How to Reverse Safely

The act of reversing a vehicle is also known as backing-up. It can be one of the most difficult manoeuvres to get the hang of for novice driver’s as it can seem strange when you have to move the car backwards.

To help a driver with this manoeuvre most vehicles in the UK come with three mirrors as standard. On the inside there is usually a rear view mirror unless you are driving an LCV with no windows in the rear doors. You will also have two wing mirrors – one on the left and one on the right, this can be of great help when reversing but they are also useful when driving forwards.


DRIVE Driving School reverse reversing

Nowadays it is common to have luxury or executive vehicles come with reversing aids fitted as standard. This can be in the form of parking sensors or a camera that is positioned so that you don’t scratch the rear of your car. These gadgets are an aid but remember you need to check all around your vehicle and continually check that it is clear for you to continue and execute your reversing manoeuvre.

When you need reverse make sure you choose an appropriate place, preferably somewhere quiet where you can execute your manoeuvre in safety and not hold any other road users up.


– Do not try to reverse into a busy road from a side road or reverse onto a road from a driveway, you should always try to reverse in and drive out.

– Do not reverse from a side road into a main road. When using a driveway, reverse in and drive out if you can.Look carefully before you start reversing.

– Use all your mirrors so that you have a good view of your surroundings

– Check your ‘blind spot’ regularly as you execute the manoeuvre.

– Watch out for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users as they may not realise that you are reversing your vehicle so be sure to check your surroundings for as long as you make the manoeuvre.

– Checking all around your vehicle – always expect the unexpected.

– The best way to reverse is to look through the rear window as it gives you the best view of what is behind your vehicle.

– Remember use all your mirrors as additional aids as they may pick up an obstruction that you may not have noticed out of the rear screen.

– Always remember that when you reverse around a corner, the front of your vehicle will swing out, before you execute this part of the manoeuvre make sure there are no obstructions close to the front of your car.

– If you cannot see clearly what is behind your vehicle then ask your passenger to guide you through the manoeuvre safely.

– You must not reverse your vehicle further than you need to.

– You must not reverse across a central reservation, if you are on a motorway and have missed your junction by mistake then wait and take the next junction off the motorway. It is forbidden to reverse up a hard shoulder by law.