There are a few manoeuvres which scare the life out of most first-time drivers, and reversing around a corner is one of them.
The good news here is that if you have a good driving instructor and you get plenty of time to practise, then reversing around a corner is pretty easy to pick up, however, from the outset, it’s quite daunting.
Observation remains a key part of this manoeuvre, as it is with just about everything you do when you’re behind the wheel of a car, however, hand-eye coordination and having a good feel for the size and dimensions of your car when looking through your mirrors is also important.
This is the type of manoeuvre that your instructor won’t spring on you during your first few lessons.
You’ll need to be comfortable with the car and with other traffic around you before trying this.
When you do begin, your instructor will find quieter residential roads, if possible, for you to begin learning this technique.
The following guide will ensure that you will be more than capable of reversing your car around a corner, without making any mistakes, even under the gaze of the examiner.
As ever, taking the time to practise is so important.
What You Will Learn
To help you get prepared for this manoeuvre, we have put together this useful guide which will give you the guidance you need so you can execute this manoeuvre with confidence.
As always, the focus for just about every manoeuvre is safety, so that’s going to be a central theme throughout.
Hints & Tips
The first stage of this manoeuvre is to pull up on the left hand side of the road just ahead of the corner you will be reversing into.
It’s advisable to pull up about two car lengths ahead of the corner to give you ample space to complete the manoeuvre correctly.
When you stop the vehicle, select the neutral gear and apply the handbrake.
When you are ready to begin the manoeuvre, select reverse gear and get the clutch ready to move the vehicle.
Before starting the manoeuvre, check all of your mirrors and blind spot. Your examiner will be watching to see if you are keeping an eye out for any potential hazards as you proceed slowly around the corner. The things to look out for include oncoming cars and pedestrians who are crossing the road behind you or perhaps on the edge of the kerb.
When you are ready to perform the manoeuvre, begin reversing slowly keeping your wheel perfectly straight. You should see the corner approaching in your rear view mirror.
As you keep reversing slowly, look over your left shoulder so that you can see the kerb. As you line up with the corner, you should no longer be able to see the kerb in your rear view mirror. This is the point at which you start turning the steering wheel to the left.
The sharpness of the corner will determine how much you need to turn the wheel to the left. A corner that has a 90’ right angle, for instance, will need a fully turned steering wheel to the left. Don’t forget to steer correctly – see our guide about it. Don’t start crossing your hands and arms on the wheel.
It is very important that you keep checking all around your car as you slowly reverse around the corner. The front of your car will move out into the road so you need to be aware of any oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
As soon as you have steered your car around the corner, straighten up your vehicle and check out of the rear window and your wing mirrors that your car is parallel to the kerb. You must also look out of the front window too, as a car could come around the corner in an instant. If a car does come around the corner while you are in the middle of your manoeuvre, you must stop and wait for it to pass. Once it is clear again, you may carry on.
When you have fully reversed around the corner, line your car up close to the kerb without touching it or mounting it, put the car into neutral gear and apply the handbrake.
Finally, ensure that you have provided ample distance from the corner and once again check all mirrors and blind spot as a final precaution.
Hints & Tips
If the corner is very wide, then it won’t be necessary to turn the steering wheel fully to the left.
Instead, you must keep looking at the kerb and the bend of the road to see how much turn you need to make.
When you are on your test, your examiner will be checking to see that you perform this manoeuvre in a safe, correct, smooth and confident manner.
You must keep as close to the kerb as you reasonably can without mounting or hitting it, and without swinging out into the road.
You must also continually check traffic and look out for pedestrians and must come to a stop in a safe position.
If a vehicle stops behind you, you must engage first gear and go back to your starting point as you are causing an obstruction.
If this happens, wait and check that the road is clear then start the manoeuvre again.
This manoeuvre is all about practice, practice, practice so don’t get down about it if it doesn’t go too well at first.
You will get better at it and soon you will wonder why you worried so much about reversing around a corner for the first time!
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