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Read our useful driving tips provided by Mark Farnworth, Group Vice-President or from other Group members or IAM RoadSmart where stated.

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Signalling precedence

Judge precedence by road markings and the position/movement of vehicles. Give precedance by the speed and position of your vehicle'. Fair enough, but what about headlamp flashing? I hear you ask....

Scenario: You approach an unmarked crossroads and see another vehicle approaching the same junction from your right. You see the headlamps of the vehicle flash and then the vehicle stops. Is the driver giving you precedence? Probably - not because the headlamps flashed but because the vehicle stopped. By all means take note of the fact that the driver flashed and was trying to tell YOU something but ignore the flash as an indicator of precedence. Look at SPEED and POSITION.

The Highway Code is clear on this point. Headlamp flashes are to be used like the horn - to inform other road users of your presence. Nevertheless, many drivers 'flash' to give precedence. The problem is that flashing is likely to be seen by other road users, not just the intended recipient. To these 'other road users' the flash may well be ambiguous and may encourage them to do something sooner than they would otherwise have done, with possibly dangerous consequences. As advanced drivers, we must be disciplined enough to follow the tenets of the Highway Code and not give ambiguous signals. 

By Mark Farnworth

Disclaimer: Driving is never a black and white activity, but full of grey areas, therefore neither I nor my fellow Observers in the St Helens & District Group of Advanced Motorists are liable for any consequences you may experience as a result of reading our advice. You are the driver. You should be in control of your vehicle at all times.