How to properly pull over and back up

Look behind

There is a portion of the ICBC Class 7 (N) road test where the examiner will ask you to pull over and back up in a straight line. This is asked of you because they need to see if you know how to do a 360-degree vision check and if you are looking behind you while driving backwards. (This is for safety reasons, of course.)

Please refer to our pull over parking blog post to read more about how to pull over and park. Once you have pulled over, be sure to do the following:

1. Shift the gear into “R” (Reverse).

2. Do a 360-degree vision check.
Start by doing a left shoulder check, then check your left mirror, check your rear view mirror, check your right mirror, check your right shoulder and end with you checking through the back window. (Note: This needs to be done every single time you put the car in reverse, not just for this maneuver.) Essentially you are sweeping from left to right.

3. Adjust your position so you are turned to your right side over your shoulder and looking through the back window.

4. Hold the steering wheel left hand at 12 o’clock position and your right hand at the 3 o’clock position. (Or you can put your right arm behind the passenger seat. I don’t recommend this because I’d rather have my students drive with two hands.)

5. Back up slowly while keeping your steering wheel straight as much as possible. Remember to keep looking backwards but check the front from time to time. The best way I can describe the pace would be a medium walking pace. The amount of distance depends on your examiner. They may ask you to back up a few car lengths, they may ask you to go half a block. Be prepared for either.

6. The best ratio of where you should be looking is 25% in your rear view mirror, 25% in your right side mirror to monitor and keep yourself straight along the curb and 50% of the time behind you through the back window.

This may sound easy to some but give it a try and make sure you really know what you are doing. Work closely with your driving instructor or supervisor to see how you do.

Yes, backup cameras are amazing and thank you for technology but they do not substitute you looking behind you while driving backwards. You are still very much expected to look behind you majority of the time.

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