How to reverse around a left corner
Find a suitable quite side road. Never reverse out onto a major road or further than is necessary. Stay reasonably close to but do not hit the kerb. It is sometimes necessary to remove the seatbelt when reversing, and turn slightly in your seat for a better view through the rear window. Always remember to put your seatbelt back on before engaging first gear.
Another thing to remember is that the car will behave differently on a gradient or slope.
Follow our step by step guide below on how to safely reverse around a corner
Step 1 – Drive safely passed your chosen side street and stop 3 car lengths along and gutter width away from, and parallel to the kerb. Do not confuse other road users by signalling too early.
Step 2 – Look at the relative position of the kerb in the rear window. This is how the kerb of the new road should look when you have finished reversing.
Step 3 – In reverse gear, set engine revs to a steady hum, bring clutch pedal up and get bite point and hold. Some vehicles will not need revs, it depends on the car – some cars can do this on tick-over speed (that is, the speed of the engine when idling).
Step 4 – Take full, all round effective observations before removing handbrake and allowing the car to slowly move towards the corner. You will need to keep the clutch at bite point to control the speed. This is ‘clutch control’. Slowly reverse and stop at the turning point.
Step 5 – Turning point is when the rear wheel is parallel to the last straight part of the kerb. The view of the kerb has disappeared from the rear window and reappeared in the side window, and is probably in line with the back of the rear seat. Check the left door mirror for confirmation. Make full effective all round observations. Check for cyclists and pedestrians before steering. A sharp corner will require full quick steering, and a larger corner will require that much less. Adapt your skills to suit whichever type of kerb you are turning around.
Step 5 – As you reverse and steer left (the sharper the corner, the more steering needed) the kerb will disappear from the side window, and reappear in the rear window as at the start. Keep the car slow and when you are parallel to the new kerb, remove the steering briskly, without travelling too much.
Step 6 – Check that the car is parallel, and make adjustments if required. Reverse along the new road, approximately 3 car lengths. Keep the car approximately gutter width from the kerb.
Step 7 – If you feel you are about to strike the kerb, or need to realign the car, stop, pull forward safely in first gear, a short distance, straighten up, and when ready resume in reverse. Give priority to vehicles approaching the junction.
Step 8 – As you should now have the kerb in the new road virtually in the same position in the rear window, as before, you can then slowly reverse along the street about 3 car lengths. Stop, look forward, put on the seat belt. You are now ready to drive off.
Remember that it is you who is reversing in the street, and other road users have priority over you, so keep looking around for approaching vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. If you have any in your vicinity, stop the car, allow the vehicles to pass, or the pedestrians to cross, recheck your mirrors before continuing. If anyone drives up close behind you then do the polite thing and drive forward so they can pass.
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