Because a three-point turn is generally a slow speed maneuver, it is also considered a safe move. However, commercial drivers should be reminded never to rush this move as failure to focus can result in backing into a curb or even a pedestrian.
Though it's a relatively safe turn, when improperly executed, three-point turns can also result in fender benders or minor collisions.
Three-point turns are best done on quiet dead end or residential streets, though you may do a three-point on a street with moderate traffic if it's safe. Experts advise drivers follow these steps to properly execute a safe, smooth three-point turn:
- Signal to the right, do a shoulder check and mirror check, pull over to the right.
- Stop on the side of the road.
- Now put left signal on, do a mirror and shoulder check.
- If you are on a street with traffic traveling in two directions, make sure to look both ways to ensure traffic is not coming from either direction.
- Once you determine the road is clear, move out to the left, steer all the way to the left , when you get to the centerline, straighten the wheels out and drive all the way to the curb on the other side.
- When you reach the curb on the other side, put your right signal on, and put the vehicle in reverse.
- Do a 360-degree scan to ensure no traffic is coming.
- Begin to back up, and when the vehicle starts to move, steer all the way to the right while looking over your right shoulder.
- As you get to the centerline, straighten your wheels out and look over your left shoulder because the vehicle is on an angle it will be the left, rear wheel that reaches the curb first — you want to be able to see it, so you know when to stop.
- When you get near the curb, put your left signal on, do a 360 scan, signal to the left.
- Now look in the direction you want to go, steer the vehicle and accelerate in the path you want to travel.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorectly stated that three-point turns should be made on one-way streets.