turning left is to keep the car parallel with the curb so as it starts to bend round then you steer round.  This is very important as it helps to keep you on your side of the road as you emerge onto your new road.

Turning Right at a Crossroad from minor to major

Mirror – check the breaking mirror (rear view mirror) to see what’s behind and how the breaking may affect the Vehicle behind.  So if the vehicle is too close to you, you would need to start breaking further out from the end of the road than you would normally so they have more time to react to your breaking.  You then check the right mirror to make sure that it’s clear down your right side.

Signal – so you have checked what’s going on behind you so now it’s time to inform other road users what you are going to do.  We need to push the directional indicator up and that activates the right signal.

Position – your position for turning right changes from your normal driving position is to as close to the centre line as is safe to do.  What does this mean? If your in a wide road and there are no parked cars on the right side, you can come as close to the centre line as is safe.  If there is enough space you should have moved over far enough that cars behind you can turn left while your waiting to turn right.

Speed – as a rule of thumb, start by at least halving your speed (you should be even slower by the time you get to the junction at the end of the road).  Then change your gear down to the one you need, which should be normally second gear, first gear if its a narrow road or a closed junction. Bring your clutch back up and keep breaking so you have time to look correctly at your turning. If it is closed then to be safe you must stop and have a good look.

Look – the car must be slow enough that as you get closer to the junction you have time to look and see what’s happening and process the information that your seeing and take action.  The routine is called LADA which stands for ‘Look Assess Decide and Act’. This is why slowing right down is so important, as you get to the end of the road. Your asking yourself is it an open or closed junction? If it is open then you would, ‘look left, look opposite, look right, look opposite, look left again and if safe move out’. This is the minimum that you should look not the maximum. If it is a closed junction then you would slow the car right down (almost stopped) to do your observations, your always planning on stopping when you approach a closed junction, because that’s the safe thing to be doing.

You have the third highest priority at the cross roads, because when you turn onto the new road you are effecting two lanes of traffic.  Remember that the gap has to be large enough for you to not only get out only but also pick your speed up to the speed of the traffic on the road. (Highest priority is to the cars that are on the main road with no give way lines the concern them).

Going Straight on (Crossing) at a Crossroad

Mirror – check the breaking mirror (rear view mirror) to see what’s behind and how the breaking may affect the Vehicle behind.  So if the vehicle is too close to you, you would need to start breaking further out from the end of the road than you would normally so they have more time to react to your breaking.  You then check both side mirrors to make sure that it’s clear down both sides of your car.

Signal – so you have checked what’s going on behind you so now it’s time to inform other road users what you are going to do.  Because you want to go straight on not signalling is your signal to other road users that you want to go ahead and not turn either left or right.

Position – your position for going straight on should not change from your normal driving position, which is about one metre from the curb.

Speed – as a rule of thumb, start by at least halving your speed (you should be even slower by the time you get to the junction at the end of the road).  Then change your gear down to the one you need, which should be normally second gear, first gear if its a narrow road or a closed junction. Bring your clutch back up and keep breaking so you have time to look correctly at your turning. If it is closed then to be safe you must stop and have a good look.

Look – the car must be slow enough that as you get closer to the junction you have time to look and see what’s happening and process the information that your seeing and take action.  The routine is called LADA which stands for ‘Look Assess Decide and Act’. This is why slowing right down is so important, as you get to the end of the road. Your asking yourself is it an open or closed junction? If it is open then you would, ‘look left, look opposite, look right, look opposite, look left again and if safe move out’. This is the minimum that you should look not the maximum. If it is a closed junction then you would slow the car right down (almost stopped) to do your observations, your always planning on stopping when you approach a closed junction, because that’s the safe thing to be doing.

You have the lowest priority at the cross roads, because you are crossing all of the roads in front of you. Remember that the gap has to be large enough for you to not only get out but also totally clear the junction in a safe manner.  (Highest priority is to the cars that are on the main road with no give way lines the concern them).

Tips with Cross Roads

How do you work out what other cars/bikes are doing?

You need to look for visual clues about their intentions.  Are the indicating, have they turned the cars wheels in a particular direction, where is the driver looking.  All of these things gives you insight into what the cars plans could be. The best thing is to try to make eye contact with the other driver and that normal clears up any doubt about direction or intent.