Reverse Around Corner

Using reverse gear is difficult for new drivers. The car steers differently, the front wheels become, in effect, the rear ones. When you drive forward you can see the car turning when you steer. In reverse, you have to wait for the steering to take effect.

The examiner on the test will expect you to reverse:-

  • Safely
  • Correctly
  • Smoothly
  • Under control
  • Keeping reasonably close to the kerb
  • Wthout mounting or hitting the kerb
  • Without swinging out too wide.

The examiner will also be looking to see that you:-

  • Check traffic and road conditions
  • Look out for traffic and pedestrians
  • Stop in a safe position.

Sequence for reversing to the left

A. On the approach, draw up to the kerb on the left. Cancel your indicator. Note any obstructions and the type of corner.( The corner shown is a sharp left angle turn – some corners are wide with very long turns, semi-sharp). Move off following the MSM procedure, remember to look over your right shoulder! Do you need to indicate? Drive to the point beyond the junction at B.

B. Draw up about 0.5 metres from the kerb and about 2 car lengths past the junction. If you used your indicators make sure they have cancelled. You are allowed to take your seat belt off at this point if you find it makes it easier for you to turn around to see out of the rear window. Carry out a visual check all round. If clear, engage reverse gear and move off very slowly. DO NOT use any signals.

C. Looking in the rear window, you will see the kerb disappear behind the car pillar and start to appear in the rear side window. At this point turn the steering wheel fully to the left (This is a sharp corner remember). The front of the car will swing out, so check for traffic both ways and for pedestrians behind, continue very slow if clear. If a vehicle comes down the road you are reversing round, STOP. If the vehicle continues with its journey than wait until they pass and you can then carry on. If the vehicle stops behind you, then you are causing an obstruction so you will have to engage first gear and move back to B where you can start the process again.

On the test:-If someone comes right up close behind you after you have turned the corner, but before the examiner has indicated it is finished, wait a moment, this is to give the examiner a chance to say it is far enough, if he judges it is nearly finished. If he says nothing, then pull forward round the corner and start again, without saying a word.

D. Straighten up when looking out of your rear window and checking that the car is running parallel to the kerb. Watch in front as well, if someone comes around that corner and you do not notice, you will certainly fail your test. If someone is coming STOP. Continue when they have passed by. Keep a clearance of a few centimetres from the kerb. Stop on the examiner’s instruction.

E. Engage your handbrake and neutral. Put your seat belt back on. Wait for the examiners next instruction Remember, perfection is not expected. Do not assume that you have failed if you think it is not perfect. What you regard as an error may actually be extremely trivial, and not marked at all.

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