Practical Guide| Three Point Turn
When it comes to learning to reverse, it is important to absorb as much information as possible. Being able to do a reverse exercise, is one thing, but learning how to do it safely and in control at all times is another. The three point turn, can be challenging to some people but to others it may appear to be one of the easier reversing exercises. There are a few elements that the learner will need to master, and these are:
- Control of the vehicle
When learning the three point turn exercise, or as it is more commonly known, the turn-in-the-road exercise, it is important to have lots of practice, and to do the exercise in multiple locations. This will help the learner practice in different environments, gradient of hills, and various traffic volumes. Here are answers to some common question:
Common Questions| Three Point Turn
Why is it not called the three point turn now?
Due to the width of a road, sometimes this manoeuvre requires 3, 5, or 7 turns, to turn the car around in the road. The classic ‘three-point-turn’ manoeuvre was technically not correct, when it came to the practical driving test.
Why do we need to learn this manoeuvre?
It is important to learn this manoeuvre incase in real-life, you get stuck in a dead end, or come across some roadworks.
What is a camber?
A camber is the shape of the road. It is important to know what a camber is, so that you can judge what foot control technique the learner will need to apply during the exercise. A road can have a strong camber- this means, that the height of the road in the middle is higher than on the left and right edge. This will mean that the learner driver will need to use clutch control to move up the camber, and use break control down the camber.
Who has priority?
Other road users have priority. The driver performing the exercise does not. The reason for this is because the learner is crossing the road of on-coming vehicles, where other road users have priority. Anybody who is reversing, automatically give way to other road users, as they are hazardous, and have to give priority to other traffic.
Why should I stop for other traffic?
The learner should always have safety on the top of their priorities. If the learner didn’t stop for on-coming traffic, this could cause problems to the approaching vehicles, cyclist or road-user. Always give other road-users respect, and allow them to make their own minds up; if they wish to stop and give-way to the person reversing, then that is ok, or if they wish to continue around the back of the reversing car (space permitting) then, this is also ok! But the learner MUST, give them that choice.
What happens if I touch/hit the curb?
It isn’t good to touch the curb, during any parts of driving. If the tyres hit the curb, this could potentially weaken the tyres over a period of time. Also, if the learner struggles to judge the width of the road, then this could cause problems for pedestrians on pavements, and this could be hazardous.
What is dry-steering?
Dry steering is when a driver steers the steering wheel, whilst the car is stationary. This isn’t good practice. Not only are the tyres potentially be damaged, due to wear-and-tear of the rubber; but it could also cause problems for the power-steering unit of the vehicle. The learner should always aim to steer whilst moving, even if the car is very slow.
What is a 360 degree check?
This is an all-round-the-car observation. Prior to staring the manoeuvre, it is important for the learner driver to check every angle of the car. This should also be repeated during the exercise. Observations are the first priority of the learner driver during this exercise.
Method| Turn In Road
There is a method to learning this exercise. Once the learner driver becomes acquainted with the exercise, they will determine their own method, although this wouldn’t be dis-similar. Here is the method:
- Select a safe place on the left. The road should be relatively long, and the learner driver should be in clear view of any approaching traffic.
- Once the location has been chosen, the learner driver should start the POM routine. Things to consider include, checking for a camber, what foot-control technique needs to be used.
- There shouldn’t be any need for a signal. The learner driver should never start this manoeuvre with any approaching traffic.
- Once the decision has been made to start the manoeuvre, a final check into the right blind-spot should be done.
- The learner should manoeuvre the car slowly across the road, once movement has started, the learner driver should steer briskly to the right. They should apply the maximum steer.
- The learner needs to judge the centre, and the 3/4 point of the road. Once the learner driver gets to the 3/4 point of the road, they should cover the break, and aim to take some steering back to the left. This will help during the next phase of the manoeuvre.
- Once the learner comes across the road, they should aim to stop just shy of the curb. It is important to get as near the curb as possible, as this will help to do the reversing exercise in as few moves as possible.
- There are many ways to judge where the car is in relation to the curb. However- a good one, is when the wing mirror falls inline with the curb line.
- Once stopped, the learner should re-start the 360 degree check around the vehicle, whilst they prepare POM and select reverse gear.
- Once it has been decided it is safe to start reversing, the learner driver should steer briskly to the left, to maximum steer. Whilst doing this, they should keep the car nice and slow, whilst checking behind them out of the back window.
- Regular checks should be made up and down the road.
- The learner driver should use the wing mirrors, to guide the car near the curb.
- When near the curb, the learner should STOP, and start the POM routine again.
- A final check to the left and right prior to moving forward steering to the right.
- The learner driver should align the steering wheel, once the car is parallel to the curb, and accelerate into the new road, whilst checking behind for approaching vehicles.