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To think that if you're totally and utterly incompetent at reversing you should practice/take lessons

59 replies

DonutMan · 13/12/2019 19:17

This isn't a rant about people who are crap at reverse parking, more the type of people who seem utterly unable to do even the most simple reversing manoeuvre.

I regularly have to drive trucks between depots for my job, and sometimes have to navigate some pretty tight lanes where I encounter cars. I'm never a bully as I realise a big truck can be intimidating, and often I'll reverse up if it's safe to do so, to prevent the other driver from getting flustered. However, I've had two incidents this week which have really caused me to question whether some people should be on the road.

Yesterday, I encountered a woman driving a mini whilst on a pretty tight lane which had passing points every half mile or so. There was a passing point literally 10-15 feet behind her, and she had a good few feet clearance on either side. All that would've been necessary was to reverse back in a straight line and then drive into the passing point. However, she refused to do it.

I would usually have just reversed back myself, but i knew it'd be around 0.5 miles to next passing point, and my wing mirrors were pretty much in the hedge meaning that I couldn't see down the side of the truck for foliage - it'd have been very easy to put a back wheel onto the verge and sink in as I couldn't see the curves in the road - obviously I don't have a rear view mirror or back window.

I had to climb out into the hedge and politely explain my predicament. She suggested that I reverse her car back for her, which I did. No harsh words were spoken and it all turned out ok, but it's pretty shocking IMO to not be able to literally reverse 10 feet in a straight line. People generally have to do manoeuvre in their practical test, so I can only think that some people just forget everything they've learnt.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

231 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
BackforGood · 13/12/2019 21:35

Of course if you are driving a car you should be able to reverse it.
Would the person (people?) wh have said this is unreasonable be willing to explain why they think it is okay not to be able to reverse your own car ? Confused

Deckthehallswithlotsofcake · 14/12/2019 06:30

She shouldn't live around here then. Sometimes there are so many cars on my road I have to reverse 100 yards just to get out of the road. I just had to reverse approx. 300 yards yesterday as a road was flooded and so narrow that I deemed it easier to reverse than to make a three point turn because it would have turned into a 10 point turn or something like that.

Barnseyboyo · 14/12/2019 06:49

I agree but I passed my test only 3 years ago and I didn’t do much reversing at all. Maybe they just haven’t had the opportunity. I reverse into a parking space everyday but that’s all
I do reversing wise. I’m confident I could reverse into a passing place in a country lane but I’ve never had to do it.

ButterflyBook · 14/12/2019 06:52

I can reverse, reverse park, manoeuvre my small car pretty well. But when someone is waiting or watching me do it, it all goes pear shaped. I know, that's my problem not theirs.

RhymingRabbit3 · 14/12/2019 06:55

I agree with you OP.

You said you arent talking about people who can't reverse park, but actually I think it applies to them as well. Driving isn't just about being able to go in straight lines and someone parking badly or taking forever can be dangerous and obstructive.

scaredycatz · 14/12/2019 06:59

I really think they should do more of this type of reversing in driving lessons (maybe they already do now I passed my test a long time ago lol) all I did in my driving lessons was the set reversing manoeuvres they didn't give any practice for this type of situation.

doxxed · 14/12/2019 07:04

This reply has been withdrawn

This has been withdrawn by MNHQ for privacy reasons.

Pinkyyy · 14/12/2019 07:05

I agree with you. But I also hate it when someone is faffing around for 10 minutes trying to get into a parking space. I just don't understand why they must reverse in if they find it so difficult, they could easily drive straight in or find an empty section of the car park.

k1233 · 14/12/2019 07:07

Totally agree. Reversing is an important skill. Parallel parking is also important. Being able to do both demonstrates an awareness of your vehicle and where it is positioned on the road in relation to other obstacles, not just where the front of the vehicle is.

madcatladyforever · 14/12/2019 07:10

I'm not the best so I have a very small car and can reverse that just fine.

transformandriseup · 14/12/2019 07:10

I agree, I was driving down a narrow windy road last week which opens up onto a housing estate. A man in another car was trying to enter my road from the estate but wouldn't back up to let me out. I couldn't believe it as they was was nothing but open space behind him.

meredithgrey1 · 14/12/2019 07:17

I think they should add a bit to the driving test where you have to reverse a short distance down a not straight road. Obviously it's not something commonly done by most people in everyday driving but like the reverse round a corner and turn in the road (if they still do those?) it demonstrates ability to manoeuvre in a controlled way.

And I agree that people who can't should take some time to practice. I got a car a few years ago, about 8 years after passing my test and the last time I'd driven was the day of my test so I wasn't that confident. I took the car to an empty car park and spent quite a while just reversing into spaces as that was the bit I was least confident at in my lessons and after 8 years had convinced myself I completely couldn't do it.

Aroundtheworldin80moves · 14/12/2019 07:17

I've never done as much reversing as I've had to do recently on the school run. We live outside town, nearest school with spaces is town centre, old narrow Victorian street. It's on a hill so you can't always see if cars are coming the other way- so one ends up having to reverse into a gap.

I have seen stand offs- often with both cars having a queue of traffic behind. I wish they would make it one way, it would be a lot safer.

It should be obvious it's easier for a car to reverse than a lorry, bus, or something towing. Or a motorbike which doesn't have reverse.

AxeOfKindness · 14/12/2019 07:33

I do agree, OP. I'm a very nervous driver who had big gaps between driving stints and have taken myself off to do practice of things like bay parking when the is no-one around (and definitely need to do more practice) but even I can happily reverse the car in a straight line (or round a corner)!

My main concern is that I'm very cautious emerging from junctions etc and often imagine people behind me thinking "hurry up FFS!" which makes me more flustered!

JustDanceAddict · 14/12/2019 07:42

Not keen on reversing longer distances but I do it if I have to.
I always drive into a supermarket space but I’ll reverse into a space on the road.
I’m weird!!

puddleducker · 14/12/2019 07:45

I couldn't agree more. I commute a fair distance which includes a 5 mile stint across narrow, bendy country lanes. There's one stretch which is particularly bad with few passing spaces. The amount of times I have to reverse a very long way when the other driver could have simply gone back 10 metres but refuses to do so. I'm a pretty good reverser, but sometimes I feel trapped in a nightmare when you do the reversing, let them pass, only to then continue to drive when the same thing happens again and I'm stuck for 20 minutes doing it over and over. With the short days at the minute, my biggest gripe is when people with the new LED bright headlights don't dip them as I'm reversing which basically means I'm blinded and can't see behind me. I ALWAYS have to get out of the car, explain to them I will reverse but they are currently blinding me. Another thing that I feel should be used in driving lessons, learning how to use your headlights properly. My commute is currently a good 20 minutes longer than it should be because of all of this, so I feel your pain OP. x

bonzo77 · 14/12/2019 07:46

Absolutely agree. Especially as so many cars have reverse sensors and / or cameras now.

And for @Pinkyyy who asks why drivers bother reversing into spaces when the can drive in... because if you drive in you have to reverse out. Where the risk of hitting a pedestrian or moving vehicle is far higher.

ColaFreezePop · 14/12/2019 07:48

The problem can be avoided in most cases, particularly in winter, by people knowing how to meet traffic.

While some vehicles e.g. bin and recycling lorries movements are unpredictable a small bright red bus or a HGV isn't. I've seen other drivers refusing to reverse for the smaller buses on the narrow roads where I live and if they simply looked ahead they wouldn't have needed to.

pinkstripeycat · 14/12/2019 07:51

I am a driving instructor. Once someone shows that they can reverse several times over several lessons you don’t keep doing it as they’ve already learnt it. Once they passed their test it’s all about gaining experience. Some people just can’t cope in traffic once their instructor is no longer sitting next to them. People who have learnt to drive in areas where there are narrow roads should be taught those by their instructor. Where I live there are no very narrow country roads so there’s no way of teaching how to navigate them. There are lots of new things people encounter once they pass their test as they increase distance they travel. I’m those circumstances it’s all learn as you go

ColaFreezePop · 14/12/2019 07:52

@Pinkyyy if I didn't reverse into parking spaces I would never do any reverse manoeuvres and then find I couldn't remember how to do it when I randomly needed to. I haven't parallel parked since last year as I park 95% of the time in parking spaces.

LolaSmiles · 14/12/2019 08:03

People should be competent to a basic standard in simple manoeuvres.
As someone who was a nervous driver, the onus is on the driver to become more confident and competent. I hate the idea of "but they're just nervous /lacking confidence" as an excuse for poor driving.

LynetteScavo · 14/12/2019 08:04

Hmm... I'm pretty shit hot at reverse parking, if do say so myself, but I wasn't always. It takes practice and even if it was a tiger just part if the test an inexperienced driver terrified of scratching their car might not be comfortable.

You sound nice and reasonable OP, it was nice of you to reverse the woman's car rather than have a go at her Smile

nrpmum · 14/12/2019 08:08

Agree. I've not driven for 8 months (health reasons). By the time I can get another car it'll be 12 months. I've told my husband we need to go and practise reverse parking and parallel parking because they are my weaknesses.

BeingATwatItsABingThing · 14/12/2019 08:10

Being unable to reverse confuses me. Why can’t you reverse? Even if you pull into spaces forward (much harder than reversing in!), surely you have to reverse back out again. Unless you are a learner, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to reverse because you will have had to as part of your lessons.

TreeTopTim · 14/12/2019 08:11

I'm not the best at reversing but I still do it everyday. Hate parallel parking but I don't shy away from it.

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