car turning

Turning right on red, making a u-be, hanging a louie — turning is such an integral part of driving that most of us don’t give it a second thought because it has become second nature. But a lot of auto accidents occur during turns, proving that there is a lot more to turning your vehicle legally and safely than simply rotating the steering wheel. Turning safety is key. See if you know the right answer to this question:

You are about to make a left turn. You must signal continuously during the last ____ feet before the turn.

A. 50

B. 75

C. 100

If you picked “C. 100,” you are correct and may skip to the next article — everyone else should read on.

Source: CA Department of Motor Vehicles Sample Class C Driver Test

Right on Red

Woody Allen once said that the only cultural advantage to living in California was that you can make a right on red. California was the first state to allow right turns at red lights, with the rest of the nation following suit during the 1970s as a way of conserving gas. After all, a moving vehicle uses fuel much more efficiently than one idling at a red traffic light. Unless there is a sign prohibiting a right on red, signal your turn and come to a complete stop. Look to your left for oncoming traffic and to your right for pedestrians crossing the street. Proceed with caution.


There are only two types of U-turns — legal ones and illegal ones. You may make a U-turn:

In a residential district:

• If no vehicle approaching you is closer than 200 feet.

• Whenever a traffic sign or signal protects you from vehicles that are close.

At an intersection on a green light or green arrow, unless a “No U-turn” sign is posted.

On a divided highway. Don’t drive over or across any dividing section, curb, or strip.

This includes:

• Two sets of double lines marking a center divider unless an opening is provided for turns.

• The unpaved median in the middle of the freeway.

You may not make a U-turn:

• Where you cannot clearly see 200 feet in each direction because of a curve, hill, rain, fog, or other reason.

• Where a “NO U-TURN” sign is posted.

• When vehicles may hit you.

• On a one-way street.

• In front of a fire station to avoid interfering with emergency vehicle traffic.

Signaling Turns

Signaling allows other motorists to anticipate your next move and adjust their driving accordingly. Generally there are three rules for using your directional signals when turning:

1. Signal early, way before you turn.

2. Signal continuously until you have completed the turn.

3. Turn off your turn signal if it is still on after you’ve turned.

Archived from DriverCare Quarterly brought to you by CollisionMax Auto Body Repair & Windshield Replacement Centers in PA and South Jersey.