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Florida Drivers Handbook - Chapter 3 - Making Turns

You are Here: Traffic School » Florida Driver Handbook » Chapter 3 » Making Turns

The Florida drivers handbook is your guide to getting a Florida drivers license. Inside the drivers manual you will find driving laws, explanations of how to get your drivers license, and details of the different types of drivers licenses Florida offers.

Chapter 3 - Making Turns

This section of the Florida Driver Handbook explains the proper way to make turns.

Topics Addressed in Chapter 3 of the Florida Driver Handbook include:

Defensive Driving Passing
Safety Belts Parking
Protecting Children Expressway Driving
Speed Limits Animals
Right of Way Handling Emergencies
Pedestrians Sharing the Road with a Truck
Making Turns Sharing the Road with a Bicycle
  Sharing the Road with a Motorcycle

« Back to Driver Handbook Table of Contents


Making Turns

Turning a corner may seem to be a simple operation, but many traffic crashes are caused by drivers who do not turn correctly.

There are nine steps in making a good turn:

making turns
  1. Make up your mind about your turn before you get to the turning point. Turn signals are required when changing lanes. Never make "last minute" turns.

  2. If you must change lanes, look behind and to both sides to see where other vehicles are located before making your turn.

  3. Move into the correct lane as you near the intersection. The correct lane for the right turn is the lane next to the right edge of the roadway. On a two-lane road with traffic in both directions, an approach for a left turn should be made in the part of the right half of the roadway nearest the center line.

  4. Give a turn signal for at least the last 100 feet before you make your turn. Let other drivers know what you are going to do.

  5. Slow down to a safe turning speed.

  6. When you are slowing to make a right turn, the bicyclist you passed may be catching up to you. Search over your shoulder before turning. Yield to bicyclists and pedestrians.

  7. Yield to pedestrians who may be crossing your path when turning left. Always scan for pedestrians before starting the turn.

  8. Make the turn, staying in the proper lane. Yield the right-of-way to vehicles (including bicycles) coming from the opposite direction.

  9. Finish your turn in the proper lane. A right turn should be from the right lane into the right lane of the roadway entered. A left turn may be completed in any lane lawfully available, or safe, for the desired direction of travel. See the diagrams for making left turns from or into one-way streets.

If you reach an intersection where you wish to make a right or left turn and are not in the proper lane, you should drive to the next intersection. Then make the turn from the proper lane.

















Bike Lanes at Intersections

Slow down and look for bicyclists. Signal your turn prior to crossing through the bike lane at the dashed striping. Yield to any bicyclist. Complete the turn from the designated right turn lane. If there is no right turn lane, after first checking to make sure that no bicyclists are present, you may enter the bike lane at the intersection or driveway.







Turnabout (Three-Point Turn)

Sometimes you will need to turn your car around in a very small space. Use a three-point turn only if the road is too narrow for a U-turn and you canít go around the block. To make a three-point turn:

  1. Move as far right as possible, check traffic, and signal a left turn.
  2. Turn the steering wheel sharply to the left and move forward slowly. Stop at the curb, or edge of roadway.
  3. Shift to reverse, turn your wheels sharply to the right, check traffic, and back your vehicle to the right curb, or edge of roadway.
making 3 point turns

You can now move in the opposite direction. Check the traffic and move forward. Never make a three-point turn or a U-turn on a curve, a hill or when a sign indicates that making a U-turn is prohibited.

Turn Signals and Emergency Signals

You must use hand signals or directional signals to show that you are about to turn. Turn signals are required when changing lanes or overtaking a vehicle. It is against the law to use your directional signals to tell drivers behind you that they can pass. Four-way emergency flashers should only be used while your vehicle is legally stopped or disabled on the highway or shoulder.

Right Turn - Hand Signal

right turn hand signal

Slow Down - Hand Signal

hand signal slow down

Left Turn - Hand Signal

hand signal left turn

Traffic Lanes

Always drive on the right side of a two-lane highway except when passing. If the road has four or more lanes with two-way traffic, drive in the right lanes except when overtaking and passing.

Left lanes on some interstate roads are reserved for car pool vehicles with two or more occupants in the car - watch for diamond signs in the median. The center lane of a three-lane or five-lane highway is used only for turning left.

If you see red reflectors facing you on the lane lines, you are on the wrong side of the road. Get into the proper lane immediately! If you see red reflectors on the lines on the edge of the road, you are on the wrong freeway ramp. Pull over immediately! Red reflectors always mean you are facing traffic the wrong way and could have a head-on collision.

Blind Spot

Blind spots are areas near the left and right rear corners of your vehicle that you cannot see in your rearview mirrors. Before you move sideways to change lanes on an expressway or to pass on any road, turn your head to make sure these areas are clear. Areas bordered by Xs are blind spots for a car with an outside mirror on the left side only.

driving blind spots

On the roads with more than one lane in each direction, do not drive in someone elseís blind spot. Speed up or drop back so the other driver can see you.

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Disclaimer: Please get an official copy of the Florida Driver Handbook by visiting your local DMV Office. While we try, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the online verison provided here.

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