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Right Turns for Beginners

Driving School How To - Right Turn Steering Control

Driving instructor Micah takes the two steering techniques learned in our first left turn video and shows you how to apply them to right turns. While the Hand-Over-Hand and Push-Pull Methods for right turns and left turns are similar, there a few very important differences for right turns that Micah will clue you in on, so be sure to tune in!

Right Turns for Beginners, Video Transcript

Hello All! Driving Instructor Micah here, and if you've made it this far, then 90% of everything you just learned about left turns will work for right turns. But, if you're just joining us for the first time, go back to the beginning or click the link above to watch the section we just did about left turns.

Right Turn Steering Control

When we discussed left turns, we broke down two good options for handling the wheel: "hand-over-hand" and "push-pull". The idea is exactly the same for right turns, except that you'll basically move the wheel in the opposite direction than you did for left turns... which is a no brainer of course.

Also, right turns are usually sharper turns than left turns. In general, making right turns is mechanically harder because the turns tend to be sharper than your average left turn. In addition, many beginner drivers struggle with oversteering, where they turn the wheel too much and risk hitting the curb or parked cars. Again, it's important to keep your visual reference point on the lane where you want to finish. Taking your time will help you overcome this as well.

Finally, right turns are different when it comes to the steering wheel movement at the beginning of your turns. You will usually start to turn your wheel slightly -- maybe a quarter turn -- as you enter the intersection... and then start your full turn once your mirror passes the curb. Remember, for your LEFT turns, you never start turning the wheel AT ALL until your mirror passes the curb and you are ready to commit to your turn... but for RIGHT turns, you do start to turn a little earlier.

Right Turn Hand Over Hand Steering Method

Just as with the left turns, the hand over hand technique is a 3-step process, but now we do it in the reverse order:

Step 1: With your wheel already turned a quarter of the way to the right and both hands reset on the wheel at the 10 and 2 position, you're first movement will be with your LEFT hand. As your right hand releases grip of the wheel, use your left hand to push the steering wheel from the 10 o'clock position to about the 2 o'clock position, like this...

Step 2: Now with your RIGHT hand, reach OVER your left hand and grab the steering wheel at the 10 o'clock and pull it to the 2 o'clock position as your release your left hand grip.

Step 3: Now put your LEFT hand back to the 10 o'clock position and hold the wheel steady while you make the arc of your right turn.

Looking at the steering wheel, it should now be turned about three-quarters to a full-turn -- somewhere between facing left and right-side up -- and that's about how much you turn the wheel for a normal right turn. For a wide turn, you'll turn in a bit less. For a very sharp turn, you may turn it much more. Again, every turn will be unique, but in general, most turns can be done with the hand over hand steps we just outlined.

After starting your turn and you have reached your intended target, you can now walk the steering wheel back to the forward position, like this: "3-2-1".

When you put it all together, it's "1-2-3" to start the right turn and then walk it back "3-2-1" to return the wheel to the normal position and complete the turn.

Let's get out on the street and do a couple of right turns so that you can watch the entire hand over hand technique from start to finish!

Example 1 : Hand Over Hand from Stopped Position, Right Turn

Here we are at an all way stop, let's turn to the right. My wheel slightly turns to the right as I pull forward and as soon as my right mirror passes the curb, I continue by turning hand-over-hand to the right like this "1-2-3"... I hold the wheel through the turn, and aiming at my target I begin to walk the wheel back "3-2-1" ... easy.

Example 2 : Hand Over Hand Rolling Right Turn

Now a rolling right turn. I've already slowed down and positioned myself closer to the curb, as I enter the intersection, I start to angle my wheel slightly and as my mirror passes the curb I turn the wheel "1-2-3" and hold it and then start to counter-steer "3-2-1" as I accelerate out of the turn. Beautiful.

Right Turn Push-Pull Steering Method

My personal preference is to use the push-pull method more so for left turns, because left turns are wider and the push-pull method is great for wider turns. However, you can still make right turns using the push-pull method, so let's go over how that works for right turns specifically.

Again, the push-pull is most easily executed by starting with the 9-and-3 hand positions. With your hands on the 9 and 3 positions, you push the wheel up with your LEFT hand until the 12-position like this. Then grab the wheel with your RIGHT hand at the same 12-position, without crossing your hands, and pull it down to the 3-position. You will probably have to repeat this same motion twice ... left hand push the wheel up from 9 to 12, right hand pulls the wheel down from 12 to 3.

Let's do an actual right turn using the push-pull method so you can see it better illustrated. As we approach the intersection with our signal on, slowing down and fading towards the curb, I begin to angle my wheel slightly to the right as I enter the intersection. Then, as soon as my mirror passes the curb, I push the wheel up to the 12-position with my left hand, and then pull the wheel down with my right hand to the 3-position. I repeat this same motion as needed and then hold wheel through the turn, and then do the opposite as I come out of the turn -- basically shuffle the wheel back to the normal position as I accelerate out of the turn.

We hoped you learned a lot today and I want to reiterate the importance of being patient and taking your time learning to turn. Afterall, turning is one of the most challenging skills for new drivers and not everyone learns it in a single lesson (or two or three). If you can convince your parents, then get out into an empty parking lot and really practice. Do turn after turn after turn... with your signed permit, of course. I promise you, it will eventually become 2nd nature and you won't even think about all of these steps we discussed today, they will simply become part of who you are as a driver.