Crossroads – who goes first?

Crossroads often confuse learner drivers.

They arrive at a crossroads, there’s a car opposite them and they don’t know who should go first. Hesitation ensues and if one driver doesn’t know what the other driver is going to do a simple meeting situation can become dangerous.

During your driving test the examiner will certainly want you to know who should go first even if it doesn’t turn out that way. This article will explain all.

Who goes first?

When emerging at a crossroads customer and practice suggests that you should set off before the vehicle opposite you if you are turning left or going straight on.

It follows that you should allow the vehicle opposite to go first if you are turning right.

But it’s not a rule. No-one has the ‘right of way’. You should always do whatever is safest. So if you should go first but the other driver wants to go first, let them.


What if you’re both turning right?

If you’re both turning right try to make eye contact with the driver opposite and assess their intention. If they are sitting there looking at you they are probably waiting for you to emerge. On the other hand, if they are looking left and right they are looking for a gap in the traffic and they aren’t going to wait for you to go.

If they flash their lights or wave at you they are saying “I’ll wait for you to go”. Be careful not to react instantly! Make sure it’s safe for you to go before you make a move and keep an eye on the driver opposite – have they changed their mind? Are they going first after all?