Reversing on the road is something that all drivers need to do; but when would it not be safe or legal to do this?
There are only two reasons for you to reverse a car:
- To give yourself room to pull out past an obstruction
- To turn your car round to drive in a different direction
Whenever either of these is necessary, you should not reverse any further than absolutely necessary. It is actually against the law to reverse your car for longer than you need to.
If you need to use a junction to turn your car around, you should always reverse into it not out of it. It’s not actually against the law to reverse onto the main road, but you could face prosecution for ‘driving without due care and attention’ if you cause an accident while doing this.
Reversing from a Driveway
Similarly, you should never reverse out of your driveway onto the road. It’s always much safer to reverse onto the drive. When you come to drive off it going forward you will have a much better view; and you’re ready to pull away under acceleration away from any approaching traffic. If you reverse onto the road you’re much more likely to inconvenience or even endanger other road users.
This is particularly important of you have a driveway which does not have a clear view of the road. For example, if there are parked cars, walls or hedges which restrict your view. To reverse out of a space where you can’t see clearly is simply reckless.
Should you find yourself in a situation such as this, get someone to help you if you can. If you can’t see clearly then having someone to guide you out will help minimise the risk.
If you live on a road which is particularly busy at times such as the evening rush hour; you may find it difficult to get an opportunity to position your car for reversing into your drive. But remember, it’s likely to be just as busy in the morning when reversing out is going to cause problems for you and everyone else.
The solution? Wait until things quieten down and then turn you car around so that you’re ready to drive straight out in the morning!