You wish to turn right ahead. Why should you take up the correct position in good time?

Question Topic: Attitude

Mark one answer
To help other road users know what you intend to do
To give a better view into the road that you're joining
To allow drivers to pass you on the right
To allow other drivers to pull out in front of you

When planning to turn right onto a side road ahead you should take up an appropriate position in good time. This gives other road users a clearer understanding of your intentions whether they are driving towards you or behind. You should move to the centre of the road when it is safe to do so. Be sure to check your mirrors carefully and consider the traffic heading towards you as well. This is an appropriate position as cars behind will be able to pass you on your left if the road is wide enough. They will also know not to try to overtake you on your right as your position indicates you intend to turn right soon.

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Theory Test Question

So, did you try to answer the example theory test question above? Let’s consider each of the potential answers in turn:

To help other road users know what you intend to do

Correct! Early planning allows you to show your intentions to other road users safely. They will also be able to safely pass you on your left if the road is wide enough and know not to attempt to overtake you on your right.

To give a better view into the road that you’re joining

Wrong! You may or may not get an improved view of the road by changing your position on the road. However, the reason you should take up the correct position in good time is to warn other road users of your intentions. Driving safely should always be your primary focus.

To allow drivers to pass you on the right

Wrong! If you wish to turn right ahead, it is important that your road position does not encourage drivers behind to overtake you on the right. If someone were to overtake you as you made a right turn this would likely cause an accident.

To allow other drivers to pull out in front of you

Wrong! With an appropriate road position, there would be space for people to safely join the carriageway without pulling out in front of you. Your focus should also be on safely carrying out your own manoeuvre.

References

In section 8 of the official DVSA guide to driving, it states:

Use the MSM/PSL routine on approach.

Road position

  • Move into position early before turning right. It helps other drivers know what you intend to do.
  • Position yourself as close to the centre of the road as is safe, so that vehicles can pass on your left if there’s room. Take into account any parked vehicles or obstructions on the right-hand side of the road.
  • In a one-way street, move to the right-hand side of the road when appropriate.

Speed of approach

  • Adjust your speed in good time.
  • Approach at a safe speed.

Oncoming traffic

  • Watch out for oncoming traffic, especially motorcycles and bicycles, which are less easily seen.
  • Watch particularly for vehicles overtaking oncoming traffic.
  • Stop before you turn if you have any doubt about being able to cross safely.

Emerging vehicles

  • Watch for vehicles waiting to emerge from the minor road.

Pedestrians

  • Give way to pedestrians already crossing the minor road. They have priority.

Obstructions

  • Look carefully for anything that could prevent you entering the minor road safely and leave you exposed on the wrong side of the road.
  • You MUST NOT cross to the other side of the centre line until you’re sure you can enter the minor road safely.

Turning

Check your mirrors for overtaking traffic one final time before you turn. Don’t

  • cut the corner
  • accelerate fiercely. Your engine should be just pulling as you turn.

Missed turn

If you miss a turning, don’t cause a problem by stopping suddenly. Go past the junction and turn round at the next safe opportunity.

Rule 179 of the Highway Code states:

Well before you turn right you should

  • use your mirrors to make sure you know the position and movement of traffic behind you
  • give a right-turn signal
  • take up a position just left of the middle of the road or in the space marked for traffic turning right
  • leave room for other vehicles to pass on the left, if possible.

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