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How to Make Two-Point and Three-Point Turns Safely

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Wrong Way Sign
Two-point and three-point turns are useful when safely changing your travel direction on a road
Photo: Elaine with Grey Cats

Whether you’re a new driver or an experienced one that tends to miss turns a lot while driving, it’s good to know how to make different types of turns. Here’s how to perform two-point and three-point turns safely and confidently.

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Tips for two-point turns

A two-point turn is useful when you need to change the direction that your car is traveling in and you have access to a driveway or cross street. It’s a safer alternative to performing an often-illegal U-turn maneuver, as the DrivingGeeks.com team points out.

To do a two-point turn, locate an empty driveway or cross street nearby. Pull your vehicle up to the side of the end of the driveway or cross street so that your bumper is adjacent to it.

Next, reverse your vehicle into this pathway, making sure that your vehicle is totally off the main road and not blocking traffic. Look both ways then, when traffic is clear, pull forward onto the main road again in the direction you need to travel in.

Tips for three-point turns

A three-point turn is a good go-to move when you need to turn around on a narrow route and there’s no driveway or cross street nearby, as Car and Driver’s Rich Ceppos shares. To begin this maneuver, pull over to the right side of the road close to the curb and turn on your right turn signal. This will let other drivers know that they should pass you while you wait in this position until there’s a sufficient break in both directions of traffic to finish the turn.

Once there’s a break, turn on your left signal then turn the steering wheel all the way to the left and accelerate, moving the car to the opposite side of the road. Next, turn your steering wheel all the way to the right, check behind you and in your side mirror to make sure the coast is clear, and reverse your car. Shift into drive mode and travel in the new direction that you need to be going on this main route.

Increase your knowledge of other tricky driving maneuvers when you read up on parallel parking. Then arm yourself with some parking lot safety tips so you can boost your confidence when navigating this hazardous driving setting.