Learning to Drive: Emerging at Junctions

Jamie Daly - 2022-01-11
Learning to Drive: Emerging at Junctions img

Part 4 of the Learning to Drive series, Emerging at Junctions is all about taking it slow and Controlling Your Speed. If you emerge too fast, you may do so unsafely. Leave yourself enough time to properly Observe at a junction.

Learning to Drive: Roads & Priority

Main & Minor Roads

  • Main Road - Cars on this road have Priority.
  • Minor Road - Cars on this road have to wait for on the main road to pass.

NOTE: Vehicles with priority do not have to stop for those without it, but be weary of cars disobeying that rule   Emerging When you emerge from a junction, you will be moving from a Minor Road to a Main Road.  


  • 1) Slowly approach the junction and indicate Left or Right, depending on which way you intend to turn.
  • 2) Look around for any signs Indicating to Give way Or Stop

Note: A Give way sign means traffic on the road you wish to enter has priority. You must wait and allow them to pass. A Stop sign means you must stop when you meet the edge of the junction.

  • 3) Position your car left for left turns & next to the centre line for right turns.
  • 4) Begin observing traffic coming from the right (for left turns) and both directions (for right turns). If the main road is clear continue onward.
  • 5) If the main road is not clear, stop, enter 1st gear and wait with the biting point set.
  • 6) Turning Left - continue observing traffic approaching from the right and wait for an appropriate gap to emerge.
  • 7) Turning Right - continue observing traffic approaching from both directions, wait for an appropriate gap to emerge.
  • 8) Whilst stationary check the centre mirror for any passing pedestrians. Once space is available on the main road, perform a 6 point check and proceed onward.
  • 9) Follow the pavement round for left turns & drive onto the left hand side of the main road for right turns.


Obeying Stop Signs - Stop signs must be obeyed but can be easily missed if you're only focusing on what's immediately in front of you.  


Leave Space - On your test you will naturally drive cautiously. Therefore, you will unlikely emerge onto a road if the approaching traffic is too close.  

InsureLearnerDriver HELPFUL TIP

Slow down to a crawl at every junction, even if seemingly clear. If something does suddenly appear, you won't have to abruptly stop for it.  


Learning to Drive: Road Issues


If there is an obstruction at the end of the junction, you may need to position your car at an angle for the turn.

If you are turning left on a Tight Road, do not position yourself too far left. Otherwise, you may hit the pavement as you emerge.

Edging Out You should only emerge when you are not going to cause oncoming traffic to suddenly Slow Down or Change Direction. Emerging to turn right may take longer than emerging to turn left, as you have to wait for both sides of the road to be clear. If you've been held at the junction for a long time, you can ask your instructor whether or not you can Edge Out. Wait for clear traffic to the right, then edge out onto the main road. If oncoming traffic can come to a comfortable, slow, halt, then edging out is fine, however please confirm with your instructor or examiner if they feel it is appropriate.  

How To Emerge From A Busy Junction...

  Cross Roads Crossroads are where a driver must cross a main road to reach another minor road. Like previously, you should slow down on approach to the junction and observe both directions for any traffic. You should not indicate if you intend to go on straight. Once traffic is clear from both directions, you can cross the main road.

If the view is blocked and you cannot see whether there is any oncoming traffic, stop and slowly edge out. Use the Reflection of surrounding parked cars to see if any vehicles are approaching.

Additionally, if a car on the other side of the junction does not drive on, the main road may not be clear of oncoming traffic. Turning At Cross Roads When two cars on opposing junctions both want to turn right, you will need to use a nearside or off side turn. Nearside to Nearside is suggested when the junctions are Level.     Off side to Off side is suggested when the two junctions are Staggered.

Box Junctions Box Junctions are marked by yellow cross hatched lines inside a large box. At a box junction, you cannot enter the box unless the path ahead is clear of all obstructions. You can enter and wait if you want to turn right, and are only stoppedby oncoming traffic, or by other vehicles waiting to turn right. < Read Part 3 - Approaching JunctionsRead Part 5 - Meeting Traffic >

'Learning to Drive' series - full lesson list