Meeting traffic – how to deal with

How to deal with Meeting traffic

Meeting traffic is when you have to deal with oncoming traffic. This is likely to be a hazardous problem so you will need to be prepared to check your Mirrors and follow that system you have been taught for dealing with junctions MSPSL.

It will be well worth Re-reading the Lesson on Hazard Procedures about Eye Mapping & Scanning

So as soon as you recognise that you have someone or something coming towards you that you are going have to take meeting action for. You will need to check your Mirrors.

Remember what a horn or a flashing headlight means (HC 110 – 111)

Now there comes a point that you have to decide what you are going to do when meeting.

You have three options when dealing with Meeting traffic.

1 Carry ongoing, as you do not have to do anything or worry about the situation.

2 Slow down or hold back because you cannot decide what to do or need more time to decide what to do

3 Act – that can be taking evasive action like moving out the way, changing your position to make the situation safer or stopping.

As you decide to act you will be giving some type of Signal it could be brake lights, a change of Position and or a change of Speed.

Let us consider the various options that you might need to take. When your Meeting traffic

Meeting traffic


1.            You could have a car parked on your side of the road and you need to move over to the other side of the road. In this case of meeting any oncoming traffic is going to have priority over you so you might need to slow down or stop. If you need to stop remember to give you room so you can see what is going on & get out again. When moving off again after any stopping



Meeting2.            You could have a car parked on the other side of the road. In this case of a meeting, you have priority over any oncoming traffic so they remember, to use you’re moving off procedure for extra safety that you’ve been taught.



3.          Meeting  You could also have traffic on both sides of the road so the question of priority becomes more difficult to decide so you need to watch to see what the other road users are doing. Just because you have priorities do not assume the other person is going to give way. In the picture, you only have two cars so it is a case of equal priority when meeting



4.            Now imagine this Meeting traffic situation where you could have several cars on both sides of the road you will then have to look further ahead looking for spaces that could be used by your self or the other car. There could be spaces on your side of the road that you could pull into or spaces on the other side of the road that you could wait opposite to let the oncoming traffic pull into. You will have to look well ahead as well as behind you to decide what the safest option will be. This is one of the most difficult situations you could meet if things go wrong. Always be on the lookout for the alternatives such as slowing down to let the situation develop or stooping so the other vehicles can go through safely before you.

Meeting traffic

5.            You could also be dealing with the problem of crossing a road to get into a side road or driveway. If you are crossing a road then you will need to deal with it just as you have been taught when turning right into a side road.

In section 1 & 2 you only have to deal with one car in 3, 4 & 5 you could need to deal with more than one so let’s now look at how much space you need to give when passing a stationary vehicle.

Meeting traffic when passing a GROUP of stationary vehicles:

1.            Keeping a safe distance from vehicles. Look for safe gaps.

2.           If there is enough of a gap on the left – move over and slow down then prepare to stop give way to oncoming traffic.

3.           If there is enough of a gap on the right – wait opposite the gap and slow down then prepare to stop give way to allow oncoming traffic to use the gap.

Remember what the LADA procedure means. (Look, Asses, Decide, and Act) think and plan.


 Ideally, when passing a single vehicle you will need to leave about a door width between you and the other vehicle just in case the other vehicle opens there door without looking to see that you are passing

If you have a car coming towards you or for any other reason you are unable to keep this safe space you will need to get nearer to the stationary car or cars but reduce your speed so that if the door does open you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. This is sometimes called Shaving

As you prepare to do this manoeuvre you will need to plan & check what is behind you ( mirror check) this is covered later in this chapter. Planning is important as this prepares you for the unexpected and other hazards.

Should you need to deal with other road users when Meeting traffic such as bicycles, pedestrians or horses you will need to give them extra room. When overtaking a bike you should ideally give a car width so that you do not frighten the cyclist.

Clearaance of Cars

When overtaking a horse take extra care not to frighten the horse. Do not rush any overtaking manoeuvre and give the horse plenty of room and keep the car slow reasonably slow. Never sound your horn or rev your car engine near a horse because any of these can cause the horse to be frightened and result in the horse rider losing control of the horse which can


lead to great danger to everyone involved.

When meeting traffic on hills this requires extra care when braking or accelerating. Also, you should think about the safety of a large vehicle coming up a hill. (HC 160)

Try to clear the first and last vehicles in a row of parked cars by some amount. This can be helpful to other drivers & yourself. So you do not clip a vehicle

Remember you can control the safe distances in front of you but you cannot control the distances behind you and you only have limited control of the distances to the side of

Clearnace of Vehicles

you as well. The distance behind you is controlled by the vehicle behind you.

When dealing with Meeting traffic & overtaking stationary vehicles you must be looking for as many problems as you can in case there is danger including those behind you. Discuss with your instructor the different ways you can look out for these problems, such as looking for feet under vehicles or seeing a person sitting in a vehicle where they could open the door out towards your car, or looking for a car that might show signs of moving off without signalling. There are many problems when dealing with meeting and overtaking stationary traffic. Always be on the lookout for problems and plan so you can deal with them.

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