Maybe you haven’t focused on your three-point turn since prepping for your driving exam way back when, but we can always use a refresher. Check out our video—plus the play-by-play below it—to make sure your three-point is always on-point.
Simple Steps to a Three-Point Turn
Need to turn around while driving? You can make a U-turn if the road is clear and it’s legal to do so, but if the road is too narrow, you’ll want to make a three-point turn instead.
Many DMVs say that you can make a legal three-point turn only if the street is narrow, there is good visibility, there are no public driveways to turn into, the traffic is light, and if there’s no other option.
To get started with your three-point turn, get close to the edge of the curb, giving yourself plenty of room. Next, switch on your left turn signal, and check for traffic and pedestrians in both directions. You’ll need to allow at least 20–30 seconds to make your turn.
Always check for traffic and pedestrians in both directions.
(What happens if a car comes? Just make sure your car isn’t blocking them and wait for them to pass before completing your turn.)
Next, turn your wheel all the way to the left, and slowly move across the street. Stop once your car is perpendicular to the street, about two feet from the curb. Once again, check for traffic both ways.
Now, turn the wheel all the way to the right, and shift gears into reverse. While looking over your shoulder, back it up to the opposite side of the road, stopping just before the curb.
Don’t forget to use your right and left turn signals while completing your turn.
Check again for other cars, and switch on your left turn signal. Shift gears back into drive, and turn the wheel to the left. Pull into the lane and straighten out your steering wheel. Accelerate to the proper speed, and you’re all done!