Things You Must Know about Backing Your Car
First, knowing how to back your car is important not only for your DMV knowledge test, but also for the practical driving test.
Backing is more difficult than driving forward, which is why you should only drive in reverse when it is necessary.
When preparing your driving test you should, however, practice backing several times – preferably in a safe location. Failures on the behind-the-wheel test are often caused by the driver’s lack of control when reversing a car.
- A. Your field of vision is blocked by the car itself.
- B. It is harder to control speed and direction.
- C. Both A and B are correct.
CORRECT ANSWER: C. Blocked vision and difficulties to steer are two major reasons why backing is more dangerous than driving forward.
When backing your car you must look to the rear. It is important to remember that you will see much less to rear than to the front.
- A. Adjust your mirrors to increase your field of vision.
- B. Check behind the vehicle before you get in.
- C. Buckle up.
CORRECT ANSWER: B. You may not be able to see small children or obstacles from the driver seat. Walk around your car and always make sure the path behind you is clear before you get in.
- A. Rely solely on your rear-view mirror.
- B. Rely on side mirrors and the rear-view mirror.
- C. Turn your head and look through the rear window.
CORRECT ANSWER: C. Many vehicles have backup cameras today. You may or you may not be allowed to use a car with a backup camera on your driving test, check with your local DMV before the test. This doesn’t mean that you should forget about how to drive in reverse without a camera. The most important reminder (and often seen on State knowledge tests) is that you should NOT rely on your mirrors.
Your mirrors have a very limited view of the area behind your vehicle and you may not be able to see approaching vehicles or pedestrians from your right or left.
To get the best possible view of the area behind you, you should look directly through the rear window. Sit up straight up, hold the steering wheel with your left hand near the top and place your right arm on the passenger seat. The improves stability and will help you steer steadily.
This is the only time you should drive with just one hand on the steering wheel.
Scan Behind You
- A. Look to the left and right and double-check for cars and pedestrians.
- B. Honk your horn as a warning.
- C. Turn on your emergency flashers.
CORRECT ANSWER: A. Before you move, look in both directions, and double-check for vehicles and pedestrians.
Don’t move until you are sure the path behind you is clear. Check in all directions for approaching vehicles and/or pedestrians. Fender benders when backing a vehicle are very common. You are also most likely to be at fault in such an accident. [ Read about: Backing Crashes ].
Continue to scan the area around your vehicle as you back up. If you need to turn while backing, make quick checks also to the front. Keep looking around you until you are stopped.
Don’t honk your horn, unless there is an immediate danger. And don’t use your emergency flashers as a warning to others.
Your Backing Speed is Important
The second most common question about backing a car on DMV tests is about your speed:
- A. Back slowly.
- B. Back quickly.
- C. Back no slower than 15 mph.
CORRECT ANSWER: A. Since it is much more difficult to steer in reverse, you should always back at a very slow speed.
After making sure that the path behind you is clear, press lightly on the gas pedal. Beginners often press too hard on the gas pedal and make the car jump backwards.
Use as little pressure as possible and let your car move no faster than a crawl.
With a low speed you will be able to keep control of the car and have a clear view of your surroundings.
Don’t back for a longer distance than necessary.
When You Shouldn’t Back Your Car
A general rule is to do as little backing as possible. Don’t back your car unnecessarily. In some situations, the law may prohibit backing.
- A. In residential areas.
- B. Into a parking lot.
- C. On interstates.
CORRECT ANSWER: C. Never back your car on an interstate or freeway. State laws don’t prohibit backing into a parking lot, but you may find local ordinances that prohibit backing in certain areas.
- A. Back up on the shoulder.
- B. Make a 3-point turn and go back on the shoulder.
- C. Go to the next exit.
CORRECT ANSWER: C. If you miss your exit on a controlled-access highway, continue to the next exit.
Never try to back up your car on a highway shoulder or on an interstate or freeway. If you miss your exit, always continue to the next one.
The only time you may go in the wrong direction on an interstate is when there is a serious traffic incident and you are directed by law enforcement officers to do so.
Reminders about Backing – for Your DMV Test
Backing is more difficult than driving forward.
It is harder to steer and control your car when driving in reverse.
Check behind your car before you get in. Be especially careful when there are children nearby.
Before you start moving, make sure you don’t interfere with other traffic.
When you back up, don’t rely on your mirrors, instead look directly through your rear window.
Always back slowly.
Never back your car on a roadway shoulder or any controlled-access highway.
Don’t back for a longer distance than necessary.
You can't see directly behind your vehicle through the rear window. Playing children and small objects can easily be hidden from view when you start backing. Make a habit of checking behind your car before you get in.
Mirrors don't give a full view of what is behind or to the sides. To get the best view of the area behind your vehicle and see approaching vehicles from left or right, look directly through your rear window.
The reverse is stronger and will start way faster than your first gear, so press lightly on the accelerator. Otherwise the car might make a jump. Your car is harder to steer and control when you are backing. By using a low speed you will have better control. You will also be better prepared for what is happening behind you.
In general, state laws don't make an exception for the use of seat belts when driving in reverse.
Even if you think that the way is clear, never back up on a highway shoulder. The shoulder is for emergencies. State laws usually prohibit you from driving on a shoulder. Backing up on a shoulder is specifically prohibited.Remember, if you back up, you will be going against traffic. Consequences can be severe.