ADI Part 2 Manoeuvres – Left Reverse
This is the manoeuvre that causes fear and panic in thousands of learner drivers every day.
As a trainee driving instructor, you need to be able to display your ability to do any of the manoeuvres in almost any conditions.
A learner on a driving test will normally be asked to perform this exercise at a relatively quiet, fairly wide junction. Not necessarily the case for a trainee on part 2.
You’ll be expected to carry out this manoeuvre under sometimes fairly complex and difficult circumstances. The junction may be tight, there may be an incline or a decline, and the main road you are reversing from may be quite busy. As you’ll realise, a great deal of skill and coordination could be called for.
Get plenty of practice at this manoeuvre with your trainer, and ensure that you are fully prepared.
Also, consider the vehicle that you’ll be driving, and think about whether to set the gas or allow the engine to do the work.
There is little point in providing a full tutorial on the manoeuvre, as your trainer will explain it to you in detail, but we will take a look at some of the very common pitfalls and dangers for the unwary
Dangers And Pitfalls
The first pitfall with this manoeuvre is one of observation. The SE will have chosen the junction for you to reverse into, so you won’t have to worry about selecting a location that is safe, legal and convenient. What you must do, however, is to move off properly to pass the chosen junction, and then to take effective observations into the junction to see if there are any obstacles or hazards to prevent you completing the manoeuvre. You also need to take account of the road camber and any incline. The SE will check to ensure that you take these observations.
You will then stop the vehicle a short distance passed the junction. Don’t forget to use msm to pull up, but you’ll stop a little further from the kerb than normal. About 9 inches is normal. This gives you a greater room for error.
You will then prepare the car to move backwards, using POM, but selecting reverse gear.
Now, for the most common single error committed on this manoeuvre, by both learners and trainees. Again, it’s an observation fault. The fault is that you must look back, out of the rear windscreen, before the wheels of the car turn even one inch.
You would not want to set off forwards while looking back, so don’t set off backwards whilst looking to the front. This is almost always a serious error, as it could potentially be very dangerous.
Whilst on the move, do not, under any circumstances, rely solely on the mirrors for your vision to the rear. Again, almost always a serious error. You must actually look to the rear for the majority of the manoeuvre.
Once your car reaches the ‘point of turn’, where you will start to steer around the corner and into the side road, you must take effective observation over your right shoulder and offside (right) door mirror before turning the steering wheel to the slightest degree. This is because, as soon as you start the turn, the front of the car will ‘swing’ out into the carriage way of the major road you are on. It is therefore essential to check that it is safe to do so, before you do so. The word before cannot be emphasised enough. Many thousands of tests have been failed due to this single observation fault, as it is almost always regarded as a serious error, particularly on an ADI part 2 test.
Throughout the exercise, you’ll be expected to demonstrate excellent and effective use of the steering wheel, and very good co-ordination of the foot pedals.
The manoeuvre must be completed with you in full and absolute Control, regardless of the incline or how tight or busy the junction may be. If your car is capable, you may find performing the manoeuvre with no gas to be far easier and smoother.
The SE will be watching carefully for any weaknesses in your use of the Controls or in your coordination.
At the conclusion of the reverse left, the SE will ask you to move off again. As always, make sure you move off using good, effective observations, under full Control.