A dual carriageway is defined as at least one lane of traffic (typically two or more travelling in the same direction) separated from the other carriageway travelling in the opposite direction by a central reservation and barrier.
Unless separated by a physical barrier, it will remain a single carriageway regardless of the number of lanes. In the United Kingdom, there are three types of roads:
B roads – rural or suburban areas
A roads – single or multiple carriageways with high speeds
M roads – are motorways
Joining a Dual Carriageway
A slip lane branching off a road or a roundabout will connect you to a dual carriageway. Depending on the circumstances, the speed at which you join the slip road changes. It’s critical to get up to speed quickly enough to keep up with those already on the road. It can be quite risky to enter the highway at 40 mph while traffic is already moving at 70 mph.
Joining a dual carriageway requires speeding down the slip road to match the pace of those already on the carriageway. Make short checks to the right while accelerating and alternate with the direction you’re going. Keep checking back and forth between the two. Although your primary focus should be in the direction you’re going, it’s critical to take quick and frequent glances to the right.
How to join a Dual Carriageway with MSPSL
Check the interior and the right mirror, then signal right. Remember that observations should have begun as soon as possible, thus the position will be determined by where you want to join in relation to your speed. The speed of the roadway is determined by the amount of traffic on it, so keep an eye in your inner mirror as you join to make sure there isn’t too much traffic behind you.
The most difficult component for most trainee drivers is merging onto a dual road. If you match the pace of the traffic on the carriageway, indicate you’re joining place as soon as possible, and stay confidently with your joining place by accelerating or slowing, it becomes second nature after a lot of experience.
Dual carriageway reflective studs, often known as cat’s eyes, are meant to reflect light in low-light situations. On motorways and dual carriageways, the colour of the studs is always the same.
- Red – Dual carriageway reflective studs are placed along the hard shoulder of both motorways and dual carriageways. They can also be seen on the left of certain A or busy B roads.
- Amber – Dual carriageway studs are placed to the far right, running alongside the central reservation.
- Green – Dual carriageway studs indicate where a junction either joins or leaves a Dual carriageway, called a slip road or deceleration lane.
- White – Dual carriageway studs are placed between the lanes of dual carriageways or motorways.
- Blue – Dual carriageway studs can occasionally be seen and are for the use of the emergency services.
How to overtake on a Dual Carriageway
It’s time to use the MSPSL routine:
- Check interior and right mirrors. Keep an eye out for vehicles arriving from behind to overtake you. Check the right-side blind spot if you’re convinced it’s safe to overtake.
- Apply a signal to the right with a signal.
- Position — Use the two-second rule to maintain a safe distance behind the car you wish to overtake. If you drive too close to the car in front of you, the driver may not realise you’re trying to overtake.
- Speed – slowly turn to the right and accelerate past the car once in the right lane.
- Check the inside mirror for oncoming traffic after you’re in the appropriate lane. Keep an eye out for the front of the line.
Roundabouts on a Dual Carriageway
If you’re moving at an increasing speed, slow down gradually and don’t wait until it’s too late to begin slowing. Large multi-lane roundabouts are common on dual road roundabouts. Regardless of the path you choose, the MSPSL procedure must be used. At the roundabout, stay in the left lane if going left or following the road ahead.
If you’re turning right at the roundabout, make sure you get into the right lane far before the roundabout. If you can’t get into the right lane because of traffic, stay in the left lane and turn left or follow the road ahead. From the left lane, do not turn right / third exit. If you turn right (3rd exit) from the left lane, a car may be following the route ahead (2nd exit) from the right lane, causing an accident. Additional details about huge and double roundabouts.
Turning right on a Dual Carriageway
On a dual carriageway, there may be times when you need to turn right. If that’s the case, make sure you get into the right-hand fast lane as soon as possible. To turn right, use the MSPSL procedure. This will need to be done quickly because you will be travelling at a high pace and will need to give plenty of warning to cars behind you.
Before the turn, there will be a slip road speed reduction lane to enter. Before entering this lane, make sure you don’t slow down too quickly, as this can be risky for vehicles behind you. If a vehicle is following you too closely before you turn right, you may need to gently slow down to give them ample time to respond before you make the turn.
Exiting a Dual Carriageway
The examiner may say anything along the lines of “I’d like you to take the next exit” during a driving test. Countdown marks will be visible. The first one you see will have three slashes next to it, indicating that you are 300 yards from the exit.
Look into your internal mirror at this point, then into your left mirror and signal to the left. Before the exit junction/deceleration lane, the 300-yard sign is followed by the 200 yards and then the 100-yard marker. Keep in mind that if you’re approaching the exit junction at 70 mph, you’ll need to carefully drop down to the proper speed for the route or roundabout you’ll be joining.