4. Hazard drill at basic junctions.

4. Hazard drill at basic junctions


By now your moving off, stopping, clutch control, gear changing, and steering should be improving on each lesson. The below skills are needed to negotiate all road types, different traffic conditions, reactions to pedestrians and reversing. This lesson we are going to be covering:-

● The basic routine or hazard drill.
● Introduced to the L.A.D.A. routine.
● Start on adequate clearance and negotiation of oncoming vehicles.

Teaching Strategy

Your instructor will prompt you as much as you need on skills taught on previous lessons i.e. …cockpit drill, gear changes, hand and foot controls, moving off and stopping. Your instruction will be given by your instructor to a level to suit you… full talk through then reducing to either prompt or independent.

During this lesson you will learn about a simplified version of the police system of car control (The hazard drill). Although the hazard drill is normally only taught on advanced driving courses we feel at 1st Choice that this routine should be taught to every learner driver.

Lesson aims

The aim of today’s lesson is to learn the hazard drill on the approach to and turning into quiet left and right junctions. Also to start to deal with other static road hazards such as parked vehicles. Then move onto more complex junctions once you get more independent.
During this lesson you will be assessed on your moving off, stopping and gear changes but I will be giving you as much support as you need on your different types of T junctions. 

Your objective will to be as independent as possible by the end of your lesson with little or no help from your instructor.

Lesson brief

The hazard drill (MSPSGL)

Each time you want to turn left, right, emerge out of a road or are presented with a potential or actual hazard on the road (i.e. anything that may require you to change speed, position or direction) you will go through the following hazard drill one or more times. While each step of the drill needs to be considered in the order not all of the drill has to be applied  i.e. overtaking a parked car you may not need to signal.

Approaching junctions to turn left or right 

The hazard drill is effectively used at least three times when you wish to turn left or right from a main road into a side road.

● Once on the assessment of the junction you wish to turn into (use of mirrors, alter your road position, lower your speed then change your gear down.
● Then the full hazard routine on the approach to the turn.
● And lastly Mirrors again before you turn into your road (think bike).
Because of the importance of taking observations before and after you turn, instructors often add an extra step called Look. 

● Use your interior mirror and side mirror (the direction you are turning).
● Glance into your blind spots as appropriate.


● Give signals in good time, ensuring it’s necessary and correctly timed.
● Using a signal helps or warn other road users/cyclists and pedestrians of your intention.
● Be careful not to give misleading signals.


● When turning left be just over a drain width from the kerb.
● When turning right be close to the centre line as safe.
● Determine the best position/course to negotiate stationary hazards.
● Think before you change position, be careful not to mislead others.


● Adjust your speed so that you can negotiate (open/closed) the junction.
● Slow down to 10/12 mph or even slower if it’s a sharper corner or if you need to stop if it is too dangerous to carry on.


● Select the gear to match your speed and the power you need (2nd gear) if open (1st gear) closed.
● Making sure that the gear is selected before the hazard is negotiated.


● Look into your rear view mirror to ensure you know what is behind you.
● Look into the new road as you have now joined the main road and give way to oncoming vehicles.
● Also look into the road you are entering to scan for pedestrians, parked cars or vehicles coming towards you.
Signals - key points

● Signal early but be careful not to mislead others into thinking you are turning earlier than intended.
● It is usually impossible to determine whether other road users will benefit from a signal, particularly those in side roads.
● If unsure always put a signal on, better to be safe than sorry.

Questions that could be asked - When turning right where would you normally position the vehicle?
Answer - Just left of the centre white line of the road (or in the area of the road marked for right turning traffic).
As you reduce speed in preparation to turn you will need to assess which gear you should select to complete the turn if it is not necessary to give way or stop?
Answer - Reduce speed to 10/12 mph and select 2nd gear or 1st gear if you need to stop.

When turning left or right who must you give way to?
Answer - Any pedestrians crossing the face of the junction, vehicles coming towards you in the new road & look for stationary vehicles.

Where would you stop when you are turning right if it’s not safe to proceed?
Answer - Stop a car length just before the point where you would start to turn if you cannot get the whole of your vehicle into the side road safely and then stop. 

When turning left from a main road to side road who has priority?
Answer - you have priority over oncoming traffic turning right into the side road.

When you are turning right does oncoming traffic have priority over you?
Answer -  Yes, you must wait for a gap in the traffic. You wait just before the point at which you would turn.

Working on the skill of L.A.D.A when turning right

Naturally once you have stopped in the gap needed to cross the road safely you will need a bigger gap as you are starting from a standstill position. Therefore you should try to time your approach to coincide with any oncoming traffic and gaps.

Plan a suitable size of gap to allow you to cross, Look, Assess, Decide, Act (L. A. D. A.) If you find that you have to wait / stop just before the point where you would start to turn -

● Select first gear and be ready to move. 
● If you have to wait for a while you should apply your handbrake (if not already applied).
● Watch for a gap and get ready to move, as it approaches check your mirrors and then turn if it is safe to do so.
● You may require additional mirror checks on your approach if it is particularly long or if the road is very busy.

When your crossing right across the  road the gap you need from the oncoming vehicles is - if you can walk across the road you will have enough time to emerge.

Emerging at T junctions
The approach routine when you wish to emerge from a side road onto the major road is the same as when you want to turn into a side road, however extra consideration needs to be given before you emerge into the major road.

In particular vehicles on the major road have priority over you. Therefore you may need to slow down or stop to allow them to pass before you emerge.

Observations on approach are critical to determine whether you can emerge without stopping and in which gear. 

Some junctions are open allowing you to take early observations to keep on flowing. 
Others are closed restricting your view so for safety you will need to stop to gain a full view of the road before you go.
Question that could be asked- What gear would you approach an open and a closed junction?
At an open junction you approach in 2nd gear.
At a closed junction you approach in 1st gear.

Remember T junctions and crossroads have give way and stop sign/markings on the road surface, so ensure you read the road.

Gaps when emerging
When your emerging left onto a main road, the gap you need is 12-16 car lengths from the right. Ensure you look both ways though as a car could be overtaking a parked vehicle on the left hand side.

When your emerging right onto a main road the gap you need is 6-8 car lengths from the right 12-16 car lengths from the left.

What are the different types of lines at the end of the road?
● Giveway
● Stop
● Unmarked
Reflect & Review
So remember your instructor is there to HELP you so on your driving lesson so if you have any uncertainties or need anything rewording or recapping to make things any clearer, just ask. 

Your training vehicle is fitted with dual controls and if necessary will be used during your lesson. These are here for your safety so we can step in to keep you safe. 

 So don’t worry if the issues arise we will aid and guide you VERBALLY or PHYSICALLY.

Risk management

Physical control of the training vehicle
● The aim is for you the student to have full control of this lesson with you making decisions as best you can.
● Your instructor’s job is to analyse any faults that may accrue in this lesson and put them right.

Q&A and talk about any issues if the situations happen on drive.

Level of instruction on your lesson
● Full talk through.
● Prompt.
● Independent.

End of lesson

● Feed back at the end of your lesson.
● Student’s responsibility.
● Plan for the next lesson.
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