Reversing like a pro

Reversing like a pro

A video is currently doing the rounds on South Africans’ reversing ability which in the American commentator’s opinion is not necessary. Whether this opinion is true or not and South Africans’ reversing skills are anomaly, it may raise the question about why exactly some drivers reverse park.

The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says the main reason to reverse park is for safety. “The potential for collisions in parking areas is often underestimated. As much as 20% of collisions occur in parking areas. Greater amounts of people walking around, distracted drivers, congested lanes and smaller areas to navigate create a scenario fraught for costly and even tragic mistakes.

“Research by Automotive Fleet also revealed that fleet vehicles hitting other, parked, fleet vehicles is the top cause of collisions in 2018. Other research says one in five fleet collisions occur in the parking lot.”

The solution to significantly reduce the occurrence of these collisions is reverse parking. “One of the main reasons that accidents occur when reversing out of a parking space is because of limited visibility. There are many blind spots and side mirrors only provide limited assistance. Reverse parking makes it safer to leave a space.

“When one drives straight out of a parking it is easier to see the flow of traffic. It also allows you to have a complete view of your surroundings. If there are children around or those more vulnerable such as the elderly, you can see them and avoid tragic accidents.”

Reversing into a parking spot is not enough to prevent parking lot collisions. “Engaging in reckless behaviour can nullify the point of reversing all together. Before you climb into your vehicle assess the space around you to assist your awareness. Focus on the task at hand and, in particular, do not use your phone while leaving your parking space.

“Vehicles equipped with reverse cameras have the potential to reduce parking lot collisions by 63%. Yet, do not fall into the trap of believing they will completely prevent accidents. These too have blind spots and cannot prevent unexpected contingencies such as a child running into your path. Reverse cameras serve much better aids to reversing into a parking than reversing out of a parking.”

Being skilled in reverse parking serves a much more important purpose than showing off your driving skills. It is an important ability responsible for reducing parking lot collisions. Every driver should invest the time in improving their reverse parking skills.


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