Finally! A manoeuvre! I know different driving schools have different plans on when to introduce manoeuvres but after 16 hours of learning, I’m glad to finally be starting them. I’m glad that my actual driving is at a decent standard as I feel this will only be a benefit when learning the manoeuvres.
The turn in the road (formerly known as the 3-point turn) isn’t as easy as it looks. The reason for the name change is it no longer matters in a driving test if it takes 3 points to turn the car or if it takes 5 or 7. This obviously makes it easier and puts less pressure on you. The idea of doing the turn in the road is fairly simple, it’s the putting it into practice that is difficult (isn’t it always?).
You will be on the left of the road naturally and the car needs to be in first gear. The wheel need to be turned all the way to the right whilst the car is moving extremely slowly using the clutch. When the wheel is completely turned you can move a bit faster if you need to, but the most important thing is to get the wheel completely turned as quickly as possible. Another thing to remember is to not touch the pavement at all, even if it’s a dipped pavement as this will be at least a minor on a test. Getting as close to the pavement as possible without touching it obviously makes it easier to get the car turned around in fewer goes. Then put the car into reverse and slowly bring the clutch up to just below the biting point while turning the steering wheel all the way to the left. Again it’s important not to hit the pavement but this is a lot harder to gauge going backwards. You repeat these steps until the car is turned the way you want to go.
This was my first time of putting the car into reverse and I found it difficult to physically do, I don’t know if I’m just weak or if the gear stick is really stiff (maybe a combination of the 2) but I had to put real effort in to get it into reverse. My driving instructor actually had to do it for me a couple of times which does worry me a bit as I won’t be able to do that in the test. I had a few attempts at the turn in the road and I managed to do a couple in 3! I do admit that most of them took 5 with the odd few taking 7.
As I am driving in a brand new car it has technology that I didn’t even realise it had. I’d done the turn about 4 times when my instructor said to me “if you look at the screen make sure you look out the window as well.” My reply was “what screen?” Turns out that the sat nav screen is linked to a camera on the back of the car and this screen flicks on when the car is in reverse. I feel stupid for not even noticing this but I think my idea of cars is still a bit in the past. This camera makes it so much easier to reverse and do this manoeuvre as you can get really close to the pavement while still knowing you aren’t going to hit it.
The thing I found most difficult about doing a turn in the road is the slow speed but fast movement of the wheel. As you need to keep the clutch below the biting point to go slow enough, if your foot moves a bit you end up going way too fast which in reality means you need to move the wheel even quicker but I ended up steering slower. Matt said it’s like rubbing your belly and patting your head in the way that you are doing two completely different things that don’t feel natural to do together. My issue was that when I accidentally made the car go a bit faster, my steering was a lot slower because I was in a mini panic about the speed and the idea of not steering enough. Hopefully I won’t need to have many more lessons on this and instead just sort of integrate it into the lessons when I just drive around.
Now I’ve just got all of the other manoeuvres such as parallel parking and reverse parking to worry about!