Reverse to the left

Park initially about 18 inches (45 centimetres) from the kerb with all wheels parallel to it.

Be far enough past the corner that you can see it in your left side mirror.

You will be instructed to reverse into the road behind keeping “reasonably” close to the left, you are to continue back for as long as it is safe to do so until instructed to stop, usually 3 to 4 car lengths back.

If there is an obstruction on the road once you reverse around the corner then you make the decision when to stop.

The manoeuvre is broken into 3 parts,

1) that the manoeuvre is done competently,

2) the right of way

3) the observation.


The Manoeuvre.

The reverse around a corner is a low speed manoeuvre, keep the car moving slowly by using the foot pedals (clutch, brake, accelerator) as required. If the car is moving slowly and it goes wrong you have time to correct it.

You are expected to remain a reasonable distance from the kerb all the way around – about 18 inches / 45 centimetres.

If the car runs wide then bring it back as soon as possible, you will be allowed a certain amount of latitude as long as you do not end up totally on the wrong side of the road.

If you are to close to the kerb and feel that you are going to hit it, or indeed if you do rub off the kerb, then it is permissable to pull forward a bit (there is no need to go back to the starting point) straighten the car and reverse back again.


The Right of way.

When reversing if another vehicle appears on the road you should stop your car.

If the vehicle is oncoming on the opposite side of the road and you determine it is going straight ahead and there is enough room you can resume your reverse. If the road is tight or if the oncoming vehicle is turning to their right into the road you are reversing into stay stopped until they have passed

If a vehicle appears behind you, either the road directly behind or the road you are reversing into then stop and allow them to pass before resuming your manoeuvre.

When in reverse gear a white reverse light is showing at the back of your car, vehicles behind will see this and should negotiate around you once you stop, if they don’t then put on your Hazard warning light (you are now an obstruction), when the vehicles behind pass turn off the Hazard warning light and resume your reverse.

Should a situation arise where you stop and you are causing an obstruction to the extent it would be dangerous for a vehicle behind to pass then you should pull forward to where you initially started from, wait for a safe opportunity and start the manoeuvre again.

Also watch out for pedestrians who may walk behind your vehicle.


The Observation.

When driving forward you do not try to look at your front wheels so when reversing back you should not be trying to see the rear left wheel. A general rule is that your hands will steer towards what your eyes are looking at, if you are looking where your rear left wheel is relative to the kerb you will most likely hit it. So try to look at a point behind the car where you want to be in 10 metres and steer towards it.

Your side mirrors should be properly set to give a good view behind the car.

When reversing all around observation is required combining your mirrors and turning of the head.

Before moving back you should check your mirrors, check over both shoulders and out the rear window.

When moving back initially you should combine looking over your left shoulder directly out the back window with your left mirror and an occasional glance over your right shoulder.

Looking out the back window shows you generally where you are pointed and also what is coming from behind.

The left side mirror shows you where you are relative to the kerb.

Also look through the left passenger window in the rear to see into the road you are turning into.

As you reach the start of the corner and begin to turn the steering wheel left you will find the back of the car will move in and the front of the car will move away from the kerb. At this point it is important to check over your right shoulder to see what may be coming from that direction, it is advisable to stop for a moment and have a good look.

Once you resume your reverse you again combine your left side mirror with looking over your left shoulder directly out the rear window with an occasional glance over your right shoulder.

After completing the manoeuvre apply the handbrake and await further instruction.

Before moving away again remember to check the appropriate mirrors, your blind spot and indicate to move away.