How To Make a Three-Point Turn

Photo of steering wheel

The three-point turn is one of the most important skills that a driver would have to learn. This type of turn can be executed when you want to go the other direction without having to do a U-turn. This requires a little bit of skill but it shouldn’t be too hard for you if you’ve had a few hours of training behind the wheel.

One cannot over emphasize the importance of safety during this type of maneuver. Most accidents happen when the driver isn’t aware of the situation or is taking things for granted. Always be alert and be mindful of other things that may be around you. That includes being aware of where other moving vehicles and pedestrians are – use your side mirrors and rear view mirror to make sure that you’re not missing something approaching you because it’s in your blind spot. It goes without saying that you should also pay attention to the trees, street signs, park cars and other objects that may be on the road or directly to the sides. The three-point turn would require you to use a relatively big area so you really have to plan ahead.

Here’s how you execute a three-point turn:

  1. Again, make sure that the traffic is relatively clear and there isn’t a long queue building up behind you. This is a courtesy to the other drivers. A three-point turn will block both sides of a two lane road so it is important at a time that would be both safe for all the drivers involved. Most people who are cut in the road in this manner don’t usually take well to this type of driving.
  2. To do the first part of the three-point turn, turn left or right until your car is perpendicular ( if the road goes from north to east, your car should be on an east-west or west-east orientation.
  3. Once in this orientation, switch your transmission to reverse to allow you to back up. Use the rear view mirror to make sure that path behind you is clear. Some drivers prefer looking back instead of using the mirror.
  4. Once you have sufficiently backed up to the side of your original lane, you may then turn to either the left or the right (depending on where you’re going) to switch to your new lane.
  5. Once you’re  already parallel to the lanes, you may stop moving the steering wheel and drive away in a straight line.

While the theoretical knowledge of this is important, you would have to practice this maneuver in an empty lot or road first before trying to do it in a place where traffic is considerably heavy. Stay safe and keep your eyes on the road.


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