Official Drivers Ed Direct Website

Navigating Residential Curves

Everything New Drivers Should Know About Curved Residential Roads

Handling curved roads is just one more skill every good driver needs to master! Join driving instructor Alejandra as she breaks down negotiating curved roads in residential neighborhoods. She'll cover everything from speed, steering, and lane positioning to dealing with hazards and roads without markings!

Basics of Navigating Curved Roads

  • Slow down before entering a curve.
  • Accelerate out of a curve.
  • Guide your car with small steering adjustments.
  • Keep a safe lane positioning for possible oncoming vehicles.
  • Look further ahead to the center of your lane, to where you want your car to go.
  • Expect hazards around curves and be ready to stop, if needed.
  • With SUVs and trucks slow down an extra 5 miles per hour for sharper turns.

Navigating Road Curves with Instructor Alejandra, Video Transcript

Hello current and future drivers of the world, it's Alejandra with Drivers Ed Direct and if you have a few minutes to spare, I will do my best to teach you all you need to know about navigating curved roads in residential neighborhoods.

Besides being a part of everyday driving life, curved roads are tested on your Behind the Wheel test. It's an easy skill to learn and master if you put your mind to it... just remember the general rule: slow down into a curve and accelerate out of it.

No matter how sharp or slight a curve is, you will always slow down before a curve. And anytime you slow down, you MUST check your rearview mirror first to assess the traffic situation behind you. You never want to suddenly slow down or stop in case someone is tailgating you. Always be aware of your surroundings!

The curve's sharpness will determine how much you need to slow down. If the curve is slight, then you may barely slow down at all and will hardly have to adjust the steering wheel. If the curve is extremely sharp, you might have to slow down as if you were making a true turn, going 10-14 miles per hour, and turning the steering wheel considerably. Also, you need to be going cautiously enough to stop if an unexpected hazard is waiting for you around the curve. Sharp curves can be dangerous because of the limited visibility around the bend.

Also worth noting: yellow warning signs may alert you that an upcoming turn is very sharp. You see this more on busy streets or on highways, but they can be found in residentials from time to time.

When you navigate a curve, you want to make sure to stay on the right side of the road. In residentials, there usually won't be a painted yellow center line, so you'll have to imagine the center yellow line and make sure to stay on the right side of it. Always drive as if another oncoming car is coming around the corner -- are you far enough on the right side to avoid a head on collision?

You also want to maintain a smooth, controlled speed while keeping your visual focus targeted further ahead on the center of your real or imagined lane. Don't stare at the parked cars to guide you -- this will usually result in your drifting towards the parked cars... remember, you usually head towards where you look.

Again, how much you have to maneuver or steer the wheel will depend on the sharpness of the curve. Whatever you do, don't oversteer or handle the wheel like you're in a video game. Hold the wheel with a firm yet relaxed grip, making micro-steering-adjustments to guide the car, if needed.

As you exit the curve, you can start to gently accelerate back to the speed limit as you straighten out your steering wheel. Again, keep your visual focus further down the road, on where you want your car to end up, and you will naturally drive in that direction.

Last but not least, keep in mind that SUVs and trucks have a higher center of gravity, so slow down an extra 5 miles per hour when you take sharper turns.

And there you have it, navigating curves covered in less than 5 minutes. Did we miss anything? Did you find this helpful? Let us know in the comments below. Please don't forget to like and subscribe, and from Alejandra and everyone at Drivers Ed Direct, we'll see you around the bend in our next video. Stay safe out there!