How To Reverse Around A Corner

How To Reverse Around A Corner

Reversing around a corner is an essential driving skill. Instructor Gary Lamb shows us one way to complete this tricky manoeuvre. A basic driving skill that needs to be perfect to achieve driving excellence.

Step 1: The process

As always, you will be using the Preparation, Observation and Manoeuvre routine. Learning this manoeuvre is a great way of getting to know your car because you are demonstrating three essential skills;
Vehicle control; coordinating the foot control and steering
Accuracy; following the curve of the kerb, be it sharp or gentle
and finally observation; being aware of any traffic, including pedestrians. If other road users pass as you are carrying out the reverse around the corner, stop until they have moved on. If necessary, move into first gear and return to the starting point.

Step 2: Position

Pull over and park on the left just before the corner you want to reverse around. Prepare to move off in first gear, look around for any road users or pedestrians, and drive slowly forwards past the junction. As you do so have a good look into the road to make sure there are no obstacles preventing you from carrying out the manoeuvre. And look at the curve of the corner, is it gentle or sharp, like this corner?

Brake when the car is roughly 2 car lengths past the corner. You should be about half a metre away from the kerb. Don't forget to apply the hand brake.

Step 3: Reverse

Put the gear into reverse and find the biting point.

Have a good look all around, including in the mirrors, if it is safe to move release the handbrake, look over your left shoulder and gradually raise the clutch. Keep the speed of the car slow and steady as you move backwards using clutch control.

Step 4: When to turn

First, make a note of the point where the kerb cuts the bottom of the rear windscreen. Keep this focal point in mind for later.

Your point of turn depends somewhat in your height in the car but can usually be judged as when the straight kerb stones in the side road appear in the rear side window.

Before steering left look all around the outside of the car then steer fairly quickly to take the car round the corner. Reverse into the turn, looking into the side road, but also checking for other traffic.

Keep your speed down to stay in control.

Step 5: Straighten Up

Look for the original focal point, when the line of the kerb stones gets close to it, steer right to straighten your car parallel with the kerb.

Continue reversing down the road a short distance at a steady pace. Don't forget to glance frequently out of the front of the car, as another vehicle may well have pulled into the road after you.

Step 6: Secure the car

When you have reversed far enough back, brake gently, apply the hand brake and move the gears back to neutral.