What Gear Should You Approach a Junction in?

You’ll usually approach a junction in either 1st or 2nd gear. All junctions are different, so on the approach to the junction, you need to assess what you can see. This will then help us determine whether it’s a ‘closed’ or ‘open’ junction.

Approaching a Junction in 2nd Gear

An open junction means the driver can approach in 2nd gear
An open junction means the driver can approach in 2nd gear

This is what we call an ‘open’ junction. It’s open because as the driver approaches the junction, their view of the road that they intend on joining is not obscured by objects such as trees, fences, bushes etc. The red shaded area indicates the wide view the driver has of the road ahead.

You can approach these types of junctions in 2nd gear and continue into the new road while remaining in 2nd gear providing you do not need to give way to traffic on the new road.

Approaching a Junction in 1st Gear

A closed junction means the driver has to approach very slowly in 1st gear
A closed junction means the driver has to approach very slowly in 1st gear

Exactly the same junction except this time, the driver’s view is obscured by trees. This is what we call a closed junction and as can be seen by the red shaded area, the driver’s field of view is much narrower.

You would need to approach these types of junctions much slower and usually change down into 1st gear just before the junction line. You will need to be traveling at a speed slow enough to allow you time to safely stop and give way to traffic on the new road that you may not see until you reach the junction line. 

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