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Manoeuvres – Reversing Around a Corner

June 11, 20140 Comments

Video Transcript

In this video we are going to look at reversing around the corner continuing with the theme of teaching manoeuvres.

You have two types of corner – the tight corner and the swoopy corner.  Make sure you practice this manoeuvre on a tight corner as well just in case they get one on their test.

I am going to be a little bit different here and say that I teach right reverse around a corner but I know a lot of instructors don’t.  I teach it because it is still part of the syllabus and could be tested on an L test.  I teach it because I find that the method of following the kerb round in the back or side window is quite difficult for pupils to catch on to whereas if you do the reverse to the right you can open the window, they can pop their heads out, follow the door handle round or have a look at where the back wheel is and it’s right next to them so it gives them a lot more perspective of what is happening.

I know the corners I use for this manoeuvre like are they a half turn, three quarter turn or full turn.  I know when we will need to start to turn.  The most common reasons that pupils go too wide as they go round is that they start too far back so make sure that the back wheels are in line or slightly forward of where it starts to turn.  When I watch other people doing this manoeuvre quite often their back wheel is past that turning point and the car will always go wide.  So always start with your back wheels in line or slightly forward of where the first curved kerb stone is.

As I know the corners I will instruct my pupils by saying “look around, half turn to the left” if I know the corner only needs half a turn and the car will then follow the corner round.  The reason I do this is not because I don’t want my pupils to make a mistake but because I want them to see what it looks like when it is done correctly.  If you tell them to keep the kerb in the corner and have told them the right amount of turns then you know that it will work.  Then I will practice a three quarter turn corner.

After this I will either get my pupils to follow the kerb themselves or give them the wrong information about how much of a turn they should make on the steering wheel and ask them to look and comment about whether the kerb is staying the same in the back window.  Hopefully they say no and I can get them to adjust so they are getting the difference between what looks right and what doesn’t.

My experience is that pupils don’t normally have a problem with following the kerb round but do have a problem with starting too far back and straightening up and coming in.  So this is the next point.  When they are about halfway round the corner the kerb, in my car, starts to come towards me a bit and then goes back out the back window and the pupil wants to adjust the wheel at this point.  So I say to them that once they are looking at the straight part of the kerb after the curve they need to just ignore it and let it come round, quick check in the mirror if you need to and then when you are straight, straighten up.  This is a really important point because again, watching other instructors and people practicing they tend to come round the corner and if they are a bit wide come in at a quite a bit of an angle.  If they are wide then they are quite near the white line in the middle which is potentially a failure point if they go over it.  If they then carry on on one full turn, three quarter turn or half turn they will swing the front of the car over the white line.

So it is really important to come round, straighten up regardless of where they are in the road and then bring the car in with about 5 minutes of steering going back to their reference point out of the back window and then 5 minutes the other way, straighten up and then they should be the correct distance from the kerb.

It is really important to do that so it is straight reverse to the turning point, check around, come around the corner following it round until you are straight but not adjusting once the kerb is coming into the back window which most pupils want to do, straighten up when the car is straight to the kerb then slight steering movements in.

Filed in: Blaines Blog

About the Author ()

Blaine Walsh is the owner of, has been a driving instructor trainer for 15 years and a driving instructor for over 20 years. When he first qualified Blaine admits his was not a very good instructor, became disillusioned, was not retaining pupils and not making any money, so he quit full time teaching. After spending time self-reflecting, he had a light bulb moment and realised that he needed to put more explanation, effort and enthusiasm into teaching learners. Since then he has not looked back and is now regarded as one of the top trainers in the country.

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