Turning right at a junction
In this article
Why is it hard to turn right at a junction?
Turning right at a junction is generally harder than turning left. You need to give way to oncoming traffic, wait for a safe gap, and complete your turn without getting stuck in the middle of the junction.
Turning right at a junction on your driving test
At some point on your driving test, you will have to turn right at a junction. For example, you may have to turn right from a major road onto a minor road or turn right from a minor road onto a major road. In either case, you will have to cross traffic which increases the chances of an accident occurring.
Why is it important?
Take extra precautions when turning right as you’ll be crossing the path of oncoming traffic and you do not have priority. If you misjudge the speed and distance of another road user when crossing their path, it could cause a serious accident or collision.
What does the driving examiner expect from you?
- Use of the MSPSL routine
- Use the ‘walk across drive across’ rule to assess the speed of oncoming traffic
- Turn right without making another road user slow down, swerve or stop
- To leave the cycle box, pedestrian crossing and the junction free if you’re unable to clear the area
- Effective all-around observation of both the road ahead and the new road you’re entering
- Accurate steering so as not to inconvenience other road users in the road you will be entering
- Position your vehicle correctly when waiting to turn right to allow following traffic to pass if there’s enough space
- Blocking the pedestrian crossing
- Blocking the path on oncoming traffic
- Getting stuck at the intersection at traffic light controlled crossings
- Pulling out into the path on an oncoming vehicle
- Failing to give way to oncoming traffic
- Turning right from a major road into a minor road without looking at the new road first
- Cutting the corner when there is no good reason to
- Blocking following traffic with poor positioning
Tips for turning right on your driving test
- When turning right at a set of traffic lights, avoid blocking the pedestrian crossing or cycle box when the lights are green and other vehicles ahead of you are waiting to turn right. You will fail your driving test if you’re on the pedestrian crossing or in the cycle box when the lights change from green to red.
- Wait behind the solid white line if the lights turn green and your exit is blocked. If your exit is blocked and your cross the solid white line, you could get stuck in the intersection and block oncoming traffic. Always check the new road to see if your exit is clear before making progress.
- When looking for a safe gap to join a major road, look right to the end of the new road in both directions. This is important as you need a complete picture of the road before emerging.
- Short, shallow looks can be dangerous, as you could miss a road user at the end of the road that you then impede when you move off.
- Make sure there’s a gap in traffic in both directions before turning right from a minor road onto a major road. You will pick up a serious or dangerous fault if you fail to look in both directions or if you make traffic in either direction slow down or give way to you.
- If you are unsure whether a gap in traffic is large enough for you to turn, use the walk across drive across rule to assess the speed and distance of the other vehicles. This is the cornerstone of effective observation.
- If a pedestrian can walk across the road in the time it takes for you to turn, it’s safe to make progress. However, if a pedestrian can’t walk across the road in the time it takes for you to turn, it’s unsafe to proceed.
- When turning right from a major road onto a minor road, you must look ahead and to your right before you turn. Look ahead to find a suitable gap in oncoming traffic, and look to your right to ensure the entrance to the new road is clear before you turn.
- When turning right, you must be able to cross the path of oncoming traffic and enter the new road without impeding another vehicle or pedestrian.
- If you turn without making the necessary observations or impede another road user as you turn, your test will come to an end.
- Cyclists and motorcyclists are considered vulnerable road users. Look out for them when you’re waiting to turn right, as they’re harder to see and easily hidden by larger vehicles.
- If you spot an oncoming rider, wait until they have passed before completing your turn.
- Do not block following traffic when waiting to turn right. If there’s enough space for following traffic to continue ahead, position your vehicle in a way that allows this to happen.
- If you position your vehicle too far to the left and block other road users, your test will come to an end.
- If possible, when waiting to turn right, position your vehicle within the hatch markings and if there aren’t any markings, position your vehicle left of the centre line if safe.
- Give way to oncoming vehicles and pedestrians already crossing the road when you’re waiting to turn right. Remember, whenever you cross traffic, you are not the priority. You will fail your test if you do not give way when required.
- Don’t cut the corner when turning right from a major road onto a minor road if there are no obstructions in the new road. You’ll pick up a serious or dangerous fault if you cut the corner or impede another road user as you turn.
- You can cut the corner when you turn if you spot an obstruction near the entrance of the minor road; however, you must look into the new road first before turning. Leave a 1-metre gap between the obstruction and your vehicle when you turn.
- If the road is wide enough, position your vehicle left of the centre line when turning right from a minor road onto a major road. You will fail your driving test if you block following traffic from turning left or continuing straight ahead. Likewise, you will pick up a serious fault if you position your vehicle on the left-hand side when you’re turning right.