How to Make a Right Turn Safely

Making a right turn is a routine maneuver that requires attention to detail to ensure safety on the road. In addition to following basic traffic rules like signaling in advance and checking for oncoming traffic, it’s crucial to understand the guidelines set by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in an attempt to prevent accidents and maintain order at intersections.

Also Read: How to Safely Make a Left Turn

There are also certain rules for making right turns. Ignoring these rules can lead to accidents or even citation tickets and fines. Therefore, it’s essential to stay informed about traffic laws and be a defensive driver, not only to protect yourself and others on the road but also to avoid unnecessary penalties and legal consequences associated with improper maneuvers. To be able to make right turns properly, we listed the guidelines on how to do so, as suggested by the LTO. 

how to safely make a right turn

Making Right Turns

Making a right turn is a fundamental driving maneuver that involves turning your vehicle to the right at an intersection or onto another road. It’s important because proper execution ensures smooth traffic flow and minimizes the risk of accidents. When making a right turn, you must consider various factors such as signaling early, checking for oncoming traffic, and positioning your vehicle correctly within the lane.

The importance of making a right turn correctly extends beyond just following traffic rules—it contributes to overall road safety. By executing this maneuver safely and responsibly, you reduce the likelihood of collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. Additionally, understanding the guidelines set by transportation authorities like the LTO and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on how to execute this type of maneuver helps ensure that everyone on the road with you can commute efficiently and without unnecessary risks.

How to Make a Right Turn Properly and Safely

Making a right turn might seem easy and straightforward enough to execute properly, but not everyone actually does. Maybe it’s due to ignorance or blatant neglect for the rules, but disregarding the proper guidelines on how to execute a right turn properly means inviting trouble and accidents. Whether you’re a new driver or a veteran who just needs a refresher, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make a right turn properly and safely.

Step 1. Positioning

  • Lane Placement: Approach the intersection in the extreme right lane that allows right turns. Plan this well in advance to avoid last-minute lane changes.
  • Signal Early: Use your turn signal at least 30 meters before the turn to indicate your intention to other drivers.

Step 2. Checking Traffic

  • Left and Rear: Before initiating the turn, check for traffic approaching from the left to ensure there’s no oncoming vehicle or pedestrian.
  • Mirrors: Use your mirrors to be aware of surrounding traffic, including bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians.

Step 3. Approach the Turn

  • Positioning: As you prepare to turn, keep your vehicle close to the curb or the edge of the road.
  • Wheel Placement: Keep your front wheels close to the center line when curving right. This prevents the rear wheels from drifting off the pavement and maintains a safe turning radius.

Step 4. Waiting for a Safe Gap

  • Observation: Wait for a safe gap in oncoming traffic. Be cautious of cyclists, pedestrians, and other road users.
  • Avoid Cutting Corners: Ensure you complete the turn without encroaching into other lanes or cutting the corner.

Step 5. Watch Out for Traffic Signals and Other Signs

  • Right Turn on Red
    • Solid Red Light: You may turn right on a solid red light after coming to a complete stop, if there’s no signage prohibiting the turn.
    • Lane Discipline: Ensure you are in the correct lane designated for right turns before approaching the intersection. Vehicles in the inner lane should not attempt a right turn.
  • Red Arrow Lights
    • Prohibited Turns: Do not turn against a red arrow light. Respect the signal and wait for a green arrow or a clear indication to proceed.

Step 7. Follow the Signs and Signals

  • Compliance: Pay attention to signs prohibiting right turns on red lights. Always adhere to traffic regulations and signage.

Step 8. Make a Right Turn

  • Execute the Maneuver: At the turn position, keep your vehicle close to the curb or edge of the highway then make a right turn. 
  • Make Sure Your Wheels are in the Right Directions: Curving left keeps your front wheels closer to the right edge which prevents the rear wheels from drifting into the other lane.

Safety Tips When Making a Right Turn

To stay safe while making a right turn, follow these important tips:

  • Signal Early: Use your turn signal at least 30 meters before the turn to notify other drivers of your intention.
  • Check for Oncoming Traffic: Look left and assess the flow of traffic before initiating the turn to ensure there’s no oncoming vehicle or pedestrian.
  • Position Your Vehicle Correctly: Keep your vehicle close to the curb or edge of the road while approaching the turn to maintain a safe turning radius.
  • Observe Right-of-Way: Yield to pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles as necessary before making the turn.
  • Maintain a Safe Speed: Reduce your speed as you approach the intersection to allow for better control and reaction time.
  • Avoid Cutting Corners: Complete the turn without encroaching into other lanes or crossing over curbs.
  • Check Blind Spots: Use your mirrors and check blind spots to ensure no vehicles or cyclists are in your path.
  • Be Aware of Traffic Signals: Respect traffic lights and signs governing right turns, including red lights and dedicated right-turn arrows.
  • Use Caution at Complex Intersections: Exercise extra caution at intersections with multiple lanes or heavy traffic.
  • Stay Patient: Wait for a safe gap in oncoming traffic before proceeding with the turn.
  • Visibility: Check blind spots and mirrors before turning to avoid any surprises.
  • Yielding: Yield to pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles as necessary.
  • Defensive Driving: Be mindful of large vehicles that might obstruct your view and wait for a clear path.

By following these safety measures, you can make right turns confidently and reduce the risk of accidents or violations on the road at all times.

Video: How to Make a Right Turn Properly (For New Drivers)

For more information on how to make a right turn, you may check out this video guide from Drivers Ed Direct Driving School:


Mastering the art of making a right turn is essential for safe and efficient driving. Remember, driving is not just about reaching your destination—it’s about ensuring the safety of everyone on the road. So, next time you approach a right turn, keep these tips in mind to make your maneuver smooth, safe, and stress-free. 

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