Reversing into a Side Road on the Right


This manoeuvre is about reversing into a side road on the right and is useful for turning round to travel in the opposite direction or for reversing into your driveway. The reverse round a corner manoeuvre is basically made up of two straight line reverses with a turn in between. On full understanding of this manoeuvre, you should be able to reverse safely into a side road on the right using effective observation, under full control and with reasonable accuracy. Like all other manoeuvres, you are required to choose a safe, legal and convenient place to start the manoeuvre. Therefore, in carrying out this manoeuvre, you should avoid busy junctions, crossroads, schools, etc. You need to remember that, you do not reverse onto a main or major road or where there is a no entry sign.

 Before you drive to the starting position for the manoeuvre, you will need to stop at the side of the major road before the junction you intend reversing into (target road). Use your prepare, observe and manoeuvre (P.O.M) routine to move off, and as you drive past the target road, glance into the road to check for any parked vehicles or other obstructions that could make your manoeuvre unsafe. If and when satisfied that the road is clear, begin your mirror, signal and manoeuvre (M.S.M) routine in order to stop safely at the starting point of the manoeuvre. You should stop approximately two to three cars length beyond the junction (target road), and approximately half a metre from the kerb. The reason for stopping a bit further from the kerb than your normal parking position is to give you enough space to reverse. If you are too close to the kerb when you park, you run the risk of hitting the kerb and damaging your tyres. If you need your signals to stop, time them properly so that you do not mislead other road users that you are turning right (into target road).

From the starting point, select reverse gear, set the gas and bring the clutch pedal to biting point (for manual vehicles). Carry out effective observation looking out for pedestrians and approaching traffic. You may turn slightly to your right in your seat, looking over your right shoulder, so that you can see well down the road through the middle of your rear window, whilst reversing slowly. You may remove your seat belt if you feel restricted. At this point, you are simply driving back in a straight line until you get to the point of turn. As you reverse towards the corner, the kerb will disappear from view in the rear window. As you look over your right shoulder, you will see the kerb come into view in the bottom corner of the side window. This is the point of turn.

At the point of turn, the front of your car will swing out, so you must ensure that the road is clear before you start turning your steering wheel to the right. Check the road to the front and rear, including your left-hand blind spot. If it is safe, steer right to follow the kerb round while mainly looking out at the rear window and then in your right door mirror to confirm your position to the kerb. The amount that you turn the steering wheel to the right will be determined by the shape of the corner and how sharp the corner is. Follow the kerb round until you see through the rear window that the car is straight in the new road.

Keep looking well down the road through the middle of the rear window. This will help you judge whether the car is parallel with the kerb. An occasional glance into the nearside (right) door mirror will help you judge your distance from the kerb. When parallel with the kerb in the new road, straighten up and then follow the kerb back approximately four car lengths. If you removed your seat belt for reversing, make sure you put it on again before moving off.

In next week’s article we shall be discussing how to reverse into a side road on the right. For further explanations or clarification on the articles in the Essential Skills of Driving column, consult the author.

 Stephen K. Dieseruvwe

Director General, Delta State Traffic Management Authority (DESTMA)

**Driver Trainer and Road Safety Consultant


**Tel: +2348167814928