You Should always check the mirrors before any change of Speed, Direction, Signaling or whenever you see a hazard ahead.
MSM - Mirrors, Signal, Manoeuvre.
As a driver you will be doing this all the time whether you are approaching a junction, roundabout a parked car or even the location of a school.
MSPSL - Mirrors, Signal, Position, Speed and Look.
MSPSL is a bit like MSM only we are preparing for an actual or potential change in speed or positioning of our car.
Firstly let’s look at hazards.
Some hazards are actual features of a road like a bend, a brow of a hill, a junction and roundabouts etc.
Some features are not always there like parked cars or road works. You might have bad weather affecting the surface of a road like heavy rain, ice, or snow.
Some hazards are even moving like a cyclist or a pedestrian crossing the road.
The list could be huge but there is a routine you can follow when you identify a hazard to ensure it is negotiated safely.
Firstly check your mirrors; think about what you see, what’s there and how close is it? Do you know what the following vehicles intentions are? Is the following vehicle considering your own intentions?
Decide on whether giving a signal will benefit another road user in understanding what you are intending to do. If so, give the signal in good time. In some circumstances signal timing is crucial if you want to avoid it being misleading. Signal can be Indicators, Brake Lights or Road Positioning.
Having assessed your surroundings decide on the best way to negotiate the hazard. Sometimes you may have to position yourself as to make your intentions obvious or even comply with road markings or signs.
Adjust your speed appropriately by either accelerating, decelerating or braking smoothly.
If necessary change to a suitable gear for greater control.
This is the moment where you will make the final decision as to whether to continue your present course of action or change your plan depending on what you see. L.A.D.A
Look - What can you see?
Access - the situation all around before you
Decide - what needs to be done and
Act - upon your decision to wait or continue