Left Reverse Driving Lesson
The left reverse or corner reverse as many drivers call it can be the most difficult of the manoeuvres to learn. This is because every one you’ll do is different to the next, so it is impossible to formulate a set plan that works at every one. Some will be sharp corners, while others will be more sweeping and only practice will build your judgement and enable you to negotiate this exercise safely and effectively. As with the rest of the manoeuvres control, observations and accuracy are the key elements.
Control – the ability to make the car travel at a slow walking pace while taking effective observations and the steering ability to follow kerb without going too near or drifting to far away from the kerb whilst looking to the rear of the car. On the test you are allowed to pull forward to correct the manoeuvre if you go too near or too far away from the kerb.
Observations – don’t rely on the mirrors, they only enable you to see a fraction of what’s around the car especially in the blind spots. The only use for the mirrors is to check your position in relationship to the kerb. Use the windows for the observations, look in the direction the car is moving and make good decisions on what you see. If other road or pavement users approach your car, stop until they are a safe distance away.
Accuracy – ideally keeping the car approximately 1ft or 30cm from the kerb throughout. Doing this will leave as much of the road open as possible and keep you from touching the kerb.
On driving lessons or on test you will be asked to pull up on the left (position 1) in a convenient place before the next left turn. Then you’ll be asked if you can you drive just past the next left side street, then reverse into it and reverse into the new road a safe distance keeping reasonably close to the kerb throughout.
After pulling up on the left in position 1, use the POM routine and move off. As you come level with the left turn use the MSM routine, signalling if necessary and pull up after the junction about 30-50 cm away from the kerb and about 3 car lengths after it. Cancel the signal and select reverse gear as this will signal your intentions and use the handbrake if needed.
In position 2 use POM and a 360° all round check, if it is safe then slowly reverse looking in the direction your moving and keeping the car parallel to the kerb. When the back nearside wheel arrives at the point where the kerb turns from straight to circular (position 3) stop at this point and take a 360° all round check. At this point you are going to steer left, meaning the bonnet of the car is going to swing out to the right so be 100% sure it is safe.
If the road and pavement are clear, reverse slowly and steering to the left to follow the kerb. When about half way round (position 4) do another 360° all round check, (you can stop if necessary) if it remains clear keep moving and maintain the distance (about 30 cm) from the kerb. A check of the left wing mirror is now needed and once the circular part of the kerb turns straight, straighten your steering to bring the car parallel to the kerb (position 5). Once parallel do an all round check and continue moving into the new road until about 3 car lengths (10 metres) away from the white give way line to position 6 and apply handbrake and neutral. The reason for being 3 car lengths is to give yourself a safe distance from the junction should someone cut the corner from the main road and also to allow cars to emerge left or right from the minor road.