How to Successfully Make a 3-Point Turn

Do you what a 3-point turn is and how to correctly execute one? Well, if you don’t, you sure should! The ability to perform a 3-point turn is a great skill for every driver to have. This particular skill can come in handy when faced with turning around in a narrow street or area where street parking is prevalent. Remember to keep these quick tips in mind the next time you buckle up and take on the open road.

6 Tips to Completing the 3-point Turn

  1. First things first, ensure that a U-turn is legal before attempting and that there is not a safer alternative. Look for posted signs saying, “No U-turn.”
  2. Check for traffic, then signal right to curb.
  3. Position your vehicle as close to the curb as possible.
  4. 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. Avoid abruptly turning the steering wheel as this could damage your power steering.
  5. Shift into reverse and 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.
  6. Stop, shift into drive and check traffic. When clear proceed into the proper lane.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practicing this maneuver is highly encouraged, even for the more experienced driver. One of the most common mistakes with properly executing the 3-point turn is not turning the wheel far enough. Unlike the U-turn, a 3-point turn is a series of moves and a series of opportunities for you to make a costly mistake. Practice. Practice. Practice. Did I mention practice?


Consider taking an online refresher driving course to stay current with law changes and best driving practices. Interested in learning more? Click here to check out our full list of Top Driver safe driving tips.

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