In association with

IAM RoadSmart

RH turn at a T-junction

I often see my Associates having difficulty with turning right at a T-junction. There is plenty of advice in the books about arriving at a junction, but very little about leaving it.

The most common error is to “balloon” the turn, by which I mean going straight ahead over the centre line before turning close to the far side of the road, followed by a correction to improve theview of the next bend, making the whole manoeuvre look messy.

If it goes wrong it can look like this…

So, when approaching a T junction and intending to turn right, plan ahead

Information – Look at the layout of the junction, the road surface and signage. Remember that a change of speed limit is often posted just before a junction. Also take any opportunity to look to either side as you approach the junction for a view of oncoming traffic. It’s easiest when the trees and hedges are leafless.

Position – A position towards the centre line helps to inform other road users that you are turning right and puts you in the best place to begin the turn.

Speed – Plan to keep going at a Give Way but be prepared to stop. If you stop it helps to turn the bike a little to the right, ideally with your right foot down. Use positive steering at the last moment to make the bike lean to the right. When you set off, you’ll already be facing in the correct direction and won’t need to make anextra turn.

Gear – Select the appropriate gear just before the line. Don’t stop in a high gear then have to search for 1st.

Acceleration – Here’s the important bit. Before you accelerate across the road, ask yourself what happens next. Plan for what you can see. If that is a short straight followed by a Right-Hand bend then plan to put yourself into a nearside position in one smooth movement as you turn.

If you see a Left-Hand bend or a long straight ahead then plan to make a single manoeuvre towards the offside for view. This will prevent ballooning, improve stability by reducing the number of steering inputs, increase progress and generally make you look like an advanced rider.Identify the ideal position for view and take the shortest route if it’s safe to do so.

Take into account the peculiarities of the junction, some may require a different position for view or involve a hill-start where you might need the rear brake. The most important thing is safety, followed by stability, so if you need to put down your left foot or even both, just do so.