It`s your turn
Do you remember the old saying “You don’t know what you don’t know”? I used to dislike that saying but as I continued in road safety, I realized that rule summed up the driving knowledge and ability of many drivers. People tend to do what they know, regardless of whether it was sound or not.
Every now and then I notice drivers hitting the curb with their rear wheels as they make a right turn. I often wonder how often they would do that, especially when they didn’t have to. When I began teaching new drivers at Young Drivers of Canada over 25 years ago, I learned how to break down a right and left turn. I wasn’t aware that there were as many steps into making a turn, but as I continued to teach, I realized they were all necessary in order to make a smooth turn while staying in complete control.
During season 3 of Canada’s Worst Driver when I was still a judge, I remember the host asking me how many steps it would take to make a proper turn. He was quite surprised with my response. These steps are just not what many drivers think about. Regardless of how many steps here may be to make a right turn, I think it’s pretty important to avoid hitting the curb, don’t you?
One thing to remember is we go where we look. This means if we look at the curb too soon, you’ll begin drifting toward the curb sooner than you would want. Begin by positioning one metre (3 feet) from the curb. Once the front of the vehicle reaches where the curb begins to turn, you can begin steering. This will take constant practice to master this. One of the reasons the driver in this photo was hitting the curb almost every time they turned right was the fact they were too close to the curb.
The other problem I notice drivers doing while turning right is drifting to the left just before they begin steering to the right. Why would they need to do that? They aren’t driving a transport truck. Drivers of large trucks need to have more space from the curb so their rear wheels avoid hitting the curb. This is because of the longer wheelbase. Drivers of passenger vehicle have no reason to do that. In some cases, it makes the turn worse as it starts them off in the oncoming lane on a narrow road or at least in the lane next to them on a multiple lane road.
To avoid doing this, position your vehicle the metre or 3 feet from the curb and look ahead to help keep your vehicle parallel to the curb. Glance toward the curve of the curb just before you reach it so you know when to begin steering. This will keep your vehicle in your own lane while going around the corner, plus it will help you avoid hitting the curb with your rear wheels. With all of this information now, all I can say is, now it’s your turn.