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How to Make a Turn Safely in an Automobile (Posted on May 5 2010)

Many collisions are caused by drivers who, through ignorance or negligence, fail to make right or left turns correctly.  There are certain steps which all drivers should take before making turns:

1. Decide on the place you intend to turn before you reach it.  It is dangerous to decide at the last second to make a turn.
2. Check your mirrors and your blind spot for other vehicles before you change lanes.
3. You should give a signal well ahead of your turning point in order to give ample warning to others.  If using a hand signal, hold it until you are close enough to the intersection so that pedestrians and other drivers are aware of your intention to turn.  Do not hold the hand signal while making your turn, however; you need both hands on the wheel.make a right turn

4. Move into the proper lane as soon as possible.  The faster the traffic is moving, the sooner you should get into the proper lane for your turn.
5. Make turns at low speed, keeping your car under complete control.
6. Make your turn as soon as traffic conditions permit.  Do not keep the traffic behind you waiting unnecessarily.
7. If you are stopped in an intersection to make a left turn, and waiting for approaching traffic to clear, do not turn the steering wheel to the left until you are sure you can complete the turn.  With the wheels turned to the left, your car could be pushed into the path of approaching traffic if struck from the rear.
8. Make your turns correctly as shown in the following pages.  This will be easy if you are in the proper lane and proceeding slowly enough at the time you begin to turn.
9. Complete your turn into the proper lane.

Right Turn Approach
Before making a right turn, the automobile should be in the right hand lane and parallel to the curb.  The distance from the curb to the side of the automobile should be three feet.  At this point your speed should be less than 10 miles per hour.  If you are driving a manual transmission car, you should be in second gear.
Well before you reach the intersection, signal your turn and move to the right hand lane when the way is clear.  Look ahead, and to the left and right, before starting to make your turn.  Keep your car three feet from the curb as you make the turn.  Watch for pedestrians, who have the right of way.
As the car slowly rolls out across the crosswalk lines, you must judge when to begin the right turn.  This is the most difficult part of the turn.  Each corner is slightly different; you must assess the degree of sharpness and turn accordingly.  A good general rule is, begin turning hand over hand as front wheels reach the point where the curb turns.  If you start too soon, the rear wheels will strike or climb the curb.  If you start turning too late, the car will swing wide and be in the wrong lane as you complete the turn.

Left Turn Approach
The law states that in order to make a left turn, the driver must begin from the ‘most left’ legal position on the roadway.  In some cases it is necessary to make a lane change before turning left.
Mirror check, shoulder check, signal left and, if the way is clear, enter the proper lane.  Watch for pedestrians.
Well before you reach the intersection, slow down to less than 10 miles per hour and again signal your intention to turn left.  Look behind for traffic and move as close to the center line as possible (that is, the line separating your lane from the nearest lane of oncoming traffic).

make a left turn

Look ahead to the left and right before starting to make the turn.  Wait until all oncoming traffic is clear of the intersection.  Cars making a left hand turn must surrender the right of way to oncoming traffic going straight through the intersection.
In some cities, left turns are simplified by curving yellow lines on the road, which act as guides.  Where these do not exist, enter the intersection to the right of the center point.  Leave the intersection by passing to the right of, and as close as practicable to, the center line of the highway being entered.
When you are heading straight again, accelerate gently to regain speed.  Be careful if you accelerate while you are still turning – the car may skid, causing you to lose control.

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