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Mirrors, Signal, Position, Speed and Look (MSPSL)

Learner drivers at some point should be introduced to the procedure MSPSL routine, which aids pupils to approach junctions safely and with due care and attention.

Approaching any junction, the first thing you should check is your mirrors. You should always check your centre mirror, followed by the side mirror. So if you were turning left you would check your centre mirror and your left mirror and if you were turning right you would check your centre mirror and your right mirror. Your mirrors are your eyes at the back of your head and they show you who or what is following you. You may not be able to turn if there is something behind you that will affect your turn such as a cyclist on your left as you are about to turn left.

Once you have checked your mirrors you should then give the appropriate signal - left or right. Make sure you time the signal correctly, if there is another junction beforehand you don´t want to confuse people with your intentions.

Next you need to get your driving position sorted for your turn, you don´t want to be clipping the kerb as you turn as this could be dangerous if someone is standing waiting to cross, likewise you don´t want to turn to wide crossing on to the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic. When turning right you need to be careful about cutting the corner as you could be putting yourself into the direct line of oncoming traffic too, potentially causing a head on collision. You need to keep an eye on your turning point too as you don´t want to overshoot the junction either!

Get your driving speed down! 10mph is the best speed for approaching a junction as it allows you to proceed or stop in good time. Remember you may need to change your gear down also if you have been driving in a higher gear up to this point.

Finally you need to look, what are you about to head into? Is the junction safe to turn into? Are there any pedestrians crossing the road? Or are there any cars / trucks blocking the junction? Only commit to turning if it is safe to do so.

Following these simple steps whilst learning to drive will ensure you learn how to approach junctions safely and with due care and attention, which will stay with you far beyond your driving test.