To pass a road test and be the best driver on the road, there are many tricks you have to learn. Making left and right turns are just some of the first things you need to master. Many driving students have trouble making left and right turns. But it’s not that difficult.
There are potential hazards as you maneuver the car around a turn, and the examiner will be keen to check how correctly you adhere to the turning procedure to avoid these hazards.
For instance, the examiner would want to see how you position yourself as you prepare to make the turns and how you fall in after making the right or left turn. The driving test involves several right and left turns, so you cannot get away with failing to learn how to do it correctly.
In this article, we’ll explain how to make a left or right turn. if you’re in a hurry, watch out this video that demonstrates making a left and right turn.
Basic Things to Do before Making a Left or Right Turn
Before you make a left or right turn, you should:
- Relax — do not be anxious or nervous as you approach an intersection; lay your hands properly on the steering wheel.
- Slow down — you need to reduce speed as you get to the intersection if you were speeding. It is not easy to make the turn when you are driving too fast because you may not have the time to think through your moves or correctly estimate the distance to the intersection. In short, you are more in control when you drive slowly.
- Turn on the signal light — this will alert other road users of your next move.
- Check the mirrors — as you check the mirrors, watch beyond your shoulders for pedestrians, cyclists, other cars, or an object that you might collide with. It would be best if you only turned when all is clear.
- Check your speed — as you turn, have an eye on the speed; it should be no more than 15 KMP if you are making a right turn and 20 KMP if you are making a left turn.
- Condition of your turn — if you are making a square turn, you should go slower. However, you can move faster if it is not.
- Original Hand Position — your hands should resume their original positions on the steering wheels once you have made the turn.
Hazards During Left or Right Turns
Whichever road test location you go to for your test will have its own type of hazards. Your road test could be in a quiet residential street, but even such a place has its hazards. An approaching cyclist or a pedestrian initially unseen could suddenly come to view, prompting you to pull an emergency brake.
A test through the countryside will also come with its particular hazards during a turn. If you are to make a turn while driving through a dual carriageway, it may be hard to judge the speed of an oncoming vehicle as you prepare to turn.
Places to Prepare for the Left or Right Turns
As the road test day draws close, you should be preparing for it. Start by practicing on quiet residential streets where the traffic is light. It would help if you only practiced on busier roads once you are used to light traffic roads.
Making a Left Turn
Turning left is much easier than making a right turn. If you are making a turn in a two-way traffic road, you should immediately get in the lane to the right of the centerline, or the lane meant for left turns. You should avoid crossing the centerline when you are at the intersection.
After completing your turn, please stick to your lane until it is safe to change lanes.
- Signal that you intend to make a turn when you are about 30 meters away from the intersection. You only slow down after signaling. If it is a multi-lane road and you are not near enough to the left lane, turn on your signals, and only move when it is safe.
- Check the mirrors to see if there are potential hazards.
- Stay as close to the road centerline as possible.
- If it is a busy road and you cannot see all intersection areas, you need to make a full stop when you get to the intersection. Check if the traffic is clear, and it is safe to proceed. Ensure there are no approaching vehicles from your right.
- Left-turn the steering wheel when the front wheels touch the intersection center. The moment the car gets in the straight position, return the steering wheel to the normal position so the front wheels can straighten before you could increase your speed.
- Once you have made the turn, switch off the signal so that other road users are not misled.
Making a Right Turn
Making a right turn is almost like making a left turn, but there are differences. First, you should be on the lane designated for right turns or at least be on the right-hand lane. Once you have made the turn, remain in the right lane until you are safely away from the intersection.
Here is the procedure from start to finish:
- Signal when you are at least 30 meters away from the intersection, and then start to slow down. It is pointless to signal after you have already started to turn.
- Check the mirrors to ascertain that all spots around you contain no hazard. Keep to your lane.
- You should keep about a 1-meter distance from the sidewalk or curb.
- Stop fully when you get to the intersection, then watch the traffic. Check mostly your left for any incoming car.
- When the front right wheel reaches the corner, turn the steering wheel to the right side.
- As your car gets into a straight position, turn the steering wheel back to its normalcy to straighten the front wheels and then accelerate.
- Turn off your signal light once you are done with the turn.
Note that you should first check whether or not right or left turns are allowed from other lanes when you are on multi-lane roads. Check the arrows painted on the road for indications.
You can only get to understand all these and many more if you get trained by competent instructors. At Pierre Paul Driving School, we take pride in the fact that we equip our students with all the necessary skills they need to become the best drivers within and outside New York City.