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Manoeuvres – Turn in the Road

May 27, 20141 Comment

Video Transcript

This week on the blog we are looking at the turn in the road exercise. It is quite a straight forward one really and there are a few methods out there but the main thing that I do is to not let them take the turns off whilst moving.

So we do the normal look around, over the shoulder etc. with the car moving very slowly and very quick steering. We have practiced this with parking bays as discussed in last week’s blog so you should have these controls and clutch control sorted. Of course, you may well have a camber so look out for that.

I tend to do this exercise on reasonably narrow roads. A bit advice for this is that if you can get three cars parked next to each other like they are in parking bays in a car park then the manoeuvre can be done in three. It doesn’t matter if it is in three or five; it is just for your own knowledge. If it can be done in three then vehicles can get around you on either side. Having people around you can put the pupils off so I tend to use a dead end street to reduce the chances of other vehicles coming along the road and try to control the environment where I can for my pupils.

I can give my pupils reference points and talk to them about the relevance of these reference points. I talk to them about the importance of the observations and the consequences if they don’t observe rather than being hassled to rush the manoeuvre because there is another car around. It is quality and not quantity and the information that I give the pupil is very . If you look at the other videos on my site you will see what I mean about this.

The main thing that I want to talk to you about today is that when I go forward I don’t get them to take the turns off. I have done quite a lot of experimenting with this and it seems, in my view, that you get around better if you don’t take the turns off. The main reason for not taking the turns off is you have got one less reference point for them to think about and if they do take the turns off, in my experience, 20 – 30% of pupils will steer the wrong way when going backwards. Whereas if you have got the full lock on to the right for example, even if they try and steer right they can’t as it is full lock so they quickly realise and steer the other way. So it takes away the potential of them ending up where they started which I am sure we have all had. If they don’t take the turns off this wont happen. Yes, they have to steer a bit more when they go backwards but if you have practiced this with the reverse park exercise they will be used to steering a lot to go into the bay so this shouldn’t be a major issue.

Observations out of the back are quite common failures so make sure they are looking out the back. Another common problem is they are not looking to the right when they are halfway across to pick up the reference point so they don’t hit the kerb. So it is not looking out of the back all of the time, it is just when they are steering left. Once they are about halfway across they need to be looking around, look out the back and then stop.

Another point is that they can touch the kerb. The Examiner will say please avoid touching the kerb but they can touch the kerb. There is a difference between touching the kerb and hitting the kerb. The pupil can rest against the kerb which means there is no need for the handbrake. So the essential skills say use the handbrake if necessary. A lot of instructors are really hot on telling their pupils that they must use the handbrake but they don’t need to. I don’t get my pupils to use the handbrake as I tend to get them to rest against the kerb. Don’t worry, it is safe as they can’t roll backwards, there is no one behind as we have checked and we may be over hanging the kerb even if we are stopped an inch or so from the curb but this is not a danger as we have already checked there is no one there.

So, no need to use the handbrake but you can teach it to them if you want to. You can get them to hold the handbrake on the clutch biting point against the brake. You can get them to put the handbrake on but you can’t insist as the essential skills say ‘if necessary’.

So the main point is that you don’t need to take the turns off. You can teach it but if you have a pupil that sometimes steers in the wrong way give this method a go.

Filed in: Teaching Manoeuvres
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About the Author ()

Blaine Walsh is the owner of, has been a driving instructor trainer for 15 years and a driving instructor for over 20 years. When he first qualified Blaine admits his was not a very good instructor, became disillusioned, was not retaining pupils and not making any money, so he quit full time teaching. After spending time self-reflecting, he had a light bulb moment and realised that he needed to put more explanation, effort and enthusiasm into teaching learners. Since then he has not looked back and is now regarded as one of the top trainers in the country.
  • ditvadmin

    Hi Dave
    It does sound a bit unusual but I would be reluctant to comment without being there. I would recommend teaching your pupils to keep an eye out for ‘street furniture’ before they start their manoeuvre and to take this into account before they start. I know the Examiners usually tell pupils where to start but I’m sure there would be no issue with the pupil deciding to move forward a bit before starting if needed.


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