Driving in reverse can be intimidating to inexperienced and seasoned drivers alike. Because the wheels you use to steer are in front of you as you move backwards and your vision is obscured by the vehicle, backing up can be one of the tougher tasks faced by drivers. By driving slowly and paying close attention to your surroundings, you can improve your ability to drive in reverse.

Depending on the transmission your vehicle came equipped with, there are a few ways you may need to shift into reverse. On automatic vehicles, it usually requires pressing a button on the shift lever and pulling it backward until it is aligned with the letter “R.” In standard vehicles equipped with a five speed transmission, you can usually shift into reverse by pressing the shift lever all the way to the left and pulling it backward.

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In vehicles equipped with six speed standard transmissions, reverse is usually all the way to the left and up, next to first gear. Some vehicles require that you press down on the shift lever or press a release to access the reverse gear. If you are unsure of how to shift into reverse, refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Provided your view is not obstructed, twist your body to the passenger side so you can look out the back window of your vehicle over your right or passenger side shoulder. Make sure you do not remove your foot from the brake pedal.

If you are driving a box truck or other vehicle that blocks your view out the back window, you will have to rely on your side mirrors to guide you. You may choose to place your right hand on the top of the passenger seat to help you comfortably look out the back. If you are relying on your mirrors, make sure to check each of them frequently.