During your driving test, you may be asked to perform the reverse around a corner manoeuvre. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘left corner reverse’, so don’t be surprised if you hear it being referred to in this way.
In this manoeuvre, you are required to drive past the junction of a minor road and then reverse around this junction into the road. Making sure that you have the hang of the reverse around a corner manoeuvre is important for both securing a pass in your practical driving test, and to ensure you are able to turn the car around when you are driving independently.
Selecting a Corner
When you have passed your driving test and will be practicing the reverse around a corner routine on your own it is important that you select a safe, convenient and legal place to carry out the manoeuvre. It is also essential that you assess whether you will be able to control your vehicle in the setting you have selected. For instance, if the manoeuvre requires you to reverse down a hill make sure you are confident that you are able to control the car going downhill. Remember, only reverse around a corner from a major road into a minor road and never the other way around.
What to Expect from the Driving Test
During your driving test, if the examiner wishes you to perform the reverse round a corner manoeuvre then they will select the location for you to do this and ask you to pull over before the road they want you to reverse around. Trust that the examiner is selecting a safe, convenient and legal space as they are not trying to catch you out.
How to Reverse Around a Corner
1. Prepare – Observe – Manoeuvre – go through your routine and then set off safely, driving past the road you are going to reverse into. Make sure that you observe what type of angle the corner is as you drive past – it will either be a sharp or a sweeping corner. Also, have a quick check to see if there are any cars in the way which might make the manoeuvre a little tricky – mention these to the examiner to see what they think.
2. Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre as you prepare to pull up past the corner. Make sure where you pull up is around two car lengths past the corner. Aim to position the car around half a metre from the kerb, ensuring you are parallel to the kerb and that your wheels are straight.
3. Prepare – now it is almost time to start reversing you need to prepare the car by engaging the clutch, putting the car in reverse gear and then bringing the car to biting point. If the examiner has selected a downhill reverse then make sure you are prepared to use brake control.
4. Observe – make your observations at this point – checking all around you to make sure that it is safe to start moving. Also look out for activity that you may need to keep an eye on while reversing such as a pedestrian ahead that may attempt to cross the road while you are in the middle of your manoeuvre. Once your observations are complete focus your gaze through the back window, the direction of travel, you will mainly be looking this way throughout but make sure that you are checking around you as you go.
5. Manoeuvre – begin by reversing straight back. Make sure that you are checking around you as you reverse in case there are any new hazards that have emerged. Pause when you reach the point of turn.
Finding the Point of Turn
The point of turn is the point at which the back of the car is level with the beginning of the corner. This view at the point of turn will differ depending on whether you are reversing around a sharp or a sweeping corner. For a sharp corner, you can be confident you have reached the start of the corner if you can see the kerb in the road you are reversing into through the back left window. Alternatively, if you are reversing round a sweeping corner keep an eye on the kerb disappearing out of the back window – this usually indicates that the car is level with the start of the corner.
Remember that the reference points might be different on other vehicles so make sure you are familiar with where the markers are for this manoeuvre in your car.
Make sure your observations are thorough at the point of turn as following this your car will be swinging out into the road as you reverse.
Begin the Turn
Once the coast is clear begin to move slowly whilst turning the wheel to the left. The amount you need to steer is dependent on whether it is a sweeping or sharp corner. For a sharp corner, you need to put the wheel on full left lock, whereas for a sweeping corner start with half a turn of the wheel and adjust to what you need as you move. Take it slow and keep an eye on how close you are to the kerb as you go by looking through your left door mirror. You will mainly be looking through the back window and will know that the car is straight when the kerb in the new road is in the middle of the back window.
At this point, you have made it around the corner but you are not finished yet. Continue to reverse straight back away from the junction the distance of around three or four car lengths. Again, make sure that you are observing all around you as you go checking for other cars and pedestrians that might cross your path. You won’t be expected to park at this point so don’t worry too much about that in the driving test.
Reverse round a corner is an important manoeuvre that you need to perfect before your driving test. Remember to observe all around you throughout the manoeuvre, ensuring it is safe to continue moving and keeping an eye on developing hazards.