Tip #1: Shift into Reverse FIRST 

 

  • The first thing you should always do when you’re about to reverse or park is (after checking the mirror and signalling), shift your vehicle into reverse gear
  • This sounds obvious, but this is important because it will active the white, reversing lights on the rear of your vehicle. This alerts others that you plan to reverse
  • If you don’t shift into reverse, the people driving behind you might not realize you want to back up, and might drive too close behind you, maybe making it impossible for you to perform your maneuver (i.e. if parallel parking, others might think you are simply planning to turn right)

 

Tip #2: Do Your 360 Degree Check

 

The second thing you should always do any and every time you shift into reverse, is the 360 degree check.

 

  • When you reverse, it’s a lot more difficult to see what is going on around your vehicle as oppose to when you’re going forwards
  • This is because when you’re backing up, the rest of your entire vehicle is blocking your view!
  • Cars commonly reverse in parking lots, driveways, malls
  • These are areas where there is a high probability that there will be pedestrians walking, kids, dogs, skateboarders, other people reversing, etc.
  • So, it’s important to check around your vehicle in a full circle every time before you reverse, especially considering people and cars are moving things too!
  • One second there is nothing there and one moment later there is
  • The idea is to spot any approaching hazards and be aware of everything that is going on around your vehicle in a full circle, the moment before you reverse; which minimizes time going by and the situation changing
  • If you’re going to reverse to the right or in a straight line, you look over your right shoulder when you’re reversing (so that you’re looking in the direction your car is going); so you should start your 360 degree check from the left to the right
  • This means, do a left shoulder check, scan the left mirror, scan the rear-view mirror, scan the right mirror, and then look over the right shoulder to back up
  • If you’re going to reverse to the left, it means you’ll be looking left (so that you are looking in the direction your car is going); so you should start your 360 degree check from the right (the direction that you won’t be looking as you’re backing.)
  • This means, do a right shoulder check, scan the right mirror, scan the rear-view mirror, and then look over the left shoulder (most of the time) while reversing

 

Tip #3: When You Are Finished Reversing…

 

As soon as you are finished reversing, always shift out of reverse right away 

  • (into park, or drive, or neutral; anything else other than reverse)
  • Do not stay in reverse gear, while you ponder the universe, check your email or sit in the car waiting for someone
  • People have forgotten that they’re in reverse and have accidentally backed up and caused collisions
  • This could be particularly devastating if you were in a parking lot where pedestrians were walking behind your vehicle
  • Many automatic cars especially could start moving backwards the instant you remove your foot from the brake
  • Make this a habit that you do automatically without thinking

 

Tip #4:  Your Seatbelt Is Optional

 

  • You’re allowed to remove your seatbelt when reversing if it makes things easier for you
  • Remember, though, that as soon as you are in a forward gear and moving in a forward fashion again then you must legally have it on again

 

Tip #5:  To Reverse in a Straight Line 

 

  • Shift to reverse
  • Perform your 360 degree check
  • Place your left hand on the top/middle of the steering wheel (12:30)
  • Look over your right shoulder through the rear window – focus on something in the middle of the window if possible, such as a tree or parked car that is directly in the centre of your rear window (the car goes in the direction you are looking)
  • Proceed at a walking pace
  • This is the only time that you are allowed to have one hand on the steering wheel during the ICBC road test.

 

Reverse in a Straight Line Video:

 

 

And Another:

 

 

Tip #6:  To Reverse to the Right

 

  •  Shift to reverse
  • Perform your 360 degree check
  • Look over your right shoulder out the rear right window, or wherever you can see the most
  • It’s okay to check the front or the mirrors momentarily
  • You should use two hands to steer (unless or until you’re backing up in a perfectly straight line, as above)

 

Reverse to the Right Video

 

 

Tip #7:  To Reverse to the Left

 

  • Shift to reverse
  • Perform your 360 degree check
  • Look over your left shoulder most of the time, out whichever left window that you can see the most
  • It’s okay to check the front or the mirrors momentarily
  • You should use two hands to steer (unless or until you’re backing up in a perfectly straight line, as above).

 

Reverse to the Left Video

 

 

Tip #8:  Don’t Reverse Where it’s Illegal

 

FYI, it is illegal to reverse into an intersection and on a crosswalk.

 

Motor Vehicle Act

 

193: Caution in backing a vehicle

The driver of a vehicle must not cause the vehicle to move backwards into an intersection or over a crosswalk, and must not in any event or at any place cause a vehicle to move backwards unless the movement can be made in safety.

 

Reversing Basics Video