in: How To, Skills, Visual Guides

• Last updated: September 23, 2022

How to Perform a Three-Point Turn

The three-point turn is used when you need to turn around, but the street is too narrow to complete a U-turn. You also might use it when you need to turn around when you’ve driven between two rows of cars in a parking lot and reach a dead end. 

It’s a basic driving maneuver that you probably learned in drivers’ ed and had to perform to get your license. You’d think a grown man would have it down pat. 

But that’s not always the case.

Awhile back ago we and some friends watched as a guy reached the entrance gate of a national park, realized he couldn’t get in, and attempted to turn around to drive back out.

Over the course of this agonizing attempt, what should have been a three-point turn turned into a six-point turn. 

If you could use a refresher on this driving technique, here’s how to smoothly perform a three-point turn.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

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