You intend to turn left from a main road into a minor road. What should you do as you approach it?

Mark one answer
Keep in the middle of the road
Keep just left of the middle of the road
Keep well to the left of the road
Swing out to the right just before turning

You should always try to help other road users to anticipate your actions with your road position, speed, and signalling. As such, you should safely adjust your speed and keep as far to the left-hand side of the road as it is safe to do. This will make it clear that you are considering turning left or stopping in the near future to drivers behind you. You should check your mirrors, signal with plenty of warning, and slow down when you are approaching the turn.

Tip: Don’t forget to change gear when you turn the corner. The recommended gear for turning is 2nd. Changing gear will give you more control of the vehicle and assist with slowing down the speed of the vehicle.
Tip: When turning, always check your mirrors for upcoming cyclists and motorcyclists approaching on your left. Cyclists and motorcyclists can be easily missed – make sure you are always aware of other road users.

What shouldn’t you do when turning left off the main road?

As you approach the turn it can be tempting to swing out towards the centre of the road so that the turn is easier. However, you should NOT do this. This could endanger traffic heading towards you or confuse other road users behind you as to your intentions. You should keep left as you approach the turn and slow down to a suitable speed to deal with the left turn without needing to swing out to the right.

Theory Test Question

Let’s consider each of the different theory test answers to improve our understanding:

Keep in the middle of the road

Wrong! Your intentions will not be clear to other road users and they may not notice you need to slow down for the turn.

Keep just left of the middle of the road

Wrong! You need to be very clear of your intentions when it comes to road position. If you are just to the left of the centre this is more akin to a normal position on the road and may still be confusing.

Keep well to the left of the road

Correct! Staying well to the left of the road will alert other road users to your intention to either stop or turn and cause them to adjust their speed.

Swing out to the right just before turning

Wrong! If you swing out to the right just before turning you put other road users at risk and will not have given any warning as to your intentions.

Highway Code

The Highway Code states;

Use your mirrors and give a left-turn signal well before you turn left. Do not overtake just before you turn left and watch out for traffic coming up on your left before you make the turn, especially if driving a large vehicle.

Keep as close to the left as is safe and practicable.

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