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backing is to be avoided whenever possible, every driver must make some backups
on nearly every trip. And you know how to back, as demonstrated when getting a
license, but how often do you forget some basics?
first thing is that all backing must be done slowly. Skillful drivers can
perform the backing maneuver time after time with the greatest of ease, but
you'll never see a good driver back at high speed.
order to be rated competent, every driver must be able to control the progress
of the vehicle all the time—every time the vehicle is in motion. This skill is
easily demonstrated in forward movement. Since this is the way you go most of
the time, the driver's seat is placed up front.
moving in reverse, the driver is still up front, and he can't see so well
behind. In addition steering wheels are no longer the lead wheels, and control
of direction is awkward. Concentrate on the fact that in reverse movement
controls are reversed, and response to steering is sluggish.
reversing, get a clear view of the spot into which you must back. If it's a
normal, familiar backing situation with good clearances, back in as long as you
can see the backing path clearly in the rearview mirrors.
place is strange, or if there is any question about clearances, the good driver
will get out of the vehicle and survey the place that must be backed into. Note
any obstructions, low‑hanging wires or signs, or fire escapes. Clearances
must be wide enough and high enough.
expert will drive as close as possible before starting to backup, make the turn
on the driver's side, if possible, so that you can see the back of the vehicle
swinging into position. At all times be sure to watch clearances on both sides
through his rearview mirrors. When within a few feet of your stop, lean out and
look directly behind the vehicle until the backup is completed.
good drivers make use another person to direct their backing maneuver. Standing
at the rear where the guide can be seen either directly, or through mirrors by
the driver, the guide gives positive signals for steering, slowing and stopping.
know that hard bumps mark the poor driver, so they take no chances on a
all, approach every backing maneuver with caution, and a soft touch on the gas
pedal. Too much speed in backing can ruin a driver's day.
drivers who must go into a dead-end alley or driveway where there's no
turnaround usually will back in from the street, so as to avoid the necessity of
backing out into traffic. If necessary to back into the street, they will get
someone to flag down traffic or to signal when the way is clear.
in residential neighborhoods should never start backing out of a parking space
without first walking around to make sure there's nothing in the way. There have
been too many cases of children stopping to play behind a parked vehicle, only
to be crushed when a driver backed up without looking. Such obstacles as
children, tricycles, boxes and the like cannot be seen through the rearview
drivers agree that backing is a slow, tedious and sometimes dangerous operation
and they try to avoid it whenever possible. When backing cannot be avoided, be
in control of the vehicle, even in reverse motion, always take it slow and easy.
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