You’ve already covered turning and emerging at junctions.
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to drive through and emerge from Crossroads junctions safely.
You’ll follow the same Hazard Routine.
Crossroads can be dangerous junctions to emerge from, because of the extra road to consider.
They are also more hazardous to drive through because vehicles may drive out in front of you.
They may not realise how close you are, or they may not realise they have to give way.
Types of Crossroads
You will come across:
- Traffic Light Controlled Crossroads
- Marked Crossroads – with give way or stop lines
- Staggered Crossroads – where the junctions are not directly opposite each other
- Unmarked Crossroads – these have no road markings at all, so no-one has priority
Driving through Crossroads
Look for signs and road markings that inform you there are crossroads ahead, and what type of Crossroad it is.
Start the Hazard Routine early. It’s important to know what is behind you, and how close it is to you. If a vehicle is travelling too close, you may decide to slow down just in case a vehicle drives out of the crossroads junction in front of you.
While driving towards the Crossroads junction you should either maintain your speed OR slow your speed.
This will depend on:
- how close the vehicle is behind you
- how well you can see in to the junction
If you can’t see into the junction, a car wanting to emerge from the junction may not be able to see you!
Turning Right at a Crossroads (from Major to a Minor Road)
If you want to turn right, and a vehicle approaching also wants to turn right, there are two methods that can be used.
Both methods are acceptable, and the method chosen may depend on:
- The layout of the crossroads
- What course the driver approaching you decides to take
- Road markings that tell you which way to go
You may choose to turn Offside to Offside or Nearside to Nearside:
Nearside = the side of there car NEAR there kerb
Offside = the driver’s side of the car
Offside to Offside – you will turn right, into the new road, and pass each other on the driver’s side to driver’s side. This is the safest method. You have a clear view of the road ahead.
Nearside to Nearside – you will turn right, into the new road, and pass each other on the passenger side to passenger side. This is not the safest method, but it is sometimes the only option depending on road markings and other road user’s choice.
Alternatively, you may turn one after the other.
Emerging from a Crossroads Junction
Vehicles turning right do not have priority.
Vehicles turning left or going straight ahead do have priority over vehicles turning right.
*Be aware that not all road users know these rules*
To stay safe try to decide what the other driver is doing:
- Get eye contact
- look at the car wheels to see if they are turning
- Look at the car to see if it’s moving and at what speed
Proceed only when its safe!
You’ll often find Box Junctions at Crossroads. It’s important to know how to deal with them safely.
Box Junctions are yellow criss cross lines painted on the road surface.
The aim of Box Junctions is to prevent road users from stopping on them, and blocking the road; so to keep traffic flowing.
It’s important to understand how to use Box Junctions correctly, because blocking a box junction is illegal! It can result in a driving penalty, and a driving test fail.
Box Junction Rules
- You must not enter a Box Junction unless the road you are driving into is clear.
- You may enter a Box Junction when you want to turn right, and the only thing stopping you is oncoming traffic.
- If there is a vehicle already waiting in the box junction, you may wait behind it as long as you won’t be blocking oncoming traffic wanting to turn right
If you enter a Box Junction when your exit road is not clear, you can prevent other road users from continuing with their journey. This is illegal and can cause you to fail your driving test.