Successfully completing a three point turn is a common requirement for most drivers’ license examinations. Similar to parallel parking, the three point turn is often an area of concern for individuals who are preparing to obtain their licenses. While most drivers only occasionally use this strategy when it is absolutely necessary, the ability to complete a three point turn is a useful skill for every driver. When you practice doing a three point turn for the first time, make sure you are on a street with very little traffic so that you can take your time. Also, it’s a good idea to find a location without any ditches, mailboxes or other major obstacles on either side.
Use the following steps as a guide for your first attempt at doing a three point turn.
1. Move to the Outer Part of the Lane.
This will create more room in which you can maneuver your vehicle.
2. Before Stopping, Check your Rear View Mirror Traffic
Do not attempt a three point turn on a busy roadway. In fact, three point turns should only be used in emergency situations. It is safer and easier to find a driveway or parking lot in which to turn around.
3. Stop Your Vehicle
Again, check for any other cars behind or in front of you. Performing a three point turn will take several seconds. If at all possible, you do not want to obstruct the roadway for other drivers, especially if you are only performing a three point turn for practice and not out of necessity, check that the road is clear.
4. Turn Your Steering Wheel
After stopping and ensuring there are no other vehicles approaching in either direction, turn your steering wheel all the way to the left and accelerate your vehicle until it nears the edge of the opposing lane. This is the first point.
5. Quickly Check Again for Traffic
Shift your vehicle into reverse. Using your rear view and side mirrors, slowly turn your steering wheel to the right and begin to back your vehicle towards the edge of the road you originally started in. This is the second point.
6. Check for Approaching Vehicles Once More
Shift your back into forward and steer left so that you begin driving in the lane opposite of the one you started in. This is the third point and the conclusion of the three point turn maneuver.
If you are hesitant about performing a three point turn because of the amount of traffic on a roadway, continue driving until you find a safer means of changing the direction of your vehicle.