Lesson Plan 4 - Emerging
This will mainly be when you are leaving a minor road to join a main road to turn left, right or possibly needing to cross a main road ahead (at crossroads). Where the junction is not light controlled you will have either 'Give Way' markings or a 'Stop' sign.
Look out for advance warning signs.
Where there is a Give Way sign you must give way to traffic on the main road. If on approach you can clearly see it is safe to emerge then you can do so without stopping. (If in doubt, don't pull out!)
Where there is a Stop sign, you must stop at the line.
Emerging at T-Junctions
Interior/left if turning left -
Interior/right for turning right.
Left or right.
For a standard left keep to the left (follow kerb around to the left).
If turning right, position to the centre of the road.
Approach slowly enough to allow you to stop smoothly if it's not clear to go. If the give way is open enough that you can clearly see early on the approach that it is safe to emerge, generally approach in second gear. You will find that most T-junctions need to be approached very slowly to allow you enough time to check properly when clear to emerge, therefore you should select first gear. You must stop where a junction has a Stop sign.
Look out for pedestrians who may be wanting to cross, check on the main road to your right - to your left and back again to your right to double check it's clear (look out for parked cars which may move off as you emerge. Cyclists and motorcyclists can be hard to spot. Keep re-assessing both ways if busy.
Joining New Road Safely
To emerge safely you must do so where any traffic, including cyclists, are not forced to change speed or direction because of your actions. Be aware of any pedestrians crossing the road.
If a driver flashes their headlights this may be an indication that they are willing to allow you to pull out, however the true meaning of flashing lights is 'a warning of presence', so make sure that they are not intended for someone else. If you are sure they are intended for you then make sure it is clear in all directions before merging.
Once You Have Joined a New Road
Check your mirrors and make progress by building up your speed suitable for the road and conditions.
Obstructions on Main Road
If you emerge onto a road that has obstructions (parked cars) then you may need to creep forward to improve your view. Lean forward in your seat and have your clutch just at or close to the biting point to control your speed. Be extra mindful of pedestrians crossing the road from behind the parked cars.
If you emerge onto a road that has no Give Way markings or you have double broken lines all the way across the road you are leaving do not assume you are exiting a one-way and position yourself for a two-way road as on diagram.
Emerging Out of a One-Way Street
Try to get in the correct lane early for the exit you wish to take. Keep to the left for turning left and move over to the right for turning right as on diagram.
Emerging at Junctions Where There Are Parked Cars
Position where there will be enough room for traffic turning into the road you are leaving. Try not to get unnecessarily close to parked cars (obstructions). You may need to approach more slowly.
Emerging Out of Narrow Roads - Entrances
Keeping to the left may lead to the back wheels running over the kerb. It is also possible you may swing out too much in the new road.
Move further to the centre of the road you are leaving. Steer left just before the Give Way / Stop lines to help avoid swinging too wide.
Emerging at Crossroads
Working Out Priority
Traffic on the main road will have priority as usual. The easiest way of working out priority over traffic opposite is to think of yourself when driving on a main road you have priority for the direction you are taking until cutting across traffic's path (turning right you need to give way to oncoming traffic). Therefore you should give way to traffic opposite when turning right as you will be cutting across their path.
This diagram below is showing an example of following the road ahead. The yellow car has priority.
No signal confirms you intend to go straight ahead.
When going ahead face car to the left of the road you are entering (if the crossroads are not staggered then your position should stay the same.)
Slow down enough to check all roads. If in doubt don't pull out.
Look right then left, back to your right and straight ahead.
Traffic on the main road has priority as usual - check ahead for emerging traffic and see if it is clear to enter (pedestrians etc).
Parked Cars (Obstructions)
Parked cars (obstructions) may block your view of approaching traffic on the main road which has priority over you. Drivers emerging opposite (blue car) could have a clear view so be aware that they may not pull out before you even when you have priority! Where possible you should try to get eye contact with the driver on the opposite side of the crossroads to try to work out their intentions.
- They may not have spotted you
- They may wave you on (make sure you still check the main road is clear before emerging)
Both Turning Right, Equal Priority
Where both you and the driver opposite intend on turning right no-one can assume priority as you are both doing the same thing. You need to work out the safest way of emerging. If you emerge onto the main road at the same time your options are to emerge nearside to nearside or offside to offside (see diagram below).
As you are both doing the same thing then it will be equal priority therefore you will need to decide whether it is best to pass.
Nearside to Nearside or Offside to Offside
Nearside to Nearside
(With the left side of your car passing the left side of the other vehicle).
Check which way the wheels are facing on the vehicle opposite to see if the driver has turned them to the right which would give an indication of their intention to emerge Nearside to Nearside as shown on the right hand side diagram. (Be careful the driver does not block your view of any traffic on main road.) Bikes in particular could be hidden from view.
Offside to Offside
(With your right side of your car passing the right side of the other vehicle).
This is normally a better option where the crossroads is staggered. Again you could look at the car opposite for an indication of their intentions as straight wheels would make it more likely the driver intends to emerge offside to offside.
Never assume priority over another road if there are no road signs or markings. Another vehicle may expect you to give way to them, they may misjudge your speed, or not see you at all! Approach the crossroads with caution, being prepared to give way if necessary.
Yellow criss-cross lines mark a box junction. The purpose is to keep traffic clear by preventing traffic stopping in the path of crossing traffic. You must not enter a box junction unless your exit road is clear. When turning right it is OK to enter the box when you are only prevented from turning by oncoming traffic.
For emerging at light controlled junctions see Traffic Lights.