Forward Bay Parking
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This is one of the new manoeuvres that were added to the Driving Test in 2017. There are 2 main parts to this manoeuvre:
- Drive forward into a bay on either the right or left
- Reverse out of the bay and rejoin traffic
You can view the DVSA YouTube video here.
The Reverse Bay Parking manoeuvre will only be conducted within the car park at the test centre. The Forward Bay Park, however, will be undertaken in much more public locations such as supermarket or retail car parks.
When reversing out of a bay at a supermarket, a drivers observational skills are always highly tested. Pedestrians often have little regard for a reversing vehicle and will assume that you see them as they walk directly behind your moving vehicle. Abandoned shopping trolleys, impatient drivers shooting past as you're reversing, other drivers reversing out of their bay at the same time as you – hazards, everywhere.
Three key skills are required to successfully carry out the forward bay parking manoeuvre:
- Control: Keep under a slow, controlled speed using clutch control
- Accuracy: Manoeuvre, keeping within the lines of the bay and to reverse out
- Observation: Be aware of everything around you and to act accordingly
The forward bay parking manoeuvre will be conducted in a public car park where you will have to choose an appropriate bay. You will be able to choose a bay either with or without vehicles parked to the side. The instruction given by the examiner will vary depending on the layout of the car park. For example, if there are only bays on the right-side, this will be reflected in the instructions given. Essentially, you'll be given instruction to drive forward into a bay (to either the left or the right if available) and to then reverse out, the choice of bay is for you to decide.
Rules that will apply:
- You cannot drive through the first parking bay and park in the bay in front of that.
- You must not reverse into any bays behind your target bay.
- You are permitted to make corrections, and adjustments, to your position.
Throughout the manoeuvre, keep the car at a slow walking speed. This will allow you to remain accurate, whilst simultaneously observe and react with potential hazards around you. Continuously look into your mirrors and around the vehicle. If you see any pedestrians, cyclists or other vehicles approach your vehicle then stop. Wait until they are clear and have moved out of your way before continuing. Another driver may stop to allow you to continue, in this instance carry on, but first check all-round to ensure it is safe to do so.
Reversing Out of the Bay
Select reverse gear and hand on the handbrake ready to release. Look up and down the road that you'll be reversing into as much as your view will allow. If all looks clear, look in the direction of travel and begin very slowly reversing, think of a 'crawling' speed. It's essential at this point that you're prepared to quickly stop your car. If a vehicle approaches, stop to assess their actions. They may drive around you or they may stop. If they stop, continue with the manoeuvre. Continuously look around before moving and during. Continue to reverse straight until you are far enough out, or reach any reference points.
As you begin to turn, the front of your car will swing out. It's important that you not only observe the road you are entering, but now also the front of your car so to avoid it hitting a car parked in the bay alongside you. Continue to reverse for a sufficient distance on full steering lock until you are confident that you have enough space to drive off. Stop the car and select first gear and before moving off, check the left side blind spot if you reversed out to the left, or the right side blind spot if you reversed out to the right. You check the blind spot before moving off to ensure there are no pedestrians, cyclists or motorcycle riders about to pass in front.
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