How to Learn to Reverse a Car

How to properly drive in reverse

Most motorists usually drive forward. Sometimes you may need to drive in reverse, such as when you need to parallel park.

Backing up

Initially, driving in reverse may seem difficult, especially if you don’t have enough practice.

Fortunately, learning how to drive in reverse is quite easy. By following a few simple steps, you can learn to drive quickly.

How to control reverse driving

To learn how to drive in reverse, start by adjusting your seat position. First, you need to adjust your seat so that you can hit the brake or gas in any situation, even if your body is slightly turned when you’re moving in reverse. Your seat position should allow you to turn and look over your right shoulder easily and comfortably, while still being able to apply the brake and stop quickly if necessary.

If you need to drive in reverse for an extended period of time, it’s best to move the seat closer to the steering wheel and then push it back again when you need to go straight.

Reverse on a car

After adjusting the seat, mirrors, and checking the seat belt, you can start backing up. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, you can do this in one of several ways. Your car’s transmission shift mechanism is either on the steering column or on the floor; depending on your car model, the transmission may be automatic or manual.

  • Option 1: Automatic transmission on the steering wheel. For vehicles with an automatic transmission located on the steering wheel, you must apply the brake when you engage reverse gear. Do not take your foot off the brake or turn until you are in reverse gear.
  • Option 2: Automatic transmission on the floor. The same goes for cars with automatic transmissions with the rocker on the floor. Hold the brake and move the gearshift mechanism down and into reverse.
  • Option 3: Manual transmission on the floor. For a car with a manual transmission on the floor, the reverse is opposite fifth gear and usually requires an extra push down.

When using a manual transmission to drive in reverse, your left foot should squeeze the clutch while your right foot controls the gas and brake.

Proper use of the rear window while driving in reverse

The rearview glass provides additional visibility of pedestrians, vehicles, or other obstacles behind you. Keep in mind that when you turn the steering wheel to the right, the rear of the car will also start to move to the right, and the mirror will show movement to the left.

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Driving in reverse using mirrors

Install mirrors. Before you drive in reverse, make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted. Once adjusted, the mirrors should give you a full field of view.

Keep in mind that after adjusting your seat position, you will need to adjust your mirrors again to regain the necessary visibility.

How to learn how to make turns

If you turn the front wheels to the right, the rear of the mechanically driven car turns to the left. The same applies to turning to the right when you need to turn the steering wheel to the left. Do not make sharp turns while driving in the opposite direction.

Clear instructions for backing up.

Stepping the steering wheel allows you to correct your course more easily than sharp turns. Use the brake when necessary and avoid applying too much gas.

Maneuvering and stopping

After shifting gears, you can begin reversing. At this point you can turn and slowly release the brake.

Rear view camera

Also, to avoid going too fast and reversing properly, don’t press the gas pedal if you don’t have to. Focus on where you’re going and use the brake to slow down if you need to.

  • Step 1: Look around. Make sure the area around your car is clear of pedestrians or other moving vehicles. Turn left and look out the driver’s side window. Continue to look around the area until you look over your right shoulder.
  • Step 2: Look over your right shoulder. Keep your left hand on the middle of the steering wheel, put your right hand on the back of the passenger seat and look over your right shoulder. If necessary, you can depress the brake, stop, and again carefully inspect the area around the car to avoid hitting passing or parked cars or pedestrians.
  • Step 3: Use only your left hand to operate the vehicle while reversing. Keep in mind that turning the steering wheel turns your vehicle in the opposite direction as when driving forward.

Electronic Assistants

Onboard computers in modern cars, as well as new gadgets and gadgets on the market, offer solutions for driving in reverse as well. The most popular include:

  • Night vision system.

Thanks to the introduction of technology in the automotive industry, driving in reverse has become much easier and safer. A set of infrared sensors scans the space around the car and, if necessary, signals the driver of the appearance of an obstacle in the way.

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The system captures the space around the car and transmits a digital image model with a view from above. Will be especially convenient for novice drivers.

Digital rear-view mirror with camera image playback function.

The system consists of a rear-mounted camera and a screen that replaces the rearview mirror. The advantages of using such technology include a wide viewing angle, clear images, absence of obstacles such as rear seats, improved image in low-light conditions.

  • Automatic brake.

This system blocks the wheels when an obstacle suddenly appears. Recommended for novice and inexperienced drivers.

Safety precautions

Wear a seat belt. As a final precaution, wear your seat belt before making any rear-view mirror maneuvers. The same applies to driving in reverse.

IMPORTANT: Make sure the seat belt is over your shoulder as the manufacturer stipulates. Proper use of a seat belt can help prevent injury in the event of an accident.

To do this, simply use the brake. Driving in reverse is not that difficult if you follow the steps above. As long as you are constantly in control of your car and driving slowly, you should have no problem transporting your car to where you need to park or stop. Be sure to make sure your mirrors and brakes are working properly.

How to Learn to Drive in Reverse

This article is about how to drive in reverse on a car. What are the important points to consider when driving in reverse. At the end of the article is a video on how to properly drive a car in reverse. Article on how to drive in reverse on a car. What are the important points to consider when driving in reverse. 8 tips and videos on how to drive in reverse on a car.


The main problem for a novice driver is driving a car in reverse. It will take a considerable amount of experience to maneuver in reverse in difficult situations. In most cases, the novice driver lacks certain skills to park in a place with a narrow opening. Often it is the lack of practical experience and knowledge in driving a vehicle that leads to accidents. How to drive in reverse on the car and whether it is possible to drive in reverse at all, we will try to consider in more detail below.

Adjusting the mirrors

mirror setting

When you perform a reversing maneuver, there is an increased risk of creating an accident situation. This occurs due to the fact that the visibility of what is happening behind for the driver is very limited. Therefore, in order to avoid accidents when driving in reverse, it is necessary to properly adjust the mirrors. They are adjusted as follows: the side mirror should display 15% of the rear fender of the car, and the remaining – 85% of what is happening behind the vehicle.

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In places of parking with kerbs for a successful maneuver mirrors should be tilted. For the other cases of reversing what is happening behind should be clearly visible.

If the rearview mirror, located in the cabin of the car, displays the rear window as a whole and partially captures the top of the driver, it is considered that it is properly adjusted. Some auto ladies like to adjust this mirror to display their own image, which on the road can lead to negative consequences.

Proper use of the rear window while driving in reverse

rearview mirror

A novice driver should not absolutely rely on the mirrors while driving in reverse. These days, you can often see curved mirrors in cars, which make it easier for the driver to analyze the situation behind the car.

But this kind of mirrors is not recommended for beginners, because such a mirror distorts a little what is happening – it is difficult to correctly assess the distance to the obstacle.

When driving in reverse, the driver turns around over the right shoulder, watching what is going on behind through the rear window – such variant allows to keep under control the car driving in reverse.

How to control reverse driving


Studying the technique of maneuvering the steering column, the question arises – but how to properly drive in reverse? According to theory, even an infant can cope with driving a car. But after applying the knowledge in practice, the confidence of the majority of first-time car owners instantly fades.

Reverse driving is not a rush, therefore you should start with slow and smooth actions. The smoother the backward movement, the lower the probability of making an obstacle collision.

When reversing an inexperienced driver does not want to completely release the clutch pedal, and the accelerator pedal is pressed slowly and without jerking. Sometimes during training future drivers are taught to drive in reverse, using only the clutch, but such skills will not help an inexperienced driver in everyday life when you have to make a run uphill – without using the gas pedal the car will not go, and immediately stall.

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For beginners, using the rear window when driving in reverse will simplify driving. It is worth considering that a car of any model and different characteristics is superior to driving in reverse in terms of maneuverability. Turning when moving backward is sharper in any vehicle. To make the maneuver more effective, you should keep your hands on the steering wheel at the highest point.

Reverse parking

reverse parking

You learn how to park in reverse at driving schools under the guidance of instructors. But the number of hours dedicated to learning to drive in reverse is not enough. There are cases when the motorist gets the license, and the proper skill in driving in reverse is not acquired. Thus it is necessary first of all to pay attention to a prospective parking place – it is necessary to estimate your forces objectively and the place for parking the car. For the beginner, it is better to choose a place with a minimum of obstacles or with a large margin.

Often, to park a car in reverse is much easier than using the front. Due to the fact that the maneuverability of the car when driving in reverse is much higher than in front, it turns out that it is easier to park by reversing.

How to drive in reverse with a trailer correctly

reversing with a trailer

The most difficult is to reverse with a trailer. Even an experienced driver experiences a number of difficulties when reversing with a load. So, how not to make mistakes when driving in reverse with a trailer?

First, you must position yourself in the driver’s seat so that you have a clear view and access to the vehicle’s controls. A half-turn posture, where the driver holds the steering wheel with his left hand and leans on the passenger seat with his right hand, is the best way to get the right view.

Difficulties arise if driving in reverse is carried out with a tented trailer. In this case, making a reverse maneuver, it is necessary to be guided by correctly adjusted mirrors.

The manoeuvre should be performed only when the trailer is in line with the vehicle – if the trailer is at an angle, the manoeuvre is inappropriate. Time will be required for its alignment, but even that will not give an absolute guarantee in success of the maneuver.

Every beginner driver should know that in order to make a left turn of the trailer, the steering wheel must be turned to the right, and vice versa. For most drivers, this rule causes a number of difficulties. Subsequently, the maneuver can be broken down into four steps:

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    Turning the trailer in the direction of arrival by turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction;

The main factor is the correct position of the trailer relative to the car – they should, as mentioned earlier, be on the same straight line, without interfering with other drivers and to perform other actions.

When making a maneuver with a trailer, all movements should be light and smooth without sudden jerks and stops, because the trailer has no brakes and will not be able to stop immediately, but continue moving. Performing a reversing movement is quite a complex task, which involves many nuances: the maneuverability of the trailer, its turns, the length of the distance from the towbar to the axle and many others.

Observing the rules of the road when reversing

obeying traffic laws when reversing

When driving in reverse, make sure that you are not doing so in contravention of traffic regulations. The traffic rules allow you to make a reverse maneuver if it is safe and does not interfere with other road users.

Remember, if you hit a car standing next to you when reversing, you will be the one who caused the accident.

If you see another car coming at you when you are reversing, stop driving and sound the horn. Only when you are sure it is safe to do so can you continue driving.

Emergency signalling

emergency alarm

When reversing, the hazard warning flashers can help to distinguish your car from other vehicles and prevent accidents. And in the dark emergency light will help to illuminate the space behind the car.

Parktronic and rear view camera

Parktronic and reversing camera

These options are not installed in every car, but where they are, the parking sensor and rearview camera will help the novice driver to navigate during parking and any other movement of the car in reverse. But do not forget that these automobile functions are only auxiliary – the main task falls directly on the shoulders of the driver.

To summarize, we can say that driving in reverse is an important and indispensable skill when driving a car. Mastering reversing will save the driver from problems with parking and moving in narrow openings. If you follow the basic rules of learning to properly drive in reverse will be able to any driver.

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