Tuesday, 16 February 2016

How To Do A Turn In The Road (3 Point Turn)

The turn in the road (sometimes incorrectly called a 3 point turn/three point turn) is one of the reversing manoeuvres that you might be asked to perform on your Practical Driving Test.


The aim of this manoeuvre is for you to turn the car round to face in the opposite direction by using forward and reverse gears. You will also be expected to carry out all appropriate safety proceedures and checks whilst doing so. This will demonstrate to the driving examiner that you can control the car safely and reverse with reasonable accuracy.
Although often referred to as a "3 point turn", you are NOT restricted to completing this manoeuvre in only three turns!
On this page you will find step by step instructions and video tutorials to help you learn how to do a perfect turn in the road, whether it's a 3 point turn or a 5 point turn!

How To Do A Turn In The Road Step-By-Step

Remember - you DON'T have to complete this manoeuvre in ONLY three turns!

Step 1 - Preparation and observation

On your driving test, the examiner will ask you to stop on the left several times! Sometimes this will be before asking you to perform one of the manoeuvres and sometimes it will be to test your judgement in selecting a safe and suitable place to stop and your control and observation when moving off again. During your driving lessons your driving instructor will be able to help you gain experience in selecting suitable places to stop, but in general you need to be looking for a safe place, where there is good visibility, plenty of room and where there are no obstructions on the road (e.g. parked vehicles, rubbish skips etc nearby) or on the pavement (e.g. lamp posts, post boxes, rubbish bins etc). You must also make sure that you are not obstructing other road users by parking across roads, driveways, opposite entrances etc.
When you have stopped, the examiner will ask you to turn the car around in the road to face the opposite direction using forward and reverse gears.
Prepare to move off by depressing the clutch, selecting first gear, setting the gas and finding the biting point.
You must now OBSERVE thoroughly all around you - check your drivers mirror (rear view mirror), both door mirrors, look over your right shoulder to check your blind spot, check in front of the car and lastly check your drivers mirror again. If there is oncoming traffic from either direction, or pedestrians who may be crossing the road (or about to cross it), then wait.

Step 2 - Moving forwards and steering right

Release the handbrake and using clutch control (balancing the clutch and the gas to move the car at a low speed), start to move forwards SLOWLY whilst turning the steering wheel QUICKLY to the RIGHT. Get the steering wheel onto full right lock as soon as you can, so that ideally the car should end up at a right angle across the road.
You must be looking and listening for other road users throughout the manoeuvre and be prepared to stop and let them proceed if necessary.
As you approach the kerb on the opposite side of the road (about 1 metre away), turn the steering wheel briskly to the LEFT. As the front wheels get near to the kerb, put the clutch right down and use your footbrake to stop.
Put the handbrake on.

Step 3 - Reversing

Prepare to move off again by pressing the clutch down, selecting REVERSE gear, setting the gas and finding the biting point.
OBSERVE again to make sure the way is clear in all directions and look over your left shoulder before you begin to reverse. If clear release your handbrake.
As the car starts to move, turn the steering wheel as far to the LEFT as it will go.
As before, constantly check for other road users and be prepared to stop if needed.
When you are about half-way across the road, change to looking over your right shoulder so that you can see the kerb as you get nearer to it.
As you approach the kerb on the opposite side of the road (about 1 metre away), turn the steering wheel briskly to the RIGHT. As the front wheels get near to the kerb, put the clutch right down and use your footbrake to stop.
Put the handbrake on.

Step 4 - Straightening up

Prepare to move off again by pressing the clutch down, selecting FIRST gear, setting the gas and finding the biting point.
OBSERVE again to make sure the way is clear in all directions. If clear release your handbrake.
Drive slowly forward, turning the wheel to the right if necessary to straighten up on the left hand side of the road, then once straight proceed as normal.

Summary

Quick instructions for how to do a turn in the road / three point turn
For those who prefer instructions given visually, there are some tutorial videos further down the page - some with an audio commentary for those who like to listen to what they need to do!
Once stopped in a safe place:
  • 1. 1st gear, find the bite
  • 2. Full observation - left to right
  • 3. Handbrake off
  • 4. Full right lock as quickly as possible
  • 5. As you approach the far kerb, straighten wheel and stop
  • 6. Handbrake on
  • 7. Reverse gear, find the bite
  • 8. Full observation - right to left
  • 9. Handbrake off
  • 10. Full left lock as quickly as possible (looking over left shoulder)
  • 11. Look over right shoulder once you have full lock
  • 12. As you approach the kerb, straighten the wheel and stop
  • 13. Handbrake on
  • 14. 1st gear, find the bite
  • 15. Full observation - left to right
  • 16. Handbrake off
  • 17. Turn to the right to the normal driving position

Do's and Don'ts!

  • Don't rush but don't hesitate too much
  • Don't "dry steer" (turn wheel when car not moving)
  • Make sure it's safe before moving
  • Good clutch control (balance clutch/gas to move slowly)
  • Speed slow, steer quickly
  • Good observation at all times
  • Allow for the camber of road - uphill/downhill

Common Mistakes When Doing A Turn In The Road

Mistakes that could result in driving test faults when doing the turn in the road manoeuvre during your driving test include:
  • Poor co-ordination of controls
  • Mounting the pavement or kerb
  • Stalling
  • Turning the wheel the wrong way
  • Taking an excessively long time to complete the manoeuvre
  • No blind spot checks
  • Not looking to the left or right before reversing or pulling forwards
  • Not looking directly behind
  • Not reacting to passing or approaching vehicles
  • Not reacting to pedestrians
  • Waiting unnecessarily for other road users

Turn In The Road FAQs

Can you take your seatbelt off when doing a turn in the road?

Yes, you can take your seatbelt off when carrying out any of the reversing manoeuvres on your driving test - but it's not advisable! It's very easy to forget to put it back on afterwards - which won't impress the examiner at all!


What Happens If You Touch The Kerb?

A slight touch of the kerb probably won't matter, but hitting it hard or driving onto it will result in a fault being recorded by the examiner


Video Tutorials

Video driving lessons demonstrating how to do 3 point turns and 5 point turns

It's sometimes easier to actually see something done, rather than just read a set of instructions!
The following videos will give you visual instructions to help you learn how to do the turn in the road manoeuvre both with three and five points.
All the videos are presented in a different format - two are animated and two are "real-life" driving lessons presented by a fully qualified DVSA Approved Driving Instructor.

Video Tutorial 1


Video Tutorial 2


Video Tutorial 3





How To Do A 5 Point Turn!

You don't have to complete this manoeuvre in only 3 turns and in fact it's sometimes IMPOSSIBLE to only use 3 turns!
Where the road is narrow or if you're driving a larger vehicle or a vehicle is difficult to steer, you'll need at least 5 turns!
Here's how to do a 5 point turn - and if you can't make it in 5 turns, the principle is the same if you need any extra turns!

Video Tutorial 4



Further Help

If you need more help, here's a highly recommended and inexpensive training aid that will not only help you to pass your driving test, but will teach you good, safe driving practice - for life!


Driving Test Success All Tests has been the UK's best-selling complete learner driver pack for many years now and it contains EVERYTHING that learners need to study for and pass the Theory test - and lots more!
  • all of the official DVSA Theory Test revision questions with answers and full explanations 
  • high quality hazard perception video clips 
  • unlimited topic revision and practice tests 
  • digital edition of the Official Highway Code 
  • progress monitor printable workbook and mock test papers 
  • over 50 driving lesson videos 
  • video of a full mock driving test 
  • all the Show Me Tell Me vehicle safety questions from the Practical test with explanations 
  • FREE online updates 

Friday, 6 November 2015

How To Do An Emergency Stop

On your UK Practical Driving Test you may be required to carry out an emergency stop.

An emergency stop is conducted at random in 1 out of every 3 driving tests. It is done for road safety purposes with the aim of the emergency stop manoeuvre being to demonstrate that you can bring the car to a halt safely and under control in an emergency situation.
If the examiner wants you to carry out the emergency stop, you will first be asked to pull over at the side of the road in a safe place. Pull over to a suitable place as soon as you see one (making sure that you are not inconveniencing any other road users) and put the handbrake on and the gear lever into neutral and wait for the examiner to explain what they would like you to do next.
The examiner will then go through what you will be required to do along the following lines:
"Soon I am going to ask you to stop the vehicle as if in an emergency. Just as if, for example, a small child ran into the road ahead of you. My signal for the manoeuvre will be..."  (at this point the examiner will demonstrate the signal they will give you - it's usually holding up their right hand in front of the windscreen whilst saying "STOP").
The examiner will continue their instructions - 
"When I give the signal I'd like you to stop the car as soon as possible, while maintaining full control. Please try not to anticipate the manoeuvre when you see me look over my shoulder to check that it is safe for you to perform it. Drive on when you are ready please".

Don't Try To Anticipate The Examiner's Signal For The Emergency Stop!

The examiner will ask you to do the emergency stop as soon as they reasonably can, but they have to make sure that the road conditions are suitable and that it will be safe.
Remember that the examiner has said "soon" NOT "immediately", so WAIT for the signal. Drive on as you normally would and don't have your foot hovering over the brake pedal!

How To Do An Emergency Stop - Step-By-Step

Here's a summarised list of what's required for carrying out an emergency stop.
For those who prefer instructions given visually, there are some tutorial videos further down the page - some with an audio commentary for those who like to listen to what they need to do!
  • After the examiner has explained what you will be required to do, move away as normal after making the proper observations. Try to keep your cool and don't try to anticipate when the examiner will ask you to stop. You WILL see the examiner checking that it's safe for you to do the emergency stop but don't assume that it's about to happen just because the examiner looks around - you must WAIT until you get the signal!
  • When the signal is given, you must try to stop as soon as possible in a controlled manner. This is the only time on your test that is no need for mirror checks or signals - the examiner has already checked it is safe and your brake lights will tell other road users what you are doing. Simply remove your foot from the accelerator (gas pedal) and brake firmly but not too hard that the brakes lock or you skid. Just before the car stops press the clutch pedal down. Keep both hands on the steering wheel as you brake to keep the car in a straight line - there's no need to worry about changing gear.
  • When the car has stopped, apply the handbrake and put the gear lever into neutral and take your feet off the pedals while you wait for the examiner's next instruction.
  • The examiner will then say something along the lines of; "Thank you, I won't ask you to do that exercise again. Drive on and follow the road ahead when you're ready."
  • Before moving away you must perform an all-round observation including mirror checks, checking over both your left and right shoulder and giving a signal if necessary.
  • While the examiner wants you to stop quickly, they also want you to stop under CONTROL Brake firmly and progressively but not too harshly or you may cause the brakes to lock and the car to skid

Emergency Stop Do's & Don't's

  • Don't try to anticipate the examiner's request to stop
  • Mirror-Signal-Manoeuvre Not Needed! - while doing an emergency stop on your driving test there is no need for mirror checks or signals before you stop as the examiner has already checked it is safe and your brake lights will tell other road users what you are doing!
  • On completion of the exercise though, you MUST take full observations before moving off again
  • Don't slam your foot too hard on the brake
  • If you feel the brakes locking up, ease off the brake pedal
  • REMEMBER - check all round & over both shoulders before moving off afterwards!



Video Tutorials - Emergency Stop



Common Mistakes When Doing An Emergency Stop

Mistakes that could result in driving test faults when carrying out an emergency stop during your driving test
  • Late or slow reaction to the signal
  • Applying the handbrake before stopping
  • Skidding out of control
  • Missing the foot pedal
  • Letting go of the steering wheel

Further Help

If you need more help, here's a highly recommended and inexpensive training aid that will not only help you to pass your driving test, but will teach you good, safe driving practice - for life!

Driving Test Success All Tests (PC/Laptop and DVD formats available)

Driving Test Success All Tests has been the UK's best-selling complete learner driver pack for many years now and it contains EVERYTHING that learners need to study for and pass the Theory test - and lots more!


  •  all of the official DVSA Theory Test revision questions with answers and full explanations 
  • high quality hazard perception video clips 
  •  unlimited topic revision and practice tests 
  •  digital edition of the Official Highway Code 
  •  progress monitor 
  • printable workbook and mock test papers 
  •  over 50 driving lesson videos 
  •  video of a full mock driving test 
  •  all the Show Me Tell Me vehicle safety questions from the Practical test with explanations 
  •  FREE online updates 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

DVSA Replaces The DSA - New Agency In Charge Of Driving Tests

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has now merged with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). The new agency is called the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and is part of the Department for Transport (DFT).  



The DVSA has many driving related responsibilities including "developing and carrying out driving and riding tests and assessments fairly, consistently and efficiently" and it has stated that one it's priorities is to "maintain a high standard of service provision around driver practical and theory tests".


You can find out more about  the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-standards-agency

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Recommended Practical Test Training Materials

By Author:

I often get asked if there are any training materials to help learner drivers prepare for taking their Practical driving test. On the whole learners seem to be pretty familiar with the wide range of study aids for the driving Theory test, but seem unsure of where to look for good quality, tried and tested driving test preparation books and software.

Now, I most certainly DON'T think anyone can or even should try to learn to drive by reading a book or using software, but when used in conjunction with professional driving lessons, the learning process can be consolidated and reinforced very effectively for many people.

Here's my selection of some really good training aids for the driving test. They can be bought from Amazon.co.uk as shown or from bookshops and in the case of software you may even find some available in supermarkets or other large stores:


BOOK: The Official DSA Guide to Driving: the essential skills by the Driving Standards Agency

This book sums up EVERYTHING a learner driver needs to know to pass their driving test. It's an official publication from the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and given the fact that they're the people in charge of the driving test, they're in a good position to pass on accurate information about what's required to pass it! 

Quite simply, if you follow what's in this book, you should have little problem not only passing your driving test but probably even more importantly, in being a safe and considerate independent driver afterwards.




DVD: Driving Test Success: Practical Test 2013

This DVD can be used on any compatible device including a DVD player, Xbox 360,  PlayStation 3 or PC/MAC.

The Driving Test Success range of software and interactive DVDs from Focus Multimedia has been a market leader for many years now and for good reasons - their products are great value and extremely effective!

This Practical Test DVD contains more than 50 step-by-step tutorials for learner drivers presented by an experienced qualified driving instructor, along with all the Vehicle Safety Check (also known as "Show-Me-Tell-Me) questions and answers. You even get to watch a complete mock driving test so you'll know what to expect on the day of your own test.!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Changes to the driving licence from January 2013

From 19 January 2013 driving licences will look different to comply with new EU rules.
Read more at: https://www.gov.uk/changes-to-the-driving-licence-and-categories