Turning the vehicle around

Overview:
To know and understand how to turn your vehicle around on the road
Aims:
To be able to safely turn your vehicle around on the road, if no roundabout or side street is available.
Objectives:
  • To be able to turn your car safely in the road
  • To know when to turn your car around in the road
  • To be able to move the car slowly but steer the wheel quickly
  • To be observant at all times when turning in the road
  • To understand any potential hazards in turning your car on the road
On Test:

This used to be called a 3 point turn, or more correctly a “Turn In The Road”.

It is no longer a driving test manoeuvre, so will not be tested on your driving test.

You should know how to do this as it is a useful skill for getting out of a confined space.

Introduction:

When turning in the road always:

  • Check the road is clear in both directions before beginning
  • Keep your car moving slowly whilst steering
  • Use your parking brake if there is a camber to the road
  • Be considerate to other road users
  • Observe carefully at all stages of the manoeuvre, especially in your blind spots
  • If moving backwards look backwards through your rear windscreen

Lady checking blind spotAvoid becoming an obstruction to other drivers, do not take too long to complete the turn.

Safety:

Always check all around you before attempting to turn your car in the road. Check your blind spots for pedestrians and cyclists as well as other cars.

Avoid becoming an obstruction to other drivers, do not take too long to complete the turn.

Always chose a place to turn that is safe to do, consider:

  • Is this a legal place to turn
  • Is there plenty of room to turn
  • Is there any obstruction on the road
  • Is there a lot of pedestrians on the pavement nearby
  • Are there lampposts or trees near the kerb on either side of the road
  • Is there a camber on the road
Clutch Control:

The car on a flat road when in first or reverse gear without any gas will always move a certain speed.

Unfortunately this speed is to fast for low speed manoeuvring. 

To control the car at this low speed we use what is called clutch control.

As we bring the clutch up we are controlling the speed of the car with the clutch till it has come all the way up.

Your car moves slowly from a stand still, picking up speed as the clutch comes up.

So:

  • With the gas set, bring the clutch up to make it go faster.
  • Clutch down and then brake if needed to make it go slower.
Turning in the road:

Before you turn:

  • Stop on the left side of the road
  • Select first gear and prepare to move
  • Check all around you including your blind spots
  • Give way to any passing vehicles

Turning across the road:

  • Move forward slowly in first gear, turn your steering wheel to full right lock
  • You should aim to get your car at a right angle across the road
  • Just before you reach the opposite kerb begin to steer to the left
  • As you near the kerb, push down on the clutch and use the footbrake to stop
  • If there is a camber on the road you may need to also use the parking brake.

To reverse:

  • Select reverse gear
  • Check all around you
  • Reverse slowly across the road turning the steering wheel as far to the left as possible
  • Look over your right shoulder as the vehicle nears the kerb and turn your steering wheel to the right
  • Push down on the clutch and use your footbrake
  • Your wheels should be pointing to the right

To drive forward:

  • Select first gear
  • Check the road is clear and drive forwards when safe to do so.

When turning in the road always:

  • Check the road is clear in both directions before beginning
  • Keep your car moving slowly whilst steering
  • Use your parking brake if there is a camber to the road
  • Be considerate to other road users
  • Observe carefully at all stages of the manoeuvre, especially in your blind spots
  • If moving backwards look backwards through your rear windscreen

 

Recap:

It is often easier to turn your car around at a roundabout or side street, but this is not always possible. It is important that you can turn your car around in the road. You will not be asked to do this during your practical driving test. But may have to if you take a wrong turn.

Always be considerate of other road users and pedestrians. Avoid turning in a road that is very narrow or with lampposts or trees very near to the kerb.

Observe all around you at every stage of the manoeuvre.

You should be able to know:

  • When to turn and when to go round using a side road or roundabout
  • How to turn and what risks might be involved
  • Where to look when doing this

 

Further Reading:

The Highway Code Rule(s): 200

Driving The Essential Skills: Section(s) 9

DVSA LEARNING TO DRIVE SYLLABUS

What’s in the driving syllabus?

Click on a topic below to get started.
Please note this syllabus should be used with a professional driving instructor.

Legal
Cockpit Drill

Safety Checks

Controls and Instruments
Moving Away and Stopping
Safe Position
Mirrors Vision and Use
Signals
Anticipation and Planning
Use of Speed
Other Traffic
Junctions
Roundabouts
Dual Carriageway
Motorway Driving
Country Roads
Pedestrian Crossings
Turning the Vehicle Around
Reversing
Parking
Emergency Stop
Independent Drive
Darkness
Weather
Fuel-Efficient Driving
Passengers and Loads
Security