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Turning

Drivers Icon Teaching Your Teen to Drive

Practicing Turns

Practice turning in a large, open parking lot, or other without traffic, pedestrians, or bicyclists. The first few times, give directions on steering throughout the turn. Be ready to grab the wheel, if necessary. Practice right turns first.

Signaling to Other Drivers

Have your teen demonstrate arm and electric turn signals as shown in the graphic. During the driving test, your teen must use the vehicle’s turn signal during the last 100 feet before reaching the left or right turn. At freeway speeds, it is best to signal at least 5 seconds before changing lanes.

Right Turns

Give the instruction to turn at least 200 feet (more than one-half city block) before turning. This will allow the teen enough time to signal, check traffic, and start the turn. Approach the turn in the right lane, turn into the right lane, and remain in that lane until the turn is completed.

Note: Do not turn wide as it could create a hazard with oncoming traffic.

If your teen has difficulty making right turns, follow these steps:

  1. Signal a right turn as soon as possible, without confusing other drivers.
  2. Slow down as they approach the turn. Check the traffic ahead, behind, and over their right shoulder.
  3. Drive close to the right edge of the If they are merging into a bike lane, they must look over their right shoulder before merging to ensure the lane is clear.
  4. Obey all the signs and/ or traffic At the intersection, look left, right, and left again.
  5. Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
  6. Turn the wheel to the right when the front bumper enters the intersection.
  7. Complete the turn in the right lane.
  8. Turn the steering wheel as the front end of the vehicle enters the proper lane, and then straighten the vehicle in the lane.

Left Turns

After your teen can make a right turn well, practice left turns. If your teen has difficulty making left turns correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Signal a left turn as soon as possible, without confusing other drivers.
  2. S l o w d o w n a s t h e y approach the turn. Check the traffic ahead, behind, and over their left shoulder.
  3. Drive close to the center divider or turn lane.
  4. Obey all signs and/or traffic At the intersection, look left, right, and ahead.
  5. Keep the steering wheel straight and yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
  6. Look left, ahead, right, and left again and proceed into the intersection when safe while turning the steering wheel to the left to enter the new lane.
  7. Accelerate the vehicle and allow the wheel to straighten on the new lane to complete their turn.

Note: Do not drive too close to the corner as it could create a hazard with oncoming traffic.

U-Turn

  1. Practice U-turns on a wide, residential street with little or no Do not make a U-turn in heavy traffic.
  2. During the first practice session, act as your teen’s eyes while they concentrate on making the turn.
  3. When your teen can make the turn easily, encourage them to look in all directions for traffic before turning and while making the (Near intersections a vehicle can come around the corner in just a few seconds.)