Reversing a car is a skill many drivers wish they could improve on. Having a steep, curving or cornered driveway is a common occurrence in mountainous New Zealand, which doesn't bode well with anyone who finds reversing hard or scary.
A lot of our claims are lodged for unfortunate reversing accidents, so we’ve compiled a few tips that will help to make your driveway safer:
- Consider fences or similar barriers (like shrubbery) for the length of your driveway to help prevent children or pets venturing behind your car from the sides.
- If a driveway isn’t lit by street lights or motion sensor lights, solar lamps are an inexpensive solution to keeping a driveway more visible in the dark.
- Cut back unruly or invasive shrubbery, bushes or trees as these can camouflage pets and kids.
- Does your driveway have one or more sharp turns? A convex mirror will help you see what’s around the corner.
- If your driveway is shared or used by a lot of people, a low speed sign will remind people to be careful.
- A slippery driveway is a dangerous one. Add gravel to a dirt driveway or non-slip solutions to a concrete driveway. Ask for help from a registered builder or help centre in your local hardware store.
Kids and driveways
Five children a year die on driveways in New Zealand, and a child is seriously injured about every two weeks. Safekids.co.nz is running a great campaign to raise awareness of this issue by giving out key rings with a visual reminder. Get yours here - Safe Kids NZ
Practice makes perfect – how to improve your reversing skills
Even with a reversing camera, navigating backwards can still be difficult. The key to improving your reversing skill is practice. Find a safe, empty area or car park, and practice reversing into certain spots.
- Use cones or flags to imitate a driveway or small space.
- Use your mirrors, take it slow and don’t expect perfection straight away.
- Get a lesson with a driving instructor, who’ll give you professional guidance while in the car with you.
Extra tip - Your wing mirrors can be adjusted downwards to be able to see how close to a curb you are, or take advantage of reflections in shop windows to see the distance you have between obstacles or cars. Great for parallel parking!