Sunday, 17 November 2013

Approaching Junctions to Turn Right (Major Road to Minor Road)

This is very similar to turning left with just a couple of differences, the principle one being that there is the possibility of having to give way to oncoming traffic.

Mirror – look at the inside and right mirrors
Signal – always signal, even if you can’t see anyone
Position – move to just left of centre, or as close to the centre as is safe if you are in a narrow road.
Speed – as with turning left, most of the time you will be at 10-15 mph and in 2nd gear when turning if there is nothing to give way to. If there is something to give way to, naturally you will need 1st. The turning point and stop position are the same; halfway across the side road. Make sure your clutch is fully up before you turn. If it is down (coasting) you can’t brake as effectively or accelerate at all and the car may drift wide around the corner.
Look – you will be able to plan more effectively and make a better decision if you start assessing the junction and looking at oncoming traffic as you start slowing down. Just before you turn, check the inside and right mirrors again, look ahead for vehicles and into the side road for any hazards. Turn when you can do so without affecting oncoming traffic. After entering the new road, have another look in the inside mirror to see what has followed you into it.

Common Faults

Looking down the new road as you turn into it will help you steer accurately. 

The speed should reduce gradually on approach rather than braking harshly at the last moment or too early so that you have to accelerate a bit to reach the side road.

Leaving the clutch down as you turn can feel safer but, as you are not in control of the car when it is down, it is anything but. 

If you turn too early, you will be partly on the wrong side of the new road (cutting the corner), risking an accident with anyone who is approaching, even if you can’t see them when you start turning. Make sure you are level with the centre of the new road when you start turning.

After turning, if you are too late to straighten the car, you will find yourself heading towards the wrong side of the road. You need to start straightening the steering wheel just before the car is straight. All you are doing is changing the wheels from pointing right to pointing straight. You will still have enough right lock just before the end of the turn to complete it.