We’ve posted about making left turns in various situations and the dangers of these types of maneuvers. But we haven’t yet discussed a specific recipe for making a safe and controlled left turn. It’s time to buckle up for a culinary journey as we go through a recipe for whipping up a controlled, safe left turn. Like any great dish, safe driving involves proper preparation, the right ingredients, and some creativity. We will divide this guide into chapters and discuss each element of making a left turn properly.
Chapter 1: Preparation: Getting Ready for the Perfect Left Turn
As a chef preparing an excellent dish, you will want to have the proper ingredients ready. Here are some of the essentials required to execute a left turn properly:
- Indicator: You wouldn’t want to forget the proper seasoning for your perfect recipe, would you? Similarly, you should never forget to use your turn signal prior to executing your turn.
- Positioning: You cannot make a safe left turn without the proper positioning. You should only try and complete your turn if you are in the proper lane where left turns are legal.
- Speed Control: Too much speed can make your left turn more dangerous, especially in poor weather conditions. Proper speed control should allow for the right amount of speed to complete your turn in a controlled manner while driving slow enough to stop safely in case of an emergency.
- Visual Checks: Just as it is important to inspect your ingredients for freshness and quality, you should remember to perform the proper checks of your surroundings. Check your mirrors and be aware of surrounding traffic.
Chapter 2: Sautéing the Situation
Much like how sautéing is about timing and controlled heat, timing and control are vital to making a left turn safely:
- Timing: It is crucial not to rush your turn too much, as well as avoiding delaying for too long. Proper timing requires attention and awareness, so it is important to avoid distractions.
- Clear View: Pedestrians and cyclists may be in crosswalks, so it is important to have a clear view of your turn path. When making a left turn, you should also have as clear of a view as possible of oncoming traffic.
- Yield to Pedestrians: Be prepared to yield, especially at busy intersections. Look out for pedestrians in either crosswalk that you will need to cross to compete your left turn. Pedestrians may not see you, so refrain from assuming that they will wait for you. The driver is responsible for yielding to pedestrians.
- Anticipate Others: Much like the awareness a chef must have of his kitchen staff in a busy kitchen. Drivers should anticipate potential hazards. Remember, oncoming traffic may be moving faster or be closer than it appears.
Chapter 3: Flipping with a Soft Touch
In cooking, flipping pancake requires a careful hand to avoid a mess. When making your left turn, a careful and deliberate hand should be applied to your steering wheel:
- Smooth Steering: Your steering during a left turn should be deliberate and controlled.
- Avoid Cutting Corners: Cutting a corner when making a left turn could cause your vehicle to encroach on another lane. To avoid collisions, you should make a wide turn and have a clear understanding of your turn radius.
- Maintain Lane Discipline: Lane discipline is especially important when making a left turn in an intersection with multiple left turn lanes. When making a left turn in this scenario, stay in tour lane and turn into the proper lane in your desired direction. Look out for other vehicles that be encroach on your lane.
Chapter 4: Plating our Perfect Left Turn
Similar to how a well plated dish is visually appealing, a proper left turn is smooth artful.
- Turn Off Signals: After your turn, turn off your indicator if it is still blinking. It is important that other cars are aware of your intentions and do not assume that you intend to make a lane change after your turn.
- Observe Traffic Signs: You wouldn’t disregard the instructions for a complex recipe, would you? Failing to follow traffic signals can lead to confusion and chaos. Be aware of any signs and signals in your intersection, and look out for any more traffic signs after your turn.
- Stay Centered: The best left turns include a driver that stays centered in their lane. Just like how it is important to maintain lane discipline, staying centered in your desired lane could keep you from scraping a curb or another vehicle.
Chapter 5: Left Turn Desserts: Some Extra Tips
Just as dessert is the sweet ending to a good meal, here are some final tips to make your left turns sweeter:
- Practice Makes Perfect: Whether you want to hone your cooking skills or become a better driver, practice is a crucial element for improvement. It is best to practice your left turns in intersections where you feel comfortable, or perhaps take a safety course if you struggle with these types of maneuvers.
- Stay Calm: Panic can create dangerous situations when driving. Composure and patience could keep you from making a dangerously hasty turn or even missing a good opportunity to complete your left turn.
- Stay Informed: It is important to stay familiar with your local laws and regulations so you can approach any traffic situation, including left turns, with confidence.
- Maintain Your Vehicle: Vehicle maintenance is crucial to avoiding unexpected break downs in inopportune moments. If you drive a lot, you will need to perform more frequent maintenance.
Technique and safety are of the upmost importance in the culinary world. When making left turns, similar principles apply. We hope that our left turn cookbook will turn you into a seasoned chef behind the wheel, with the ability to make safe left turns seasoned with safety and control. Safe driving is the most important ingredient of any maneuver. If you want to improve your left turn skills, follow our “recipe” and be prepared to tackle even the most complex left turns.