Turning Right at Junctions

Turning right at junctions is potentially one of the most dangerous driving manoeuvres. Positioning gives more challenges and more care needs to be taken with observation. This exercise usually poses more problems for the beginner as there are many more opportunities for making errors.
Turning right onto a major road

Turning Right onto a Major Road

The approach sequence is basically the same as that used for turning left, the signal and position of course, being the differing factor (fig. 5). After you check your mirrors and signal, you will normally take up your position which means moving to just left of the centre-line. But this is not always done. On fairly narrow roads you should stay nearer to the left to leave room for other vehicles that may be turning in. You must also remember that a line of parked cars along the right-hand side of the street can turn an otherwise normal width road into a narrow lane Moving over to the right here can create a very small if not impassable gap to oncoming traffic (fig. 6).Turning right from a narrow road

On roads where space is available to move over to the right, ensure that you use your right-hand door mirror before moving over. When you are being followed by another vehicle, even after signalling there is no guarantee that an impatient driver will not attempt to pass you, more so when you are travelling at what the other motorist may consider to be an unnecessarily slow speed.

Turning too Early

Now you know what to do on the approach; but what happens at the junction itself? A common fault among all drivers is turning too early. If something appears after you have partly emerged which causes you to stop, your car is then in a position which narrows the opening making it very difficult for the approaching vehicle to enter the road should they wish to do so (fig. 7).

Turning too early at a junctionTo avoid this, you must refrain from steering until you begin to cross the give-way lines. Just how far forward will depend on the width of the road you are entering. Sometimes though you may find a parked obstruction directly opposite the junction; in this case, the steering would naturally have to be done earlier to ensure adequate clearance is given to the other vehicle as you emerge.

Turning Right into a Side Road

Turning right from a major road into a side road, the same rules on positioning govern the approach; left Turning right into a side roadof centre on roads where space is available (fig. 8), keeping more to the left when the road is narrow.

The same advice on pedestrians crossing the junction and traffic emerging from the road as given for left turns should be followed. The main difference with this type of turn is the likelihood of oncoming traffic. This has priority over you and you must give way to it before you complete the turn. However, if the way is clear or there is a safe gap in any approaching traffic, the turn may be carried out without stopping.

Cutting Corners

If you need to give way, you should stop with the front of your car level with or just before the centre of the side road. That is the point at which the turn should begin. You should turn at the centre-line to make sure you do not ‘cut’ the corner as you turn.

Cutting cornersIf a corner is cut when the view into the road is restricted (Fig. 9a), or the road is narrowed by parked cars near the junction (Fig. 9b), the error would certainly be serious or even dangerous. The only time a corner should be cut is when there are parked cars etc. on the left-hand side of the minor road which are very close to the mouth of the junction (Fig. 9c). In this case, the corner has to be cut in order to give adequate clearance to the obstruction but should still be done with a great deal of caution.

Practising Right Turns

Advice for right turns is basically the same as that given for left turns; choose a quiet area where you will not meet conditions which would prove difficult. Preferably the roads used for the first few right turns should be fairly wide so as to make steering and positioning less of a problem.

Turning Right onto a Major Road

The first turn you are going to make is on to a major road. The road is of reasonable width and the approach is clear. Here is the sequence of events you need to follow:

  • Check mirrors, indicate right
  • If safe move over near to the centre-line
  • Ease off the gas, cover brake and cover clutch
  • Check mirrors, then keep looking left and right
  • Gently brake, clutch down and stop at the lines, keep your feet still.

If the road is level you need only move off again when safe. But if there is any suspicion of a slope you should apply the parking brake, set the gas, and bring the clutch to biting point. When you are ready to move on again, in addition to the normal right-left-right looks; ensure that you take a final mirror check on your right. In the time it takes you to get ready, a cyclist could easily come up alongside you.

Turning Right into a Side Road

The next turn is into a side road, imagine there are parked cars on the right on the approach, and that there is an oncoming car:

  • Check mirrors, indicate right, but keep to your normal position because the other cars make the road narrow
  • Ease off the gas, cover brake and cover clutch
  • Keep looking ahead and into the junction.

If you can turn comfortably before or after the vehicle then do so. If you are in any doubt about the space available, then you should stop when level with the centre-line of the side road.

Waiting at the Junction

Having stopped, prepare for moving on again. Use the parking brake if the wait is for more than a few seconds or there is a gradient. If you do have to wait for a longer period, keep looking into the road as well as watching oncoming traffic as the situation may change. Pedestrians may arrive who want to cross the road or another vehicle may come along the side road preventing you from entering.

We will assume, however, that the road is level and the wait a short one. When you are ready for setting off and the way is clear, then continue:

  • Check mirrors and set the gas
  • Slowly bring the clutch up till the car moves, keep your feet still and steer quickly to the right
  • Straighten your steering when you are through the turn, and smoothly bring the clutch up fully
  • Check your mirrors and gently increase the gas
  • Take your foot away from the clutch.

Moving On

Up to now you should have been stopping at give way lines to give yourself time to practise control and observation. As your control improves however; you should then move on to the next step of continuing to emerge without stopping when it is safe to do so. Where the view is very limited, it is still a good idea to stop until your control improves. In time you can learn to drop into first gear and use clutch control to slowly creep forward.

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