ADI Part 2 Manoeuvres – Reverse Park
Again, a manoeuvre that causes fear and panic in a great many trainee instructors is the reverse park, sometimes referred to as the parallel park.
This exercise is usually carried out by reverse parking behind another vehicle on the nearside (left) of the carriage way.
Reverse parking a car can be notoriously dangerous, with vehicles travelling along the road and pedestrians appearing as if from nowhere. The major errors in this exercise are related to poor or faulty observation techniques. Make sure you look everywhere. As with the other reverse exercises, quick, sideways glances are far from enough.
You’ll be expected to carry out this manoeuvres under sometimes fairly complex and difficult circumstances. There may be an incline or a decline on the road, or the road may be very 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 reverse park, 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 main pitfalls with this manoeuvre are very much concerned with observation. The initial stages of the reverse park are very similar to the reverse left, and the observations required are basically identical.
The SE will typically ask you to pull up at the side of the road, then point out a parked vehicle that they would like you to park behind. Ensure that you use msm to pull up. You will not be required to consider if the location is safe, legal and convenient. as the SE will have chosen the location specifically.
Despite what many ADI trainers may tell you, the SE will not trick you by asking you to carry out the exercise and then fail you for doing so in an unsafe location. This one may just deserve a place on our myths page.
It is essential that you show excellent observation skills before moving the car, and continue to do so throughout the manoeuvre. The SE will check to ensure that you take these observations.
You will then stop the vehicle a short distance from your target vehicle, and a little ahead of it. Don’t forget to use msm again to pull up.
You will then prepare the car to move backwards, using POM, but selecting reverse gear.
Now, for a very common 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 behind the parked car, you must take effective observation ahead of you for oncoming traffic, 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 path of any other vehicles or pedestrians on the road.
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 coordination 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 road 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 park, the SE will ask you to move off again, but this time you will need to show your skills in moving off at an angle. As always, make sure you move off using good, effective observations, under full Control.
This page has been recently updated. The ADIT team would like to pass on their thanks to trainee instructor Helen Browning, for taking the time to read the information and offer suggestions for improvement. Thank you very much, Helen. We’re sure that your efforts will help trainee instructors everywhere