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Turns and Manoeuvres

For many learners the most feared part of the driving test is the "3 point turn", a manoeuvre which in fact doesn't exist any more, it has been replaced by the "turn in the road". All such basic manoeuvering can only be really learned by practicing, but there are more points which can be learned beforehand. The skills learned at this time are fundamental to many other car manoeuvering skills to be added later and success in them inspires greater confidence in a driver. Practice!  

Before carrying out any turn in the road you should consider whether there is a safer way of turning around. Turns in the road should only be attempted in quiet roads, they are inherently dangerous and usually a safer turning method is just a little further up the road, perhaps a roundabout or service station forecourt.

Turns in the road are forbidden on motorways, dual carriageways and many other A roads.

Turns in the road are dangerous because drivers rarely signal their intentions properly, other drivers often misinterpret the signals and the manoeuvre can take quite a long time and disrupt traffic.

If there is no alternative - and this is rare -  and the road is a single carriageway:

  • check mirrors
  • signal left
  • pull up close to the kerb on your left
  • now signal right
  • check for a suitable gap both sides of the road
  • move off on right steering lock
  • 2/3 of the way across put on full left steering lock and stop before the kerb
  • handbrake on
  • Put the car into reverse
  • check the road is clear both ways
  • reverse 2/3 across the road on the full left lock and then change to full right lock pulling up before touching the kerb
  • handbrake on again

Keep repeating those steps until the turn is made. Always ensure you are aware of and not endangering other traffic during the manoeuvres.

Try to avoid turns in the road - seek an alternative.
Practice only on quiet roads.

Article © Graham Benge 2007

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