Turning left at a junction
In this article
Turning left: Minor to major road
If you slow down more than you have to, following vehicles could think you are pulling over or pulling into a driveway. Pedestrians could also assume the same thing and cross the junction or walk out in front of your vehicle.
Avoid slamming the brakes on the approach to a left turn. You need to give following traffic time to respond to your change of speed, so slow down progressively and always use the MSM routine.
When turning left from a minor road on to a major road, you should follow the curve of the kerb, to ensure you do end up on the wrong side of the road, or impede oncoming traffic in the new road
To avoid hitting the nearside kerb when turning left from a minor road on to a major road, keep your right foot relatively still, accelerating only when the vehicle and its tyres are straight in the new road
To avoid hitting the nearside kerb when turning left from a minor road onto a major road, steer back when the vehicle is roughly three-quarters of the way around the corner. This will ensure the vehicle is straight and in the middle of its lane
When turning left from a minor road on to a major road. you should angle your vehicle to the left of the junction. Steer to the left as the vehicle’s windscreen pillar lines up with the start of the corner
if you fail to angle your vehicle to the left, you could end up on the wrong side of the road when you turn into the new road. Steer to the left as vehicle’s windscreen pillar, lines up with the start of the corner
Turning left: Major to minor road
When turning left from a major road into a minor road, you should follow the curve of the kerb to ensure you do end up on the wrong side of the road, or impede oncoming traffic in the new road
When turning left or right from a major road into a minor road, it is important to plan ahead and look into the new road before turning. If you spot a pedestrian crossing at the junction of the new road, be prepared for any vehicles ahead of you to stop suddenly. If you are the lead vehicle in this scenario, be prepared to stop for any pedestrians on or waiting at the crossing.
Turning left on your driving test
You will need to turn left at a junction on your driving test. Although easier than turning right, you still need to be aware of your surroundings as there could be hazards and obstructions that could require you to take evasive action.
Why is it important?
You need to be extra careful when joining the path of approaching traffic and look out for hidden dangers when turning left onto a minor road.
What does the driving examiner expect from you?
- Use of the MSM routine.
- For you to turn left without making another road user slow down, swerve or stop.
- Accurate steering so as not to inconvenience other road users in the road you will be entering.
- Accurate steering so as not to get too close to parked vehicles and obstructions in the new road
- Turning too wide.
- Failing to spot cyclists filtering in slow-moving traffic.
- Getting too close to parked vehicles on the new road.
- Preventing an oncoming vehicle from emerging on a narrow road.
- When turning left from a minor road onto a major road, look left to check for obstructions and hazards in the new road. If you spot an obstruction, aim to finish in the middle of the road when you turn. You will fail your driving test if you turn left without completing this observation.
- When turning left from a major road onto a minor road in slow-moving traffic, look out for cyclists filtering on your left-hand side.
- Keep checking your centre mirror and left door mirror as you approach your point of turn. Doing so will help you spot any filtering cyclists.
- If there are no obstructions in the new road, you must finish on the left-hand side of the road when you turn left.
- You could fail your driving test if you swing out and finish on the right-hand side of the road or if you impede another road user in the process of turning left.
- If there is an obstruction in the new road – for example, a parked car, a skip or road works – you must leave a 1-metre gap between your vehicle and the obstruction. In this situation, aim to finish in the middle of the road once you’ve turned.
- Reducing your speed and selecting the right gear before you turn can help you keep control of your vehicle and reduce the chances of you ending up on the other side of the road.