Essential Driving Skills

Right Turns


Get into the habit of using the mirror-signal-manoeuvre( MSM) routine early when approaching junctions or any other hazards such as obstructions in the road.

When turning right you must keep a constant look-out for other road users. Doing this will help to ensure that you have all the information you need to make the correct decisions about your intended actions. You must watch out for pedestrians crossing the road into which you are turning, if they have started to cross they have priority and you must therefore give way to them

Remember, at all times that the junction (be it a T-Junction or a Right Turn) is one of the biggest potential hazards a driver can face which is why it is extremely important that your speed on approach is such that you will be able to comfortably stop on approach to give way, important also because pedestrians might cross without checking to see if it is safe to do so, they might also be obscured by parked cars

You will use your mirrors to assess what is behind you, signal as appropriate, for the manoeuvre you will position your car correctly in other words as close to the centre of the road as is safe. You will reduce your speed and be prepared to stop if necessary and then look in all directions at the earliest point from which you can see clearly and keep looking as you slow down or stop.

Once you have stopped at the junction you will select 1st gear and consider applying the handbrake. Sometimes your visions might be obscured in which case, and if appropriate to do so, you will have to inch carefully forward to see more and remember, if another pedestrian or vehicle is not in your zone of vision, you’re not usually in theirs.

Wait until there is a safe gap between you and any oncoming vehicle. If you have difficulty in assessing how far away an approaching car is away from you try to put yourself in the position of a pedestrian. As a pedestrian - would you consider that there is time to cross the road? If there is sufficient time as a pedestrian then there is obviously sufficient time for your car to cross.

Check your side mirror for anyone who might be overtaking you before you turn (especially cyclists or motorbikes). Give way to pedestrians crossing any road you are turning into. Watch out for those with their backs to you. They may not have seen or heard you and could walk into the road without looking. If you position correctly on a wide road, following vehicles should be able to pass on your left side.

The main danger when turning right is from oncoming vehicles. Wait until they have passed the junction before proceeding. Don't be afraid to stop when you reach the point of your turn if it is not safe. When the way is clear move away smartly and do not cause an obstruction. Try to look as much as possible into the road into which you are turning and avoid cutting the corner because another vehicle could be approaching the junction.

The Driving Test

The examiner on the driving test will expect you to:-

1. Use the MSM routine in good time
2. Brake gently and in good time
3. Position your vehicle correctly - Choose the correct lane where there are lane markings and in a one-way street
4. Look for obstructions, traffic and pedestrians
5. Look out for signs and road markings indicating priorites
6. Assess the speed of traffic.