Driving lesson M3. Reversing to the right

This manoeuvre is carried out on the opposite side of the road where you will be facing oncoming traffic. You will find the kerb is on your right hand side which requires you to alternate between looking over your left and right shoulders.

Key learning notes

Reversing rightIt is often said that reversing to the right is useful when driving a van or similar vehicle. This is because the view to the rear left (i.e. nearside) is restricted. Vans are not the only vehicles that are affected by this problem. Many modern sports cars have severely restricted rear vision.

Unlike the reverse to the left you do not have the problem of reversing against the flow of traffic. However, you are facing the wrong direction and will potentially cause problems for traffic turning into the side road from the major road.

The key learning points for this manoeuvre are:

1. Seating and hand position
When reversing to the right while negotiating the corner you may need to turn in your seat slightly to the right so that you can look over your right shoulder.

Seating and hand position

At the point you start to turn you will need to use both hands and the pull push method of steering although it may be offset to the right so that you can maintain observations over your right shoulder.

2. All round awareness

All round awareness

You need to take extra care to watch for vehicles from behind that want to turn into the side road. Check through your left (nearside) door mirror and over your left shoulder as necessary. Similarly you will need to watch for oncoming traffic that wants to turn into the side road. As you turn the front of your vehicle will swing out therefore you need to consider whether this will present a hazard to passing traffic on the major road.

3. Dealing with other road users
You must always be prepared to wait for oncoming traffic to pass. However, you may sometimes find that oncoming traffic turning into the side road will decide to wait for you in which case you would have to continue with the manoeuvre. You will also need to wait for the vehicles approaching from behind if they intend to turn into the side road or if you are at the point just before you propose to turn knowing that your front end will swing into their path.

Dealing with other road users

4. Distance you need to reverse into the side road
To prevent a potential head on collision with traffic turning into the side road it is important that you reverse far enough back to give them sufficient room to stop and overtake you safely (usually about 5 car lengths). You also need sufficient room to ensure that you will not become a potential hazard to them as you cross over to the left hand side of the road. Also before moving off you will need to check over your left shoulder.