- “Reversing A Car Confuses Me!” – 5 Reasons
- How To Reduce The Confusion Associated With Reversing Cars
- Ready To Get Behind The Wheel Again?
For a new driver, reversing a car may be extremely confusing. It can be so frustrating that it may drive you to quit driving altogether.
However, you don’t need to worry. All you need to do is practice reversing more to make sense of the whole thing.
In addition, it may help you to understand why reversing cars is so confusing in the first place.
“Reversing A Car Confuses Me!” – 5 Reasons
Reversing a car is confusing is a common problem faced by almost all new drivers. Its root cause is your focus is divided between which way to go and how to steer.
Due to this, you may be making the following mistakes that drive you to think that reversing cars is confusing.
1. You May Be Looking Forward
Looking in one direction while trying to go in another will confuse you.
Assume you’re trying to maneuver your car into a parking space. The curb markings ahead of you may not necessarily parallel into the slot you’re trying to reverse.
Therefore, looking that way will mess up your parking.
So, it would help if you looked back towards where you want to reverse your car and steer accordingly.
2. You’re Probably Looking At The Steering Wheel
You may feel that reversing cars is confusing because your eyes are usually locked on the steering wheel. It could be because your driving instructor marked it to indicate straight.
However, it’ll only encourage you to look at the wheel rather than reverse it properly.
What you need to do is look outside the car. It won’t matter where straight is in this case.
Now you’re probably thinking that you would need to straighten the car while reversing. In this case, steer your wheel until the car no longer moves one way or the other.
As you reverse, use your side mirror or, ideally, look out of the back window.
3. Your Mind Is Constantly Thinking ‘Right’ Or ‘Left’
It is a point that people often overlook, confusing them while reversing their cars.
While looking forward, it’s easy to determine which side is left or right. However, these sides will switch if you look outside the rear window.
While facing forward, what used to be your right will become your left as you reverse.
So, if your instructor asks you to steer left while reversing, you’re bound to make a few mistakes. But don’t worry – this is anything that a lot of practice won’t help you.
4. You’re Focused On Looking At The Floor
While reversing, you may focus your gaze on a line on the road or the curb.
However, this won’t help you reverse the car properly. For instance, you won’t tell when to straighten up.
By limiting your range of vision to a specific area, reversing the car will become more complicated and more confusing.
So, you need to have a whole look at the space surrounding the back of your car beforehand.
5. You May Be Sitting Still While Reversing
Reversing a car can be confusing if you remain in the same position as you usually drive. That’s because you won’t be able to tell what’s going on in your surroundings.
So, while you’re moving the car backward, make sure to face that way to notice where it’s going.
How To Reduce The Confusion Associated With Reversing Cars
You aren’t the only one confused by reversing cars, nor will you be the last.
Luckily, there are ways to go about this tricky step. And here are some you can use to get it right.
Start By Shifting Into Reverse First
You already know to check your mirrors and signal your intentions from Drivers Ed before reversing the car.
But what you should do first is a shift into reverse gear. As obvious as this sounds, many new drivers don’t do this.
By selecting reverse gear first, the reversing lights at the back of the car will switch on. That would alert anyone behind the car of its direction.
Therefore, pedestrians will be safe while moving behind you. Moreover, other drivers won’t end up too close if you lose control of your car.
Always Do A 360 Degree Check
One way to reduce your confusion while reversing your car is to understand your surroundings thoroughly.
As you reverse, you won’t see what’s happening around the car, especially since the car itself is blocking the view as you back up.
So, do a quick 360-degree search to detect any approaching hazards.
Look over your left shoulder and scan the left mirror. Repeat this with the right side as well.
Practice Backing In Figure 8 Or L Shape
If you have access to a large, empty parking lot, practice reversing in a figure 8 shape. Yes, you won’t be using this skill while behind the wheel.
However, it’ll reduce your confusion while reversing as it offers excellent practice for any driver.
Start with an L shape if you don’t feel confident to pull this off. Back into an L shape to the left and the right.
Don’t Forget To Practice Driving Backwards In A Straight Line
While you’re reversing in 8 or L shapes, make sure you practice reversing in a straight line. After all, this is still considered one of the difficult maneuvers for drivers.
To help you perfect straight reversing, here are some tips to follow.
- Find the proper starting position. For instance, you can begin close to the curb and move parallel to it.
- Release the handbrake while looking out the rear window.
- Always reverse as slowly as possible. Preferably avoid speeding up beyond one mph as you practice. It will ensure the safety of anyone behind your car.
- Remember that other drivers going in the correct direction have priority while driving. So, if they wish to pass you, make sure you let them do just that.
- Once you have finished reversing, take the car out of reverse gear. Otherwise, you won’t be the only one confused while reversing. Others on the road will think you’re still moving backward.
Rely More On Your Side Mirrors
You can prevent reversing the car from confusing you by mastering the use of your mirrors.
Learn how to properly adjust these mirrors so that you can see the curb. It will mainly come in handy as you do a 360 check.
Using the mirrors will further help you locate your blind spots. Moreover, you’ll be able to determine if the area you’re in has no traffic before you back into a spot.
Just remember that the objects you see in the mirror are closer than they appear.
So, there may be some space at the back. Use your best judgment in this case.
Ready To Get Behind The Wheel Again?
By now, you should be at ease knowing it’s normal to feel confused while reversing cars. So, put away this device, grab your car keys, and head outside or to your garage.
It’s time for you to start practicing reverse and implementing the tips you just learned.
Don’t give up if things don’t work out the first time. It isn’t an easy technique, so you need to try as many times as possible.
Just be safe during this activity and ensure that no one disturbs or distracts you.
Kevin has been hanging around cars and automobile magazines since he knew what a car is. He grew up in his father’s 1995 Mercedes E320 Wagon and Volkwagon Phaeton W12 2004. He rides his first car, a manual 1979 Porche 911SC.
Currently, he owns an Acura Integra GS-R. During his childhood, he showed a keen interest in how things actually work and fix them. This passion transforms into his eternal love for cars and bestows him an ideal position in one of the leading automobile companies; whenever he finds time, he takes out his Acura and opts for the longest possible route to find hidden wholesome pleasure in a road trip.
Want to read some of the articles written by Kevin? Head to our blog section to find out all the articles written by Kevin.