During your driving lessons in Oxford you will be tested on a number of things that include; general driving ability, safety observations, independent driving and your ability to complete manoeuvres safely and correctly.
One of those manoeuvres will inevitably be the turn in the road, which is sometimes called “the three point turn”. During this article we’re going to talk you through the manoeuvre and provide you with some actionable tips that you can use right away to master the turn in the road routine.
You’ll come away with more knowledge and a greater understanding of turning the vehicle around safely whilst under a small amount of pressure.
Setting Yourself a Goal:
As with anything, it’s a good idea to set a realistic goal. This has proven to make pupils far more successful when they’re learning to drive. One of the first goals you should look to achieve is finding a safe and realistic area to stop and complete the turn in the road.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re completing your driving lessons in Norwich or Oxford – the outcome is still the same. You need to able to turn the vehicle around using a combination of gears. In most cars you will be using first gear and reverse.
The key is to maintain control and operate at slow speeds. This gives you a greater opportunity to achieve your goal and be successful during the manoeuvre.
Finding a Safe Area and Maintaining Control:
As we mentioned in the point above, make sure that you find a safe and suitable area to complete the manoeuvre. There are a few things that you can keep in mind to help you identify a good location:
- Avoid junctions or areas nearby
- Never try to complete a turn in the road on a one way street
- Avoid completing the manoeuvre on bends
The best way to maintain control during the routine is to operate at a slow speed. Try to move the vehicle at a walking pace. This way you will be able to maintain control of the vehicle should your foot slip on a pedal or you need to stop quickly.
With regards to the steering wheel, the turn in the road requires a combination of speed and precision. When you’re turning the wheel to get the car into position, you want to complete large rotations as quickly as you can. This gives you a better chance of completing the turn in the road in less than 5 phases.
If you’re a little unsure, speak to your driving instructor in Oxford about clutch control and how you can improve it.
Making Observations and Judging Correctly:
During the turn in the road, of you’re to be successful you will need to make a series of observations. During these checks you’re looking for anything that could become a hazard. Keep an eye out for:
- Approaching vehicles
- Any pedestrians
- Animals crossing
- Sharp items
Before you complete the turn in the road you will position yourself and the car on the left hand side of the road (as normal). Start by preparing to move, have the car in gear, set the gas but keep the parking brake on so that the car is secure.
When the car is ready, make your safety observations. Complete a 360-degree check around the car by checking your available mirrors and both blind spots, keeping an eye for the hazards we mentioned earlier.
When you’re ready to proceed, make one last final check and release the parking brake. As the car starts to move, turn the steering wheel all the way to the right until it cannot go any further (this is called a full lock).
As the vehicle approaches the kerb on the right hand side of the road, use the focal point that your instructor provides for you and start slowing the car down whilst quickly starting to turn the steering wheel in the other direction.
Remember to apply the parking brake to secure the vehicle and prevent it from rolling backwards or forwards.
Again, prepare to move again and make the necessary observations, complete a new 360-degree check and begin reversing if it is safe to do so. As you move further backwards, make sure that you’re constantly checking your surroundings and maintaining a safe speed. You should be making a solid arched V shape to get you into position for moving off.
As you approach the left side of the road once more, bring the cars speed to a stop and secure the vehicle. Check the road ahead and behind as well as your mirrors and prepare the car for moving forward. Place the car into first gear, release the parking brake and turn the car right and proceed back to the left hand side of the road going in the opposite direction.
Get Your Priorities Right:
If you’re half way through your routine and a vehicle appears, you must stop, secure the car and wait for them to take action as they have the priority. During driving lessons in Norwich and larger cities, this may become more frequent. It’s far safer for you to stop than to keep going and assess later.
When you do stop, if the oncoming vehicle does nothing and allows you to proceed you can do – but with caution.