Turning right can be challenging for a learner driver due to hesitation and not being confident or fully understanding when they should wait or go.
The driving test will of course involve many right turns on quiet residential or country roads, up to high speed national speed limit roads. Understanding the correct routine, rules for making right turns, the correct position and when to give way to oncoming traffic is essential.
This tutorial explains this along with any right turn road signs that may be encountered.
Locating a right turn
As with left turns, locating the right turn at the earliest opportunity will give you plenty of to prepare and take appropriate observations. Check for right turn road signs, but some turns can be difficult to see.
To help, look for gaps in houses, bushes/trees or parked cars that may indicate the right turn is ahead.
Right turn rules for the driving test
There will be many right turns that you will be taking during the driving test. Each of these, you will be expected to use the MSPSL (Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed and Look) routine. Starting at the bottom of the diagram, we shall follow the correct rules for making a right turn during a driving test.
Upon locating where the right turn ahead is, look into the interior mirror, followed by the right wing mirror.
Signal to the right immediately after the mirrors.
Position your car just to the left of the centre of the road. If there is a centre road marking, ensure you do not position your car on or over the line.
Speed is dependent on whether you need to stop and give way to oncoming traffic and how clear (open or closed/blind) the right turn you wish to take is. If you do not need to give way and the right turn is open, usually taking the turn in 2nd gear at around 10-15 mph is sufficient. If the right turn is closed, and difficult to navigate, 1st gear at around 5 mph may be appropriate.
You must look to determine if the right turn is open or closed and also to ensure the junction is free from cyclists and pedestrians before making the turn. If there are pedestrians or cyclists crossing, wait at the point of turn position before turning.
FOR A MORE IN DEPTH LOOK INTO THE THIS ROUTINE, SEE:
Turning right point of turn
Line the very front of your car up with the centre line of the road you intend on taking. The point of turn will eliminate making the turn too soon. Taking the right turn too soon will result in cutting the corner and driving on the wrong side of the new road. This will fail a driving test and is dangerous for oncoming vehicles coming out of the right turn. The point of turn will also eliminate the potential of taking the turn too late and possibly hitting the kerb or even mounting the pavement, both of which is likely to fail the driving test in this situation.
Give way to oncoming traffic
If you need to give way to oncoming traffic, ensure you stop at the point of turn. It can be difficult for a learner driver to know when to make the turn safely when confronted with oncoming traffic. As a guide, think of yourself as a pedestrian standing in the road exactly where you are sitting at the point of turn. When, as a pedestrian you feel it is safe to walk to the other side of the road to the right, would be a good indication that it is safe to make the turn in your car. This technique is only applicable to residential and city roads that have a speed limit of 30 mph.
Right turn hazards
Turning right may of course involve giving way to oncoming traffic, but in many respects it can be easier than turning left. Your view of the road you intend to take is much clearer when making right turns and therefore spotting hazards is easier.
Hazards to be aware of are pedestrians crossing the road at the junction lines and cyclists that can often be difficult to see. Also look out for narrow roads that may have cars parked close to the junction line as you may need to give way soon after you have made the right turn.
Making a right turn tips
- Try to locate the turn as soon as possible by use of signs, road markings or gaps in trees and houses.
- Use the MSPSL routine on the driving test.
- Stop at the point if turn to eliminate driving on the wrong side of the road or hitting the kerb.
- Check for hazards such as pedestrians crossing the road, cyclists or parked cars before making the turn.
Right turn signs
Whilst driving, especially during a driving test, locating a right turn in plenty of time will provide you with more time to prepare. The examiner may possibly ask you to take the next available road on the right. Be careful as the next junction on the right may be no entry and will have a sign similar to the no right turn sign below. Obviously making a right turn in this situation is illegal and would fail any driving test. Examiner aren’t trying to trick you into making a mistake, they simply want to ensure you are taking notice of all road signs.