Turning right is one of those aspects of driving we take for granted, but yet it can be a high risk manoeuvre. In order to reduce this risk we need to approach each turn in a consistent manner
When you see your turn in front, you should link it with mirror checks so you know what is happening behind and at the sides. Give a signal clearly and in plenty of time if someone will benefit so they know in advance what your intentions are.
Before you change position it is important to check your mirrors once again and if a signal hasn't already been given, consider one now.
Check your mirrors before beginning to slow down. Apply your footbrake progressively and in plenty of time as this will give following traffic early warning via your brake lights.
If you need to wait for oncoming traffic, aim to stop before you reach your point of turn (level with the centre of the road you are turning into). Keep your wheels straight so that if you are hit from behind you won't be propelled across a line of oncoming traffic.
Once you stop, select your gear for moving away and consider applying your handbrake if delayed. Monitor activities all around your car while you are waiting for oncoming traffic to pass. The main areas to check are in front, behind, at your sides as well as the road you are about to turn into.
- Can you see into the minor road?
- Are there any pedestrians crossing?
- Is anyone emerging from it?
Before moving away, check in front, behind and at the sides once more just in case the situation has changed since your last check.
When it is safe, move forward slowly and begin to turn your steering wheel when your front wheel is level with the centre of the road you are about to turn into. If you turn before this point you will cut the corner and if you turn after it, you may overshoot it.
Some common mistakes when turning right include:
- Not taking effective observation throughout the whole manoeuvre
- Not giving signals clearly and in plenty of time
- Incorrect position on approach to the turn.
- Late braking at the corner.
- Incorrect gear selection
- Keeping your wheels angled while waiting to turn
- Failure to take effective observation before making your turn
- Turning too early and cutting the corner
Acknowledgement: The National Safety Council