Protective Driving Skill #1: Reverse 180
CONCEPT: A technique known as the reverse 180 (also called a J-turn) might be able to get you away from this threat in a hurry. The idea is to accelerate quickly in reverse and swing your vehicle in a hard 180 -degree turn to orient you away from the threat. Then, simply press on the gas and get out of dodge. This is a fast way to break contact with a threat when you cannot simply drive through. OVERVIEW: Check to make sure there are no obstacles behind you. Hit the gas and pick up speed going backward. When you get to about 30 mph, let off the gas to shift the car's weight, and quickly spin the steering wheel hard right or left, depending on which way you want to turn. Don't touch the brake pedal! Momentum and the sudden change in direction will cause the vehicle to pivot around its rear end until you’re facing the direction of travel and “reverse” is now “forward.” About halfway through the turn, shift the car into drive and start to bring the wheel to center. When you’re facing forward, get back on the gas to continue traveling away from the threat. CONSIDERATIONS: Know what’s behind you before you begin this maneuver!
Your escape will be utterly inef fective if you throw it in reverse and stomp that pedal only to back into another car. Similarly, make sure you have enough room to swing the vehicle. You don’t need much, but if you’re on a one-way street that’s lined on both sides with parked cars, you might not make it. Also check the rearview and find your escape route before you start to reverse. Know where you’re going to go once you get turned around. Additionally, become familiar with your vehicle — some have speed limiters in reverse gear.