A-Class Driving School's online driving tutorial -
Left approach


Approaching is when you turn left or right from a major road into a minor road.  Maybe we'll see a warning sign telling us about minor roads ahead, but not always.  We will more than likely see hazard lines on the floor; they are the white elongated stripes down the middle of the road, advising us of a hazard or forthcoming junction. 

The first thing we need to do is check our mirrors.  Interior mirror first, then the left door mirror, checking the speed and position of other road users behind us.  In your left door mirror you are really looking for cyclists who could under-take you just as you make your turn, potentially knocking them off their bike.

Next, we signal to the left.  Not too early, or people will think we are pulling over to the side of the road, and not too late otherwise we'll not give enough time to those behind us to respond.  Something like 10 car lengths will do (this is assuming you're travelling at 30 mph.  At higher speeds, this will have to happen much further from the junction).

Position the car so you are 1 metre from the left, your usual driving position.  You ideally want to remain this distance all the way around the corner so when you get into the new road, you're already in your normal driving position.

Now you need to adjust your speed.  10mph is ideal, 15 mph absolute maximum.  That would only be acceptable if the entrance to the road was very wide, with a shallow curved kerb and visibility into the new road was amazing with no parked cars anywhere near the entrance.  You can adjust your speed with the footbrake and you also need to get into 2nd gear.  Going from 3rd gear to 2nd gear will help slow the car down and hold it back to take the corner at 10-15 mph.  Remember to come up off the clutch after putting the car into 2nd, if you don’t, this is known as coasting.  Essentially, you are no longer in control of the car, it's free-wheeling down the road and is more than likely going to increase your speed, rather than bring it down. 

Look into the new road as soon as you can.  What you are looking for are obstructions, traffic cones, parked cars making the entrance narrow and pedestrians who are crossing a little way down the road.

Of course we need to turn the steering wheel to the left, make sure you start with a high left hand on top of the steering wheel and pull it down to the left whilst the right hand pushes up to assist with the change of direction.  Knowing when to turn the wheel can be problematic.  As you approach the junction, keep an eye on the kerb (photo1) and when it disappears behind the front left pillar (photo 2) make your turn.  See photos for visual reference of this.

Straighten up the wheels in the new road, a quick mirror check to see if anyone is in the middle of trying to over take us and then make some progress.

approaching left, left turn, a-class driving school, driving tutorial
approaching, left approach, online driving tutorial, driving tutorials
approaching, left approach, online driving tutorial, driving tutorials