Sunday, March 20, 2005

Reversing your car

I was watching a lady reverse her car the other day. She struggled to figure out how much further she could go (before she fell into a ditch) and her husband was sitting on a bike, shouting out instructions. (We all know how helpful THAT can be.) It got me thinking about something Ricardo Semler talked about in The Seven Day Weekend. He mentioned that in so many years, there has been no technological advance in making parallel parking easier. He even suggests a method in the book, but I am not going to get into that. It struck me watching that lady reverse (and in general watching people reverse) that reversing is a huge deal for most people. Most people don't know how fast to go, where to look, what to look for, and end up doing it by trial and error. You'd think that some brilliant guy would've figured this as a way to sell cars.
Reversing as easy as ...
Any takers?


At 11:24 AM, Blogger Suchi said...

Reversing as easy as ...
...moving forward?

I've just begin to feel confident on the roads, but reversing is not my strong point.
-> My biggest problem is understanding which direction the car moves if I steer in reverse while (a)looking ahead and (b)looking behind. Simple, but fraught with danger for beginners like me.

-> Another problem--understanding how all the corners of the cars move when you turn in reverse. I have to imagine an aerial view of a turning rectangle to understand. Otherwise, I tend to think of it like a bike, and forget that even though I have cleared my right front wheel, my left back wheel is dangerously close to another object.

-> My instructor, a very smart lady, taught me a foolproof (ok, almost!) technique for parallel parking, involving something like this: lining up with the other car's nose/mirror, and starting to turn the wheel one half-revolution when your nose is aligned with the other car's middle, and then turning the wheel a few more revolutions. It works!

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Percy said...

Interesting points you made Suchi, especially about understanding what to do. That's precisely why I'd written the post. You'd think that they'd make this a bit easier. I know that most people have a problem with reversing, it's not the easiest thing in the world.

And, when I drive a car, I'm going to try that parallel parking method that your instructor taught you. Sounds real interesting.


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