How to Drive a Car in Reverse Gear

Written by anthony smith
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Driving in reverse does not come naturally to most people, and many people do not feel comfortable when having to do it. While driving in reverse definitely has the disadvantage of reduced visibility for the driver and should be avoided when possible, there are some best practices that will make it as safe as possible.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Get out of the car if possible and physically inspect the area behind the vehicle before you back up. This can reveal hazards or dangers that you would not notice from the car.

  2. 2

    Press the brake pedal firmly and hold it there while you put the vehicle in reverse gear.

  3. 3

    Check all your mirrors, but also look over your shoulder to give yourself the best view possible behind the vehicle.

  4. 4

    Slowly release the brake pedal while keeping an eye out for obstacles. Keep in mind that as the vehicle moves in reverse, moving of the steering wheel will have the opposite effect on the front of the vehicle as when you are moving forward. That is, turning the steering wheel to the right will move the front of the vehicle to the left.

  5. 5

    Go slowly whenever you are driving in reverse. Often you will not need the accelerator at all, instead simply using the brake to moderate the engine's idle speed.

  6. 6

    Back up only as far as necessary to allow you to shift gears and proceed forward. Driving straight ahead is much safer than driving in reverse.

Tips and warnings

  • Reduce or eliminate the need for driving in reverse by parking so that you can simply pull out straight ahead.

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