How to Make a Right Turn


Being able to make a safe right turn is one of driving's fundamental skills. It's often the first turn teenagers make when learning to drive, since turning left usually requires crossing in front of traffic. The technique for making a proper right turn is simple, but important to know and abide by.

  • Brake smoothly into the turn. If there's a traffic signal such as a light or a stop sign at the intersection, make sure you come to a complete stop before continuing around the bend.

  • Signal your intent to turn by activating your blinker. The recommended minimum distance before turning on the signal varies from state to state. To be safe, make sure you give drivers behind you at least 3 seconds warning before turning.

  • Look to your left to check for cross traffic moving through the intersection.

  • Look across the intersection for any oncoming traffic that might be turning left into your intended lane. Oftentimes, you won't know when other cars have a protected left turn, so it's important to double-check before continuing on your route.

  • Check the road you'll be turning into for pedestrians. As long as they follow existing traffic signals, pedestrians are always protected in crosswalks.

  • Make your right turn into the lane nearest you. Avoid crossing over multiple lanes of traffic, unless you're sure there's no cross traffic competing for lane space.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always check for bicyclists riding in your lane before making your turn. Many riders are hit by drivers turning right who don't know they're there.
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