When driving in reverse you should?
Prior to getting your car moving, adjust your seat in accordance with your needs by setting its height, distance from the steering wheel, and back.
The right height of the seat should make your hands at shoulder level when holding the steering wheel. Move the seat away from the steering wheel, so that, when you hold it, your arms are slightly bent and your feet can reach and PRESS the clutch, brake and accelerator pedals. Lower the back of the seat just a LITTLE BIT, but not past a 30-degree angle.
Have in mind that, unless your car has a display or you are simply not using it, your body will be rotated to the right. In that case, your head will be turned backward, so adjust your seat in accordance with the position, that is, move it a LITTLE closer to the steering wheel. When done with driving in reverse, return the seat to the position for driving forward.
Some drivers, prior to driving in reverse, decide to shift their side-view mirrors in order to see the car’s back wheels, whereas others leave them in the position for driving forward. This depends on the driver’s personal preferences, as well as experience.
As you become more experienced as a driver, the need to shift the side view mirrors will become smaller, until you finally reach a level where you won’t have to shift them at all. However, until that happens, if you shift the side view mirrors for the purpose of driving in reverse, make sure you don’t forget to return them to the position for driving forward, prior to driving forward.
When you’re driving in reverse, make sure you check the side-view mirrors every couple of moments in order to have a full view of the situation. If your head is turned backward and your body rotated to the right, this can initially represent a challenge for the less experienced drivers, but as we said at the beginning - practice makes perfect.
The side-view mirrors can especially come in handy when cornering in reverse, seeing it as they give you a full view of the corners, as well as the objects, vehicles and pedestrians at them.
Correct posture is crucial in reacting adequately in dangerous situations. Are you sure you are sitting behind the wheel the right way?
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Makes sense, doesn’t it? In order for you to drive backward, first you have to shift into reverse. Modern cars, which have 6 gears, usually have a spring or button, located right below the head of the gear shift, which you have to move upward or press if you want to shift into reverse. Whatever the situation, look for reverse gear on the top of the gear shift, press the clutch and shift into reverse.
If you drive an automatic car, look for the reverse gear end, press the brake pedal and shift into reverse.
What are the most common mistakes we make when driving a manual?
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Rotate your body to the right while holding the steering wheel with your left hand, place your right arm on the passenger seat and turn your head backward.
A lot of modern cars have cameras installed in the back, which makes it possible for their drivers to have a full view of the situation behind them. If you’re one of the drivers whose car has the aforementioned technology, instead of turning around and looking over your shoulder, simply use the services of the camera display system, of course, in combination with the side view mirrors, for the purpose of having a full view of the situation.
Don’t go until you’ve made sure that the road behind you is clear, meaning there are no vehicles parking out or pedestrians crossing the street, and if there are some, before you get going, make sure they’re at a SAFE distance from you.
Once you’ve turned around and made sure that the situation is safe for driving in reverse, start driving backward SLOWLY. Have in mind that reverse gear is the most powerful gear, which means that a sudden acceleration can cause the car to go faster than planned, and crash into another vehicle, pedestrian or object.
Keep driving SLOWLY, follow the development of things taking place behind you with your body rotated to the right and your head turned backward, and check the side-view mirrors every couple of moments.
Again, a statement that makes sense. Still, you’d be surprised to find out how many drivers think that, when driving in reverse, if they turn the steering wheel to the right, the car will go left. Of course, this is INCORRECT. Some drivers are under this impression probably because they tend to observe the car’s front movement rather than focusing on the whole car’s trajectory.
Let’s elaborate on that…When you’re driving in reverse and you turn the steering wheel to the right, the front wheels turn to the right as well, thus directing the car’s back to the right. The car’s front follows the car’s back movement by shifting to the left.
The same principle applies to turning the steering wheel to the left. Then, the front wheels turn to the left and direct the car’s back to the left, thus shifting the car’s front to the right.
To put it simply: if you’re driving in reverse and you want to go right, turn the steering wheel to the right GRADUALLY, whereas if you want to go left, turn the steering wheel to the left GRADUALLY.
Once you approach the location of choice, press the brake and stop the car. Don’t wait until the very last moment to hit the brake because you can easily miscalculate the distance separating your car and the object or vehicle behind you, and end up hitting them.
A lot of modern cars have parking sensors installed in them, which beep as you approach another vehicle or object, meaning that, if you happen to drive one of these cars, you’ll know when it’s time to stop simply by listening to the sensors.
And now, the time has come for you to put what you have learned to the test. Find a parking lot with a few cars parked in it and „rehearse the reverse“ to perfection.
Always check your mirrors and over your shoulder before reversing. If you can’t see behind your vehicle, walk around and check there are no obstructions – too many toddlers are killed and injured in driveway accidents each year due to vehicles reversing into them.
It's more difficult to control your vehicle when reversing than driving forwards, so you should never reverse for any more distance than is necessary.
There are three ways of reversing.
This may not work for a heavy vehicle as there are no quarterlights or rear window. Turn your head over your left shoulder. You can use your left arm to brace behind the passenger seat if you need to, but bear in mind this reduces your control of the wheel. You can unbuckle your seat belt only for reversing if you can't see well enough.
Look into the distance through the rear window and you will be able to judge where you are heading. Bear in mind that for very narrow areas that this method might see you hit something with your wing mirror and therefore you should learn how to reverse using your wing mirrors, too.
Using your wing mirrors is more and more important because modern vehicles have smaller rear windows due to the rear pillars having a thicker construction to make them safer. This technique also is good if you have a stiff neck. If you are driving a heavy vehicle without a rear window, this will be your only technique unless you have a guide (see below).
Adjust your mirrors so that you can just see the side of your vehicle. You might want to angle them down a little for reversing if it's important that you see where your tyres are (this is useful when you are on, say, a slightly raised concrete driveway and you don't want your tyre to fall over the edge which could beach your vehicle on the concrete).
Take it slowly at first. Reversing using your mirrors is more complicated than reversing while looking backwards through the rear window. If you see obstacles getting close in your left mirror, turn the steering wheel slightly clockwise. Bear in mind that this will then direct the front of your vehicle towards the left edge (hence why only turning it slightly clockwise). If you see an obstacle in your right mirror then you will turn the wheel anti-clockwise.
As you are reversing you will need to keep checking the mirrors on both sides of the vehicle. Your mirrors won't cover your blind spots, so be careful.
Remember that you can always stop and get out to have a look if you're not sure. Traps for unwary drivers include raised concrete driveways where it's easy to drop a wheel off the edge and beach the car, roads where the gradient falls away, making it difficult to see out of the back window, and vegetation that constantly gives false readings on reversing sensors.
If you have a reversing camera and sensors, use them. There's more information about reversing cameras and sensors here. But you should never rely just on the reversing camera as they distort the perception of distance and often don't cover enough angle.
- Adjust Your Seat.
- Adjust the Side View Mirrors.
- Shift into Reverse.
- Assume the Correct Position.
- Go Slowly and Drive Slowly.
- Understand that Right Is not Left and Left Is not Right.
- Stop the Car in Time.