A TURN IN THE ROAD

On your driving test you will be required to carry out one of the following three manoeuvres: a parallel or bay park, a reverse round the comer to the left or a turn in the road using forward and reverse gears.

The turn in the road manoeuvre is to show that you have the ability to turn the car round to face the opposite direction in a confined space. The skill required for this is a coordination of your controls, i.e. brake, gas, clutch and steering all working together. Proper observation is also required, i.e. where you are looking, why you are looking and your response to what you see. Lastly, reasonable accuracy is required. This means carrying out the manoeuvre in the fewest possible moves and avoiding touching the kerb. Skills you may already have will help in this manoeuvre. For example, if you have dealt with T junctions, you will have used the method “peep and creep” whereby you move the car extremely slowly by holding the clutch just at or above biting point. You will need the same clutch control to manoeuvre the car in the confined space of the road width. Whilst moving the car slowly, you should also move the steering wheel very briskly until you obtain full lock. The minimum number of moves is: turn to the right across the road, reverse back to the left across the road and finally move forward again to position the car in the opposite direction. There may be instances where it is impossible to complete the manoeuvre in three turns: where the road is exceptionally narrow or has a large camber. When dealing with a large camber, you may need a little more gas going up the camber and whilst coming down the other side you may push the clutch down to the floor and control your speed by feathering the brake pedal. It may also be necessary to use the parking brake each time your stop. Accuracy in not touching the kerb is achieved by what your instructor will term “reference points”.

Before and during the manoeuvre, you must maintain 360 degree observation to ensure no cars or pedestrians are approaching, that might be hindered in the process. However, should a vehicle approach whilst you are in the middle of the manoeuvre, you should continue towards the kerb and then stop and let it pass provided there is room to do so.