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How To Turn In The Road

How To Turn In The Road

The turn in the road, or what used to be known as the 3 point turn, is a key driving skill. Expert instructor Gary Lamb shows us one way of doing it successfully

Step 1: The process

To complete a turn in the road, sometimes referred to as the "three point turn", you will need to be on a fairly wide road. The purpose is to turn the car around to face the opposite direction using forward and reverse gears, without letting the tyres touch either kerb or entering a driveway

You will use the preparation, observation and manoeuvre routine to complete the turn safely and under control.

Step 2: Prepare

Bring the car to a stop on the left hand side of the road in a place where there is plenty of space with good visibility. Have a good look around for approaching road users, the important thing to remember here is not to start the manoeuvre if other road users are close by and likely to be in your way.

Step 3: Turn one

Drive slowly off using clutch control, turning your steering wheel quickly and fully to the right. Keep checking the way is clear. You should aim to point your car at a right-angle across the road.

When the car is about a metre from the opposite kerb, turn the steering wheel to the left. Depress the clutch and use the foot-brake to stop. Take care to avoid letting your front tyres touch the kerb and apply the handbrake.

Step 4: Turn two

Select reverse gear and again make sure the way is clear on both sides of the car. You may need to use your hill start skills here because of the camber in the road. Reverse slowly back, turning your steering wheel quickly and fully left.

When you are near to the kerb turn the steering wheel back to the right to straighten the car. Use your footbrake to come to a stop without touching the back wheels on the kerb. Apply your handbrake.

Step 5: Turn three

Select first gear and be prepared to use your hill start skills again. Make sure it is clear all around before moving slowly across to the left hand side of the road having completed the turn.

If the road is narrow, you may have to repeat the same forward-and-reverse pattern until it is safe for you to move off into the left hand lane of the road. This is why it is not called a "3 point turn" You may need to use more than 3!