If you find yourself having inadvertently turned down a dead-end road, or that the road ahead is blocked, you will need to get your vehicle turned around safely. You can do so by executing a safe and proper U-Turn, if road width permits. A 3-Point Turn may be necessary for narrower roadways. Learn how to efficiently and safely master the U-Turn in just a few easy steps.
What is a U-turn?
A u-turn essentially means you are turning your vehicle 180 degrees on a street in the opposing direction. If you needed to go back the other direction quickly, you would perform a u-turn (unless prohibited, we’ll get to that later).
What are the Recommended Steps for Making a U-turn?
First, be certain the U-turn is legal before attempting to make one and double check to make sure there is not a safer alternative. Signs will be posted saying “no U-turn” or a sign similar to the ones below with be visible. Often times u-turns are prohibited on curves, hills and freeways. Also, make sure you are aware and take note of your local traffic laws regarding the u-turn before attempting to complete one.
How to Execute and Master the Three Point U-turn
- Check for traffic. After checking for traffic, signal right to curb.
- Position your vehicle. Get as close to the curb as possible.
- Signal left. Turn your wheel to the left and check ahead, your rear view mirror, side mirror and blind spot. When traffic is clear in both directions proceed slowly. Bring your vehicle to a stop near the opposite curb. Do not rush through this maneuver.
- Shift into reverse. After shifting, turn the wheel all the way to the right as you back. Back far enough so that when you pull forward you will clear the curb.
- Stop, shift into drive and check traffic. When all traffic is clear, proceed into the proper lane smoothly and quickly.
And there you go! Now you know how to properly and safely execute the u-turn. Bon voyage and safe travels!
As a motorist, it is our responsibility to operate vehicles safely and reasonably. Consider taking an online refresher driving course with Top Driver to stay current on law changes and best driving practices. We’ve helped more than 260,000 students become safe, intelligent drivers.