In this lesson you will cover how to emerge from busier and faster junctions.
You will learn how to judge a safe gap and therefore a suitable time and a safe time to go.
You do this by looking and planning well ahead, noticing what’s behind you, and by driving at an appropriate speed.
You will use the same MSPSL routine that you have used so far.
What type of junction are you approaching?
Look well ahead and notice what type of junction you are heading towards. This will help you decide on the appropriate speed and gear.
Your aim is to keep the car moving if it is safe and legal to do so.
But ALWAYS stop if you cannot see clearly enough to make a decision.
Although your examiner in your test is not expecting you to be overly hesitant, you are certainly not expected to rush and make rushed decisions.
A common test failure is moving out into traffic without making appropriate observations and without being able to see clearly up and down the road.
Remember: you MUST NOT make another road user Stop, Slow or Swerve.
A minor fault for being a little bit hesitant is MUCH BETTER then and a serious or dangerous fault for moving out when it’s not safe. Meaning, it’s better to hold traffic up a few more seconds, than to cause an incident and potentially hurt other road users.
Peep and Creep
If you are at a closed junction and cannot see clearly into the new road, you should stop the car at the end of the road.
It may be necessary to then edge your car forwards so you are passed the give way lines. This is known as ‘Creeping’
If you cannot see clearly from behind the give way line, you MUST edge forward so you pass them.
You cannot make a decision if you cannot see what’s approaching!
You will also need to lean forwards in your seat, so you head is nearer towards the windscreen. This is known as ‘Peeping’
Signal from ORU
Don’t trust a signal to turn left into the junction you are merging from. The driver may have a signal on too early or by mistake.
Pause becomes a Wait
If a pause at a junction becomes a wait – apply your parking brake. Prepare the car to move so you are ready to take a gap.
Missing Gaps in Traffic
If you miss a gap, don’t worry!
Worrying about it WILL NOT HELP you.
Just imagine you have just arrived at the junctions and are starting again with decision making.
You MUST stop the car completely at the end of the road.
You can fail your test if you keep moving – even very slowly.
I advice my pupils to apply a parking brake. This can help to confirm to the examiner that you’ve come to a complete stop.
It is not necessary, but good advice to anyone taking a test.
Speed up promptly
Emerge quickly and check your mirrors straight away.
You want to know what is following you and how quickly it is approaching so you can decide whether you need to speed up quickly.
It will help you to pick up speed if you stay in lower gears for a little longer than normal. If you are in an automatic car, use kick-down to help pick up speed.
If the road is busy and you have to wait a while
BE PATIENT – A GAP WILL APPEAR EVENTUALLY
Look at signs and road markings that will tell you where you need to position yourself.
Notice if you are on a one-way street – you need to know which lane to be in and if you are driving out into a one-way or two-way road.