As a learner driver, an important lesson to learn is who has right of way at crossroads. Your driving instructor will go through everything with you, but in the meantime, here’s a helpful aide memoire.
Approaching crossroads to turn from a main road
The traffic on the main carriageway always has priority at crossroads.
However, when approaching crossroads on a main road, if traffic is emerging from either side road to cross your path, you must stop, even though you have priority.
If you’re turning right into a side road, you might also find an oncoming vehicle that also wants to turn right. In this case, vehicles usually turn near-side to near-side and neither party has priority.
Emerging at crossroads
Side roads meeting a main road at a crossroads are marked with dashed give-way lines. These lines mean that you MUST stop before proceeding.
Turning left and right at crossroads is exactly the same as at ‘T’ junctions and is relatively straightforward. The priority is with the traffic on the major road and you must wait until your way is clear and you have plenty of time to pull out safely. However, you should be ready to take advantage of vehicles slowing down to turn into the side road opposite you.
Right turning traffic should give way to oncoming traffic, although you should never assume that another driver will comply and always proceed with caution. A general rule of thumb is that the driver to arrive at the crossroads first would usually proceed first.
Emerging at staggered crossroads can be tricky as the priority between vehicles may not be clear, even though it is essentially the same, so you should exercise particular caution.
In the case of unmarked crossroads, neither is regarded as the major road, so proceed with extreme caution and always be prepared to stop. The priority of oncoming vehicles remains unchanged but you should never assume that the other driver will observe this.
To learn more about rights of way and other important information, get in touch with us today and find out how our instructors can help you!