How to emerge at a T-Junction

Intermediate 5 minute read 2 years ago

How to identify an open T-Junction

On the approach you may see road signs and/or markings on the road to help direct you/guide you.

Another telltale sign you have an open T-Junction coming up is vehicles ahead passing and you should also be able to look left and right quite early on and see potential traffic on the major road straight away.

Other terms to describe an Open t-Junction are Clear T-Junctions and good visibility t-Junctions. Open T-Junctions are considered to be easier than closed T-Junctions as you can observe the potential traffic both ways early on. When visibility is restricted this is know as a closed T-Junction.

Applying the MSPSL routine for turning left at a T-Junction:

Mirrors: Check your interior mirror and left door mirror in good time. Remember these are the minimum checks. For example; In slow moving traffic you may need to check the mirrors more than once.

Signal: Apply your left signal in good time. Not too early (look out for side roads) not too late.

Position: Adjust your vehicle position so you are roughly a 1-2 feet away from the kerb. On narrow roads this may be slightly less.

Speed: You should always use the brake pedal to slow down not the gears. Start slowing down gradually and once you have identified it’s safe to go, then select a lower gear to pull away. As a general rule you will leave open T-Junctions doing anything between 5-15mph so it’s likely you will be moving away in 2nd gear out of these junctions.

Observations: Minimum observations for T-Junctions are right, left, right before emerging.

You should never emerge out onto the major road unless your visibility is good and you are 100% sure it’s safe. Avoid staring in one direction for a long period of time. Keep your head agile. As the junction is open, it makes sense to observe both sides nice and early. Based on the activity you see in the major road will determine how much you slow down. If the junction is clear there is no reason to stop if you are an advanced learner.

Emerging at closed T-Junctions

On the approach you you may see signs and/or road markings. If the junction is really closed you may even see a STOP sign.

Closed T-Junctions means the visibility is restricted on the approach so you will often see houses/trees blocking your view. These tell, tell signs early on should help you understand your approach will need to be slower and 9/10 slow down enough for first gear 1-2 car lengths away from the new road.

Other terms used to describe Closed T-Junctions are; Blind T-Junctions, Restricted visibility/view.

How to apply the MSPSL routine for closed T-Junction turning left

Mirrors: Always check your interior mirror and your left door mirror in good time. Look out for vehicles following too close or trying to overtake. Also be aware of cyclists that may catch you up in slow moving traffic.

Signal: Apply your left signal in good time. Not too early (look out for side roads) not too late.

Position: Closed T-Junctions are normally have quite a narrow approach meaning you may not be able to move over to the left anymore. If it’s possible, position approximately 1 foot away from the kerb.

Speed: You will need to slow down to at least 5mph before being able to decide wherever you can leave the junction. In most cases you will have to slow down to 1-2mph. Once your vehicle speed is less than 5mph, choose first gear so you are ready to go. Avoid putting the clutch down too early on the approach (coasting). You will need good clutch control to help you emerge the car slowly enough to improve your view.

Look: Minimum observations is right, left, right. As your view is blind you will need to repeat these observations and emerge very slowly until you are sure you can see both sides clearly. A term used to help you understand the importance of looking frequently both ways is “Tennis match observations” another term your instructor may use whilst teaching you is “Use the peep and creep technique” This means moving the car very slowly using clutch control and looking regularly both ways.

You may see parked cars blocking your view which means you will need move out slowly to improve your view. Never emerge fully unless you are sure it’s clear. If you don’t know, don’t go!

Always look into the road just before you emerge. Look out for pedestrians, immediate parked cars and more.

Top Tips

It’s very common when turning left at blind T-Junctions to look right then only look left when the car goes into new road. Many times you will get away with this, but now and again something will be there like a parked car or a pedestrian about to walk out. On your test you’ll fail and in real life you’ll have a serious accident. Be sure to do the minimum observations for T-Junctions: right, left, right and then look into road before you emerge into it!

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You should be able to identify a T-Junction on the approach and apply the MSPSL routine in good time to safely observe, judge and handle the vehicle onto the major road.

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