Operating YOUR Vehicle Cont'd

Turnabouts, Turns, and Special Merging Situations

Every so often, even experienced drivers miss a turn into a parking lot, side street, or freeway exit. The initial experience may be frustration, anger, or even panic. None of these leads to any good resolution, however. Getting upset, cursing, or worse yet, making a dangerous turn across traffic can put your life and the lives of others in unnecessary jeopardy. This is where mastering the turnabout is key.

Remember, U-Turns are allowed, except where prohibited.

Turnabouts are NEVER legal in Virginia. These are full turns in the middle of a busy road. However, 2-point or 3-point turns are legal.

Best Practices for Minimizing Risk for a Turnabout 

  • Be mindful of local laws which might PROHIBIT the turn.
  • Do not make a turn if a sign prohibits it.
  • Be certain you have at least 500 feet of visibility in every direction before making a turn.
  • Be sure you have enough space and time to complete the turn.
  • Never make a turnabout near or on HILLS and CURVES.
  • Check constantly for other TRAFFIC and for pedestrians – all zones around your vehicle.

Note:  New law effective January 1, 2020, require drivers to wait until pedestrians in the crosswalk, completely exit the crosswalk, and may not drive forward until they do so. This is true even if the crosswalk is not marked, i.e., imagined. In short, if pedestrians are present, wait until they fully cross before moving.


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