One of the most critical aspects to improving road safety is the need to enhance our overall situational awareness. That means being aware of what’s happening around our vehicle and road environment.

 

 

Of course improving our ability to access our surroundings doesn’t just apply when we are travelling forward. Reversing also presents a number of potential risks.

 

 

Parking or reversing any vehicle can sometimes be tricky, even for the best of us. But this is where technology can help make reversing easier and safer. Parking distance sensors and reversing cameras are some of the nice little things to come along recently. The sensors can be fitted in the bumpers and beep as the car gets closer to a fixed object. The beeps get faster as you get closer. In addition more vehicles are now also being fitted with reversing cameras which help give the driver a better view of the surroundings as they reverse the vehicle.

 

 

However, as with all technology, these systems have limitations. Reversing cameras and sensors are great additional tools but even with these systems, drivers still need to be vigilant when reversing and not become overly reliant on them. Reversing incidents can still occur if the driver is distracted, complacent or if the environment around the vehicle changes.

 

 

Let’s take a look at a few critical aspects to help reduce the risks when reversing. Thinking about reversing starts even before you get behind the wheel. As you’re approaching the vehicle, have a good look around the car to see if there are any potential hazards. Walking the long way around to the driver’s door can also help you identify any potential issues.

 

 

Like any new device, you’ll need to take some time to become familiar with the reversing aids. It’s always a good idea to read the owner’s manual and find out what reversing aids are fitted and the safety warnings.

 

 

Always keep in mind that whilst reversing aids are helpful, they do have their limitations.  It is the driver’s responsibility to reverse safely. If there is an accident you will be legally “at fault” So make sure you stay focused and double check your surroundings.

 

 

Good reversing practices:

 

Identify hazards

Set up your mirrors and reversing aids properly

Reverse slowly and constantly check your surroundings

 

Drive Safely – Russell White CARMA Road Safety Ambassador