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Turn In The Road

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Turn In The Road

Tim HillerbyMorgan
31 December 2009


The turn in the road is the original driving test manoeuvre. It was introduced when the driving test was created.

Most driving schools teach this early on in your driver training.

Your driving instructor will choose a nice quiet and wide road for your first go. They will talk to you about the manoeuvre and talk to you as you try it out for the first few times.

After a couple of driving lesson you will find that you can do the turn in the road quiet easily. Your driving instructor will take you to narrower roads, roads with cars about. They will ask you to turn the car around on roads with a steep camber. The camber is the way the road slopes to the kerb.

The secrets to the Turn in the Road

Look where you are going. As you reverse the car look over your left shoulder until the car starts to point the other way. Then look over your right shoulder and look for the kerb.

Do not use the mirrors - they will not give the true picture.

Use your clutch and brake for this exercise. Small foot movements will give the best control.

Start the manoeuvre from a parked position and make full use of the kern

Why do I need to know this?

Imagine that you have taken the wrong turning. You need to go back the way you came. There are no roundabouts, and you cannot drive round the block. The turn in the road is usually the safest way of turning the car round.

It used to be called the three point turn. The examiners are not worried about the number of points in the turn, as long as it right for the road.

How do I do this?

Before you start

Is it safe to do the manoeuvre here?

Is it legal to do the manoeuvre here?

Is it going to affect other road users if you do the manoeuvre here?

Is it possible to do the manoeuvre here?

Step 1

Start with the car in the normal parking position.

Prepare the car to move off as you normally would. Check all around you.

Left shoulder - each mirror - right shoulder. Move off very slowly.

Steer right fast. Stop just before you hit the kerb.

Just before you stop flick the wheel to the left.

Handbrake

Step 2

Prepare the car into reverse.

Look left and right

Look over your left shoulder - out of the back window.

Move off very slowly.

Steer left fast.

As the car starts to point to the right look over your right shoulder and look for the kerb.

Stop before you hit the kern.

Before you stop flick the wheel to the right.

Handbrake

Step 3

Prepare the car into first gear.

Look left and right.

Drive off slowly steering rapidly to the right.

When you are in your normal road position check your mirrors and build up speed.

Points to note

It is not a three point turn. Three is the minimum number of points that this manoeuvre takes.

If another road user appears complete the step that you are on and then wait for them to decide what to do.

What are the examiners looking for?

The examiner will tell you what they are looking for. The list includes:

Make full use of the road;

Keep the car under control;

Not hit the kerb;

Take account of other road users;

Not take too long over the turn in the road


The Drivers Ed Company manage the BTEC in Driving Skills. This combines the work of driving instructors, driving schools and learner drivers. The online course runs alongside driving lessons to form a powerful driver training aid. This course will improve pass rates and reduce deaths on the roads. www.driversedcompany.com

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