Most traffic collisions happen at road junctions. This is because they are the most common place where motor vehicles and other road users come into close proximity with each other.

Mirrors-Signal-Manoeuvre (MSM) is a simple and easy way to ensure success when learning to drive. For this exercise it is important to learn some of the skills like;

Steering technique which is following a safety line keeping a safe distance from the kerb and any parked cars or obstructions. Use a ‘pull-push’ technique of using the steering wheel.

Locating a turn by understanding the road markings, traffic signs, street furniture and breaks in the building or hedge line.

Anticipating and being prepared to give way to pedestrians who may be crossing the road ahead of the turning.

The need to use a safe system of approach – MSM

Mirrors - The importance of checking for traffic following closely by using the interior mirror. Using the outside mirrors when and where necessary on approach. When turning left checking the interior and nearside door mirror and when turning right, the interior and offside doors mirror.

Signal - The importance of signalling in good time and for the benefit of traffic and pedestrians that can or cannot yet be seen.

Position - The importance of being in the correct road position for turning left or right making sure for yourself that it is safe to steer into any new position for turning. Keep a watch on the car so that it does not swing out before turning left and also that you are in the right position if turning right from a wide road.

Speed and Gear – The importance of correct amount of gentle braking to bring the speed down in enough time to select and engage the gear.

Look – The importance of observation. Look ahead for traffic approaching closely; look into the minor road for pedestrians who are crossing. Check the exterior mirror for any overtaking vehicles. Steering too soon while turning can cause the car to hit the kerb or cut corner.

Mirrors Signal Manoeuvre (M-S-M)

Mirrors

well before

Signalling

Position

correct line

on approach

when turning

Correct regulation of speed

Not approaching too

fast/slow

Correct use of brakes/gears

Not coasting on approach

or when turning

Look

Give way when turning to:

pedestrians who are crossing

closely approaching traffic when turning right

BRITZ DRIVING SCHOOL

Turning Left – Major to Minor road

Below are the instructions you should remember while taking the next road on the left;

 Mirrors – Check the interior mirror first and the door mirror on the side you are turning.

 Signal – Indicate left even if you don’t see anyone else on the road. There may well be traffic in the road you are turning into. This covers all eventualities.

The Manoeuvre is broken down into three sections: Position, Speed and Look

 Position – maintain a safety line. Position the car depending on whether you are going to go straight on, turn left or turn right. Keep the car in your normal driving position if you are turning left, or close to the central line if you are turning right.

 Speed and gear – Less gas or gently brake. Slow your speed by easing off the gas pedal and braking sufficiently. It is usual to be in second gear when turning off from a main road, although if you are turning right and have to cross oncoming traffic, you may need to change down to first gear. If necessary, use the footbrake to stop completely until it is safe to turn.

 Look – Check left door mirror, ahead and left. At the corner, steer left. Two-thirds of the way round steer right to keep to the safety line. Check mirrors. Once you have joined the new road, straighten the cars position and ensure that your indicator signal is turned off. If safe, a little more gas. Select third gear if appropriate.

BRITZ DRIVING SCHOOL

Turning Right – Major to Minor road

Below are the instructions you should remember while taking the next road on the right;

 Mirrors – Check the interior mirror first and the door mirror on the side you are turning.

 Signal – Indicate right even if you don’t see anyone else on the road. There may well be traffic in the road you are turning into. This covers all eventualities.

The Manoeuvre is broken down into three sections: Position, Speed and Look

 Position – maintain a safety line. Position the car just left of the central line if you are turning right.

 Speed and gear – Less gas or gently brake. Slow your speed by easing off the gas pedal and braking sufficiently. It is usual to be in second gear when turning off from a main road, although as you are turning right and have to cross oncoming traffic, you may need to change down to first gear. If necessary, use the footbrake to stop completely until it is safe to turn.

 Look – Check right door mirror, ahead and left. Towards the centre of the side road, steer right. Two-thirds of the way round steer left to keep to the safety line. Check mirrors. Once you have joined the new road, straighten the cars position and ensure that your indicator signal is turned off. If safe, a little more gas. Select third gear if appropriate.

BRITZ DRIVING SCHOOL

Frequently asked questions-

1. Some of the faults to avoid while approaching junctions are as below;

 Failing to recognise the junction in time.

 Not making effective use of the mirrors well before signalling or changing direction.

 Incorrect positioning on approach or positioning too late

 Approaching too fast or slow.

 Not braking sufficiently before gear changing

 Coasting

 Not giving way to pedestrians who are crossing or approaching traffic when turning right.

2. How would you spot a junction?

While driving, look for signs of a junction up ahead. This can of course be the triangle Give Way warning sign, a Stop sign or traffic lights. Look for other indications of a junction such as cars passing in front up ahead, or you may be able to see give way road markings and lines. Look at the UK road traffic signs section for examples of road signs. You will have to apply the MSN routine (mirror, signal manoeuvre) if you intend on turning either left or right.

Food for thought – (You should give a think to the below and discuss this with your instructor)

What types of junctions do you know of?

Before turning where must you check and what are you looking for?

BRITZ DRIVING SCHOOL

Appendix

Contents of this lesson are taken from:

DVLA – The Official Highway Code

https://www.gov.uk/highway-code

Adi News Magazine

LDC Driving School’s YouTube videos

Lesson no: 
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