Hold Back For Control

You will, at some time encounter a situation where two vehicles are and intending to turn right at a Crossroads junction at the same time. It’s something that confuses many experienced drivers (let alone Learners) and you’ll need to be prepared to help your pupil deal with it.

It’s also a situation where the S.E. will take the opportunity to ask you to show a pupil how to deal with it if they can; but this situation doesn’t happen very often in modern driving environments for a couple of reasons that we’ll discuss shortly.

Whatever the situation, dealing with it is quite simple but you would benefit from trying to find junctions where you can expect to encounter these scenarios and practice your control skills on them (although you might find it difficult to actually locate one).

Holding Back Is The Best Way To Deal With This Situation

Holding Back Is The Best Way To Deal With This Situation

Because the situation in this first example is encountered on main roads it means that traffic is generally traveling quite quickly; in urban environments traffic planners generally prevent the scenario happening with hatch markings, box junctions, traffic light controlled junctions and roundabouts.

So the reality is that you’re much more likely to find this situation in a rural environment – and because there is less traffic on the road it isn’t encountered very frequently.

What normally happens in these situations is that the drivers lack good planning skills – they will arrive at the hazard at the same time and have to make a decision about how to deal with it.

But it doesn’t have to be this way ……….

Holding Back

Holding Back

Notice how the driver of the red car has applied some braking this time – they’ve recognised the hazard, assessed the situation and applied their MSM routine. They’re slowing down to assess how the situation develops and traveling at a speed that will allow them to deal with it.

The driver of the blue car will do what most drivers do – continue driving towards the hazard, they won’t think about how to deal with the situation until they reach the point where they have to make a decision.

The end result of this is that there is no decision to be made – at least as far as the driver of the red car is concerned. The driver of the blue car will be able to make their turn – and so will the driver of the red car – when they get to the hazard.

So this scenario can easily be dealt with and any potential for error avoided by application of good planning skills. As instructors we should be able to recognise these situations and use our control skills to make sure that our pupil arrives at the decision point last.

Holding back is guaranteed to maintain control.

Offside To Offside

Offside To Offside

Of course the S.E. (if they can) would prefer to give you to the opportunity to demonstrate your skills by showing the pupil how to deal with the situation when both drivers arrive at the decision point at the same time.

The situation is much more likely to be encountered at a junction where vehicles are preparing to emerge but it doesn’t matter which you are dealing with – there are two options open to you.

The preferred option (because it’s the safest) is to move forward to the point of turn and turn once the vehicles have passed each other – they turn

The reason that this is the safest way is because of the good views afforded to both drivers.

Nearside To Nearside

Nearside To Nearside

The other option is to turn near side to near side, the vehicles turn before they’ve passed each other. It’s not as safe as turning offside to offside because the views afforded to both drivers are restricted because of the blind spots caused by the other turning vehicle.

But this is the method that you’re most likely to encounter – most situations where drivers are crossing the path of others when turning right at crossroads are found at traffic light controlled junctions or roundabouts. In these cases the road markings at the light controlled junction and priority on roundabouts will determine how deal with situations.

On your Part 3 test the focus on a Crossroads lesson will be on marked junctions – you wouldn’t normally be expected to instruct on Crossroads that were controlled by traffic lights – reacting to markings on the road to get into the right position is part of “Positioning” and won’t play a part in this lesson. Nor will dealing with crossroads that are controlled by roundabouts – there are special rules for dealing with roundabouts and they aren’t included in the Part 3 syllabus.

So when you’re planning and practicing for this subject – you should focus on marked junctions and where possible you’ll be encouraging your pupil to turn near side to near side.