Driving lesson M1. Straight line reversing

The reversing driving lessons of the Learner Driving Programme can be introduced at any point after the co-ordination driving lesson and can be combined with one or more of the forward driving lessons. It is important that each of the reversing manoeuvres is learnt in the order shown as the skills from the first manoeuvre driving lesson become the sub skills for the next manoeuvre and so on. All the reversing manoeuvres should be undertaken in quiet housing estates or car parks.

Key learning notes

The key learning points for this manoeuvre are:

1. Location
Make sure that where you intend to reverse is safe, legal and convenient.

2. Seating position and seatbelt
When reversing you can unfasten your seatbelt to enable you to shuffle around in your seat so that you can look through the rear window over your left shoulder.

3. Position of hands on the steering wheel
When reversing you usually hold the steering wheel with your right hand at the 12 o'clock position and your left hand near the 6 o'clock position.

Postition of hands

4. Select reverse gear
If this wasn't covered in earlier driving lessons you will be shown how to select reverse gear.

Selecting reverse gear

5. Low speed (clutch control)
All the set manoeuvres should be undertaken at a very slow speed by using what is commonly known as 'clutch control'.

Low speed clutch control

6. All round awareness
While reversing you should be taking observations through the rear window of the vehicle occasionally pausing, using clutch control, to take all round observations.


7. Look well back for positioning
In exactly the same way that you position the car when moving forward by looking well ahead the same is true for driving in reverse. The near side door mirror may also be useful for checking the position of the vehicle in relation to the kerb.

Look well back for positioning

8. Dealing with other road users
When reversing pause and wait if a vehicle appears to your rear. Particularly watch for pedestrians or children on bikes crossing to your rear, again you need to give way and wait. When crossing a driveway to your rear watch for road users emerging from or wanting to turn into the driveway.

Awareness behind and towards pavement

Highway Code study
Rules: 200 - 203.