Mirror, signal


The hazard routine

The hazard routine is a routine that you use each time you approach a hazard or before you carry out any sort of manoeuver. It's a safe system of work designed to minimise the risks involved when you're driving a car.

Note: a 'manoeuver' is any change of direction. A hazard is anything that causes you to change your speed or direction, for example, junctions, roundabouts, parked cars, animals on the road, etc.

The basic hazard routine is Mirrors Signal Manoeuvre, often abbreviated to MSM.

The full routine is MSPSL:

  • Mirrors
  • Signal
  • Position
  • Speed
  • Look

MSPSL in action


As soon as you are aware that there is a hazard ahead, you must find out what is behind and next to you. Just looking in a mirror is not enough; you must ask yourself the question: 'Is it safe to carry out my manoeuvre?' 'What impact will my actions have on other road users?"



When you are sure that it's safe to carry out the manoeuver (go past a parked car, turn right etc), ask yourself if there are any other road users who need to know what you intend to do. If the answer is yes, give the appropriate signal.


Check your mirrors to make sure that it's safe to move into the correct position for the manoeuvre.

Speed and Gear

Use the footbrake to ensure that you have plenty of time to change gear before the hazard. If things seem rushed, you're going too fast.


Make a final check that it's safe then complete your manoeuvre.