• Adrian Fedyk

**** X is for Crossroads ****



Crossroads are often accident black spots, so take extra care, especially on roads carrying fast-moving traffic.


Accidents often involve vehicles turning right.


The procedure when turning at crossroads is much the same as any other junction.


You'll need to assess the crossroads on approach, so look well ahead and check for road signs and markings which might indicate priority.


Driving on the major road

  • Watch for road signs and markings

  • Watch for emerging traffic. Be especially careful of vehicles trying to cut across, using gaps in the traffic. They may misjudge your speed

  • Adjust your speed approaching crossroads.



Turning right


Getting your position and speed correct is vital. Look out for traffic on the road you're joining, as well as on the road you're leaving.


Check your mirrors before starting to turn, especially if you've had to wait.


Turning right when an oncoming vehicle is also turning right


When two vehicles approaching from opposite directions both want to turn right there are two methods that can be used. Either method is acceptable, but will usually be determined by:

  • The layout of the crossroads

  • What course the other driver decides to take

  • Road markings.


Turning offside to offside


The advantage of this method is that both drivers can see oncoming traffic.


In congested traffic conditions, leave a space for approaching traffic to turn right.


Turning nearside to nearside


This method is less safe because the view of oncoming vehicles is not clear. Watch out for oncoming traffic hidden by larger vehicles. Motorcyclists and cyclists are particularly vulnerable as they would be hidden by any type of vehicle.


Be ready to stop for oncoming vehicles.


Police control or road markings sometimes make this method compulsory.


Defensive driving


Try to get eye contact with the driver of the approaching vehicle to determine which course is best. Your speed should allow you to stop if the other driver cuts across your path.


Approaching on a minor road


If you approach the crossroads on one of the minor roads and want to turn onto the major road, as long as the minor road opposite is clear, you should treat it as if you are emerging from a T-junction.


If you want to turn onto the major road, and another vehicle is approaching the crossroads from the minor road opposite, then:

  • If you are turning left or going straight ahead, you should proceed with extra caution and make sure no vehicle from the opposite direction is going to cross your path

  • If you are turning right and the other vehicle is going ahead or turning left, you should normally wait for the other vehicle to clear the junction before you make your turn, because you would otherwise be cutting across their path

  • If you are turning right and the other vehicle is turning right, you should try to make eye contact with the other driver to establish who should proceed as neither of you have priority.


Unmarked crossroads


Treat unmarked crossroads with extreme caution since neither road has priority.


Priority


Never assume you have priority if there are no signs or markings.


Drivers approaching on other roads might also assume they have priority, and an accident could result


Proceed only when you're sure it's safe to do so.


Remember, you must LOOK, ASSESS and DECIDE before you ACT.


Take extra care when your view is restricted (by vehicles, walls, hedges etc).










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