I’m all for doing idiotic experiments with cars. I think it’s a fantastic use of one’s time and resources, and furthers the advancement of humanity in general. I’m not even sure I’m kidding. Here, we have a valid experiment – what happens if you jam your car into reverse while driving – I’m just not certain I’m down with the methodology.
This is a video from AutoVlog, and it seems like this guy does this sort of thing a lot, which is great. For this one, he makes a big point to say he’s very concerned about trying this experiment, and claims to be very nervous. He insists he’s never attempted putting his car in reverse while driving before. He comes out and says “I have never done this before,” and then proceeds to give it a try, at speed, on a public road.
Now, despite the dramatic slow-mo of the breathtaking act of moving the shift lever to N and then R, nothing happened. Well, almost nothing; the reverse camera did turn on, which surprised me a bit.
I’m not shocked at all that a modern car (he’s using a recent Ford Fusion) locks out going into reverse at speed; I think cars have been doing this, either electrically or mechanically, for decades.
Even so, why would you try this at speed (he does it at 110km/h a second time) on a public road if it really is your first time? I’m all for trying stuff like this, but why not test it first at 10km/h in an empty parking lot?
So, either he’s lying about it being the first time, or he’s a bit of an idiot and really did try it for the first time on a public road at speed, or, most likely, he did a bit of research to confirm it’d be fine and then pretended to be much more nervous about it all.
It’s also worth noting that I’m pretty sure in a manual if you shift into reverse and pop the clutch at speed, you’ll end up turning the inside of your transmission into something that resembles aquarium gravel. Maybe modern cars prevent this, too. In an older car, say ‘80s or earlier, I’m pretty sure trying this is a great way to leave your drivetrain bleeding oil behind you.
So, you know, don’t try it. Unless you do it off public roads and sort of safely, in which case please video it and send us the link.
This article has been updated since its original publication.