A-Class Driving School's online driving tutorial - Advanced Crossroads

By this stage you should already be able to deal with minor crossroad situations and know how to approach and emerge. The more advanced elements of crossroad junctions is being able to deal with the large, busy traffic light controlled junctions, especially when turning right.
On approach, you'll be instructed as to where you'll be heading next. Left, right or straight on. Lane selection on these larger junctions is important. Look for the signs or markings to help you chose the correct lane. If in doubt, left lane for left and straight on, right lane for right.
If both lanes can be used for straight on, stay in your normal drive position and opt for the left lane. Let others pass you in the right hand lane.
The photo below shows a very straight forward, two lane approach to a large crossroads junction. Note all the cars heading in our direction all staying to the left in their normal drive position. We could use the right lane if we were overtaking, or if there's a huge amount of traffic, however, if the car in front wants to turn right, who has priority? Him, or oncoming cars? The oncoming traffic has priority, he has to stop and that means you'll have to stop too. The left lane is the smoothest lane of traffic, hence why we stay there.


It's not always that simple however. We nowadays have a wide range of traffic light set ups with multiple filter lights to think about. Below we have a simple one with the filters on the left. The two lights are for those in the left hand lane going straight and left. The easiest way of figuring out what to do is to look for the green arrows.

If it's green in the direction you wish to go in, then it's safe for you to make your turn. Below we see it's fine for those going straight and right. The red light is for those wanting to turn right. When the main light is red and wanting to turn right, we wait at the line. If the main light were green, we'd proceed into the junction and wait at the appropriate spot, which we'll come onto later.

stoke lane crossroads

This filter light below is to the right of the main sequence, meaning it's speaking to those turning right. The main light is on and the filter to the right is on, meaning the oncoming traffic will not proceed and it's safe to make your turn.

crossroads turning right

This should all be fairly straight forward to understand and execute. It's when we see the basic three light set up go green and we're turning right that it all becomes more troublesome.

When approaching and turning right with multiple lanes, MSM into the right hand safely. It's advantageous to LADA early in terms of asking the question 'am I stopping or going first time?' as this can help prepare picking up the perfect spot for waiting. It should be your point of turn essentially.

You'll want to make sure you're not in the way of oncoming traffic using their right hand lane, or in the way of oncoming traffic wanting to make their equivalent right hand turn.

crossroads explained

The star in the image above shows the perfect position for waiting at this type of junction. Once you've decided to stop (if you need to), shift to 1st gear before you arrive and stop in the waiting position. I'd personally always put the handbrake on.

This way you can get your feet ready early and have the car primed and ready to move away by setting the gas and finding the bite just before the gap reaches you. It's worth checking into the mouth of the new road before the gap reaches you for pedestrians. Once it arrives, or the lights stop the oncoming traffic, hand brake off and away you go.

The last thing you want to do is stall here, that's why it's important not to try these junctions until you're fairy competent and can handle a high pressure situation.

The image below shows a silver van wanting to turn right at a busy crossroads junction. He's taken up a good waiting position and is waiting for a gap. There is an almost endless queue of traffic heading towards him. It'll be more likely that the lights will help him across before a gap comes along.

Here the green light opposite him can help. When this light changes to amber, the oncoming traffic should stop (it's what the oncoming traffic is seeing) and he has the time then to clear the junction before the vehicles on his left and right start to proceed towards him. Not how he's not slowing anything coming towards him down and if they wanted to turn right across him, they have planet of space to do so. Well done silver van man!

crossroads point of turn

This video below, taken from inside of the vehicle, might help visualise and clarify how to negotiate these types of junctions.