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Manoeuvres Part 2

 In Driving Lessons, Driving Test

In my first blog on manoeuvres I focused on the parallel park and the various methods to do this. Re-emphasising what was said in that blog it is important to note that the manoeuvre hasn’t got to be perfect 1st time, it just has to be safe, legal and under control. If you don’t succeed 1st time you have an opportunity to correct the manoeuvre as long as you don’t start it again from the beginning. Learning how to correct a mistake is just as important as doing the manoeuvre itself and you should work on this with your driving instructor.

In this blog we are going to focus on the other 3 reverse parking manoeuvres. As I stated in the 1st blog on parking I believe that a good starting position makes every manoeuvre much easier. Remember all manoeuvres rely on you controlling the speed and steering, good effective observation and eventually finishing in the correct position.

The reverse bay parking manoeuvre (3 bay method)

This is done at the test centre car park and is either done at the beginning of the test or at the very end. I will talk about this as if you are doing it to the left.

Your starting position needs to be at 90 degrees to the bay you wish to park in and to avoid cutting across the bay you need to start around 1.5m from the bay entrance. This is in reality a door and a half width away from the line.

As you are getting straight you need to know which bay you wish to park in. This we will call bay 1. Now you are straight you need to continue passing bay 1 (the bay you want to be in) and bay 2 and you need to stop just after the far line of bay 3. Once stopped you need to put the car in reverse and do your observations, ensuring it is safe to proceed. Then slowly reversing you need to align the line at the edge of bay 3 with your door so it is around half way between your body and the steering wheel. Your instructor will help you with this reference point. At this point you need to steer full lock to the left. While doing this you need to continue to look around to make sure it’s still safe to proceed. If you trust your turning point the car will head towards the bay. Now, by using your side mirrors you need to let the car come around until you are parallel with the lines of the bay you are going into. Once parallel, straighten up and reverse until you are completely in the bay. If there are cars to the side of you be careful not to stare at them as you are likely to steer into them if you do. Concentrate on the positive action of parking in your bay.

The forward bay park (and reverse out)

Same as the other manoeuvres please get a good starting position. As you enter the car park (this will be a public car park) you need to make a decision whether you are parking to the left or to the right. Indecision is no good here. If you decide to do it to the left you need to safely position the car all the way over to the right (as close to the bays on the right as you can). Once across make sure you are straight. Now, looking at the line at the entrance of the bay you want, you need to align this to the bottom of your left mirror. This is your turning point. Whilst keeping the car moving you then need to steer full lock to the left now looking into the middle of your bay. The car will now come around and once it is straight please straighten the steering wheel. Once fully in the bay secure the car. Now you need to safely reverse out again. To reverse out you need to be observing constantly shoulder to shoulder throughout the manoeuvre. Once you have cleared the parked vehicle next to you (if there is one) then steer full lock to the direction you are going. Try to stop before you reach the bays behind (if you don’t and there is nothing there then no real worries here). Before driving off please be sure to check your blind spots again.

The Pull up on the right manoeuvre

The examiner will first of all ask you to pull up on a safe place on the right. Using your mirror signal manoeuvre routine do this. If there are oncoming vehicles wait for them to pass in the position you would normally take up to turn right (just to the left of the centre of the road). If nothing is coming pull over as if you are doing so on the left ie without stopping. Make sure you finish straight and close to the kerb. Here you will be asked to reverse back approximately two car lengths (8-10m). Doing so you should be looking backwards out of your rear window and not relying on the centre or side mirrors to do so. Periodically you need to look forward to make sure there are no vehicles coming towards you and are in the process of passing you. If they are you need to stop the car and let them pass. Repeat as many times as you need to to get back to your finishing place. To pull off remember to check your left blind spot (multiple times if needed) to ensure a safe pull off.

I hope this has helped with the three other manoeuvres but remember whatever manoeuvre you get on test follow these simple rules:

1 – take your time
2 – if you have to correct the manoeuvre then do so, safely
3 – respect other road users and using effective observation allow them to carry on as normal.
4 – on test day don’t worry about the manoeuvre you might get. What you get, you get. Worrying will only impact negatively on the rest of your drive
5 – enjoy it. Remember you know how to do it!

Good luck

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