How to negotiate simple junctions when cycling | Commute Smart


The type of junction will determine the actions
you take and the types of hazards to be aware of. So let’s run through the main junctions
you’ll come across and how to negotiate these safely. When turning left from a major road
you’ll be riding in the default position about a third of the way into your lane. When you
are still well ahead of the junction look over your right shoulder, attempt to make
eye contact with any following drivers and if safe to do so move out to take control
of the lane. This tells drivers that you don’t want to be overtaken. Check for hazards ahead
such as a car cutting across the junction or pedestrians stepping out and give a clear
arm signal for at least a few seconds of your intention to turn left. Return your hands
to the bars, make the turn and maintain your position in control of the lane. Look round
to make sure it’s safe before moving back to your default riding position a third of the way
into the lane and continue riding. Cars are then able to overtake when it’s safe to do
so. The same sort of action should be taken when turning left from a minor to a major
road but remember that you’ll have to stop and give way at the junction because you don’t
have the right of way so reduce your speed. Take control of the lane on the approach to
avoid cars trying to overtake and cut in front of you. Look out for vehicles coming towards
you traveling faster than they should, as well as pedestrians crossing. When you are turning
right from a major road into a minor road in plenty of time before the junction look
over your shoulder and when safe to do so move across and take control of your lane.
On roads with multiple lanes this may involve moving across lanes so you will need extra
awareness of what is around you. Once in the correct lane for the turn and approaching
the junction look again, give a clear right turn signal and move towards the centre of
the road. This will prevent vehicles from overtaking and cutting in front of you to
turn at the junction. Look towards the oncoming traffic and be prepared to stop if needed.
If the road is definitely clear you can use your momentum to continue moving through in
one smooth action. Be aware of cars traveling towards you faster than expected and also
look towards the junction for any cars wanting to make a right turn out of the minor road.
Make eye contact to ensure that they have seen you. If you do have to stop wait patiently,
don’t feel pressured to go when it may not be safe and keep signalling. When it is safe
and you have enough time to get across the junction make the turn and maintain your position
in the centre of the lane. Once you are through the junction look to check you’re okay to
move into the default riding position and continue riding. If you are turning right
from a minor to a major road you’ll be approaching the junction riding in the default position.
Look over your right shoulder, try to make eye contact with following drivers and if
safe give a clear right turn signal and move to take control of the lane. Stop at the junction
and looking both ways wait until it’s safe to turn. Again don’t feel pressured to go
until it is definitely clear to do so. When safe make the turn and keep checking for oncoming traffic as you go. Maintain your position in control of the lane once you are through
the junction then take a look to check that you are fine to move to the default riding
position and continue riding. Commute smart and ride with confidence when maneuvering. Always maintain awareness of potential hazards and obtain eye contact where possible to show your intentions.

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