Any point where two or more roads meet is referred to as a junction and it includes T-junctions, crossroads, roundabout etc. To deal with all junctions safely, you will need to apply the MSPSL or hazard routine:
Â· Mirrors – check your mirrors to assess the speed and position of traffic behind you.
Signal – if necessary, you signal to warn other road users what you intend doing, give the correct signal.
Position – take up the correct position for the manoeuvre you are about to undertake.
Speed – select the suitable gear and speed for the manoeuvre you are about to undertake.
Look – look to see if it is safe to continue.Â
Approaching Junction to Turn Right
This is when you are leaving a main road to turn into a side road, gateways, or other entrances on your right. In approaching junction to turn right, use the MSPSL or hazard routine as follows:
Â Mirrors â€“ After identifying the road you want to turn into, the first thing to do is to check your mirrors. Check the interior and right door mirrors (in that order). The interior mirror gives you a picture of what is happening well behind, whilst the right door mirror will tell you whether there is any immediate problem close behind and to the right. You are doing this to make sure that it is safe to slow down and turn.Â
Signal â€“ After checking your mirrors and you have ascertained that it is safe to turn, give a right indicator signal. Signal in good time, but not too early, so you do not mislead or confuse other road users and you are signalling for other road users to recognise your intentions. If there are other side roads to the right before the junction you want to turn into, take particular care in timing your signal.Â
Position â€“ After signalling, move into position. For right turn, maintain your safe driving line or normal driving position, which is about a metre from the kerb or edge of road. The only exception to the â€˜normalâ€™ safe driving line positioning would be if you were turning into a very narrow road, entrance or gateway, and where there are obstructions (parked vehicles). In this type of situation you may need to swing out. For very sharp turns you might need to move closer to the centre of the road.Â
Speed â€“ Once in position to turn, you will need to adjust your speed. Start to slow the car down to a speed that will allow you to safely negotiate the turn, by easing off the accelerator pedal, and use your footbrake in good time so that traffic behind have enough time to react to your brake light signals. Select the gear most appropriate for the speed you are travelling, and for most right turns, the second gear would be the most appropriate, except where your view is restricted or an extremely tight turn, you might need the first gear.Â
Look â€“ Finally, make sure it is safe to turn, by checking into the new road to assess how clear the junction is, and look out for parked vehicles or pedestrians who could be crossing the road. You should be aware of any motorcyclist or tricycle (Keke) who may try passing you on the right. Just before you make the turn, check your interior mirror and right door mirror again, then take a final look into the side road to make sure it is still safe to turn. Your point of turn is when the front of your vehicle reaches the corner and steer smoothly to follow the line of the corner. After you have turned, make sure that your signal is cancelled and check your mirrors again to check the new situation behind you before increasing speed and making progress. You need to ensure that no one is trying to overtake.
In next weekâ€™s article we shall be discussing approaching junctions to turn left using the Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed and Look routine (M-S-P-S-L routine). For further explanations or clarification on the articles in the Essential Skills of Driving column, consult the author.
Stephen K. Dieseruvwe
Director General, Delta State Traffic Management Authority (DESTMA)
**Driver Trainer and Road Safety Consultant