The Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Study Guide


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Backing Safely

Because you cannot see everything behind your vehicle, backing is always dangerous. Avoid backing whenever you can. When you park, try to park so you will be able to pull forward when you leave. When you have to back, here are a few simple safety rules:

ē Look at your path.

ē Warn others of your intention.

ē Back slowly.

ē Back and turn toward the driverís side whenever possible.

ē Use a helper whenever possible.

These rules are discussed in turn below.

Look at Your Path. Look at your line of travel before you begin. Get out and walk around the vehicle. Check your clearance to the sides and overhead in and near the path your vehicle will take. Warn others of your intention. Always turn on 4-way flashers before starting to back. Tap the horn as a warning before starting to back unless the vehicle is equipped wtih an operating backup warning device.Back Slowly. Always back as slowly as possible. Use the lowest reverse gear. That way you can more easily correct any steering errors. You also can stop quickly if necessary. Back and Turn Toward the Driverís Side. Back to the driverís side so you can see better.

Backing toward the right side is very dangerous because you canít see as well. If you back and turn toward the driverís side, you can watch the rear of your vehicle by looking out the side window. Use driver-side backing ó even if it means going around the block to put your vehicle in this position. The added safety is worth it. Use a Helper.

Use a helper when you can.

There are blind spots you canít see. The helper should stand near the back of your vehicle where you can see the helper.

Before you begin backing, work out a set of hand signals that you both understand. Agree on a signal for "stop". Helper and driver must be able to see one another in the mirror.

Backing with a Trailer


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This site is meant to enhance your learning of the Rules of the Road and is not intended to replace the Drivers Manual supplied by the Motor Vehicle Department of your State. Send mail to web master with questions or comments about this web site.

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