Learn to Drive

Driving lesson 8. Dealing with busier junctions

Once you have mastered the routine for approaching and emerging from simpler junctions on quiet roads, with little or no support from your instructor, it’s time to move onto dealing with junctions with much more traffic. In particular, you will learn how to cross or join moderately busy traffic streams as you emerge from or enter junctions on roads with varying speed restrictions. This lesson will also be used to further develop your use of the hazard drill as you encounter busier traffic situations.

Lesson objectives
By the end of this lesson you should be able to:

  • Explain the importance of timing your approach, assessing gaps in the traffic and having the confidence and ability to move away quickly;
  • Time your approach to the junction so that you can emerge or cross the path of oncoming traffic safely without the need to stop, where the situation permits;
  • Position for maximum vision and safety at junctions with restricted sight-lines;
  • Judge the speed and distance of approaching traffic and in particular to determine the size of gap necessary to join or cross traffic streams without impeding the progress of other road users;
  • Move away briskly from side roads into the major road and from major roads into the side road when a safe opportunity arises.

Subject brief
In the previous lesson we concentrated on using the hazard drill as we approached and turned into side roads or emerged from them. In this lesson we look at how we emerge from busier junctions.

Emerging at busier junctions
Before you can emerge into a major road with traffic streams you will need to find a gap in the traffic sufficient to build up your speed to theirs either from the right when turning left or from the left when turning right.

When turning right you will also need a gap to appear in the traffic from the right sufficient to give you time to cross over to the left hand side of the major road. The gap from the right needs to appear at the same time as the gap in the traffic from the left. The gap from the right need not be as long as the one from the left as you are only crossing over to the left side of the road.

If your view of the junction is obscured by parked vehicles continue to creep forward slowly until you can obtain a view as in the example shown.

Emerging at Y junctions
The procedure for approaching and emerging from Y junctions is basically the same as T junctions. However, the position of the vehicle may need to be slightly different just prior to emerging to make emerging safer and extra observations must be taken as the pillars of the car may obscure your view and may cause you to miss something small like a motorcycle.


Highway code practical references
Rules: 211.