Left Reverse / Reverse Round A Corner Help

Manoeuvre Help - Left Reverse / Reverse Round A Corner

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The Left reverse or reverse round a corner as it is sometimes called, takes a lot of concentration - as with all the manoeuvres.

However, the added requirement of accuracy throughout the whole reverse section by staying fairly close to the kerb means the pupil has to stay alert with their observation.

There's no need to become obsessed with the distance from the kerb though! The most important part of all manoeuvres is safety, so as long as the pupil is observing around the car, it doesn't matter if the distance from the kerb changes.

Left Reverse Help

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Left Reverse / Reverse Round A Corner

Where should the manoeuvre take place?

It should be at a suitable location, which means the road should be: fairly quiet; with no obstructions (parked vehicles etc.) blocking the manoeuvre.

Once you've chosen a suitable junction; drive past the road on the left, pull over and then carry out a reverse to the left.

What's the most important thing to remember in a manvoeuvre?

When Driving Instructors are training, they learn 3 pieces of knowledge that are crucial to teaching pupils a successful manoeuvre.

  1. Observation

  2. Control

  3. Accuracy

What it says on the Driving Test Marking Sheet...

  1. Reverse exercises

    You need to display the ability to control the vehicle safely whilst reversing to the left, when parking on the road or in a parking bay. You must take good effective all around observation throughout the manoeuvre and show consideration to other road users.

Observation - Left Reverse

There are 2 sections to this manoeuvre:

First Section - passing the junction and stopping

Prepare the car and do the standard observation for moving off.

After moving off, you should look into the road on the left as you pass it to make sure there's nothing which would stop you from carrying out the manoeuvre e.g parked cars, road works etc.

Driving Test Tip

As you drive past the road, don't forget to glance at the type of corner; a sharp corner will require a different approach to steering than a sweeping corner

If the road's clear, you should pull over about 3 cars lengths past the junction.

Second Section - reversing around the corner

After preparing the car to reverse, you must observe all round the car for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. Wait if there's anything that will effect your manoeuvre. Within reason of course e.g don't wait for a cyclist half a mile away!

As you reverse, keep up-to-date with what's happening around the car, a good rule is to do a check every car length moved.

Pay particular attention to the blind spot over the right shoulder where cyclists and vehicles approach from. This is especially important as you begin to steer the car into the road on the left (the 'point of turn') because the front of your vehicle will swing into the middle of the road.

Keep checking until you stop the car, which should be about 3 car lengths into the side road.

If another vehicle approaches the rear of your vehicle from the side road

You'll need to stop to see what the driver's going to do. They may drive round your car or they may stop and wait.

  1. If they drive round: stop and wait until they pass, then do your observations and continue.

  2. If they wait: you'll need to do your observations, move back to the starting point on the main road of the reversing section and start the manoeuvre again.

    The reason you have to move your vehicle back to starting point is because you are travelling against the flow of traffic which means they have priority.

    Why won't some drivers go around a car that's reversing towards them in a side road? Sometimes it can be dangerous to do so near a junction, or they may be waiting for the driver to complete the reverse and move forward.

Control - Left Reverse

Controlled Pace

The left reverse requires a slow driving pace for 2 reasons.

  1. It gives adequate time for observation.

  2. It enables the driver to ensure the car is staying near the kerb.

Good Clutch Control is the key

To crawl along, raise the clutch just inside the bitting point. If the car begins to pick up speed, lower the clutch slightly.

Be careful, a side road may be sloping uphill or downhill.

  1. Downhill

    Be prepared to quickly lower the clutch all the way down while using the brake to control the speed

  2. Uphill

    Be prepared to increase the power and lift the clutch slightly.

Accuracy - Left Reverse

When you pull over for the reversing section you should aim to keep the car approximately 1 foot (about the width of a drain) away from the kerb. You should try to maintain this distance throughout the reversing section.

As you do your observational checks, you can also glance into the door mirror to check the distance from the kerb

It doesn't matter if the car moves slightly closer or further away but you must not touch the kerb or cross over the centre line of the road.

Touching the kerb, as well as being dangerous, can also damage a wheel or the body work. Crossing the centre line causes an extra obstruction and could cause vehicles on the other side of the road to swerve.

Remember that different shapes of corner will require a different approach.

  1. Sharp corner will require quick steering at the point of turn.

  2. Sweeping corner will require slower steering from the point of turn, possibly in increments e.g. half a turn then add/remove steering as you continue around the corner.