Objectives: You should be able to identify uncontrolled and controlled crossroads. Use the MSPSL routine on the approach. You should be able to proceed ahead, to the left and to the right from both major and minor roads, under control and with due regard and safety for other road users.
The Four Main types of Cross Roads
There are four types of cross roads that you may come across. Below, we have listed all four with pictures and descriptions, so you’ll be able to tell the difference while on your driving lesson.
Uncontrolled cross road
These are the most dangerous. Nobody has priority. You must make eye contact with all approaching road users. If in doubt, hold back.
Controlled cross road
These will either have a giveway line or occasionally a stop line. It is important to stop and apply your handbrake if necessary before you observe at STOP Junctions. You should be extra careful when emerging out of a STOP junction too, as visibility is usually restricted.
Traffic light controlled cross road
On the approach look out for the appropriate lane for the direction you want to go. Try to get into that lane as early as possible. If you have to stop at the lights, remember to check your door mirror(s) before moving off. Sometimes motor cyclists and cyclists can catch you up. When you are changing direction, it’s always a good idea to look in all directions first just incase someone has jumped the lights or the lights are not working.
Cross road with yellow box junction
You shouldn’t enter a box junction unless your exit is clear. Unless you want to turn right but you are prevented from turning right by oncoming traffic. Look ahead early and try to work out if the vehicle in front of you is going to not only clear the box junction but leave enough room for you to go behind without sitting in the box junction.
Dealing with Cross roads from a major road:
When you are on a major road, ensure you glance right and left for any vehicles pulling out in front of you.
If you have to turn right and another car wants to turn right at the same time, try to follow the offside to offside rule explained below. If the roads are small or narrow then you may have to do the nearside to nearside rule, again this is explained a little bit later.
When it comes to crossing traffic on 30mph roads – remember the rule: If you can walk across – drive across. If you’re unsure about turning right, then take a look at: Turning right from a major to minor road.
Dealing with crossroads from the minor road:
The routine you should use on the approach is MSPSL again. Everything remains the same as a normal ’emerging at T-Junction’ situation except for the ‘Look’ .
Where to Look at Crossroads: The minimum observations required at any cross road is right, left, ahead and then right before you pull out. In many instances where visibility may be restricted, you may need to repeat those observations.
The difference between the offside and nearside rule:
Offside to offside explained
This is the safest way of turning right the same time as another road user. If the cross roads are wide enough you can usually pass the other vehicle wanting to turn right and turn behind each other.
Nearside to nearside
This is more dangerous because you are turning before each other. You would usually only do this if you can see down the road you are turning into fully. In the event that you can’t see fully into the minor road, then it’s best to make eye contact with the other road user and try and work out who is going to turn first. If in doubt hold back.