Drivers Education to Help You Pass The Oregon Permit Test in 2019

Studying rules of the road, road signs, safety procedures and driving skills with a reputable teen driver’s education program can help you get your hands on a provisional driver’s license in the shortest possible time. The free drivers ed course for Oregon students we provide covers all essential driving knowledge and makes the ultimate learning tool to use in conjunction with the DMV handbook. The sooner you get started on drivers education, the better. Our lessons will help you study for the initial 35-question permit test and prepare you for your second major assessment: the road skills driving test.

Traffic Laws & Rules of The Road

Rules of The Road

Traffic laws and Rules of the Road
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Rules of The Road

The evolution of the automobile has led to the rapid development of traffic laws and road rules over the past century, many of which are continually being adapted and fine-tuned to suit our nation’s ever-growing transportation system. Private vehicles like cars, light trucks, vans and motorcycles now account for 91 percent of all personal travel. Without rules of the road, the entire country would descend into chaos in a matter of hours.

Importance of Road Rules & Traffic Laws
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The Importance of Traffic Laws

Traffic laws dictate the speed you must travel at, the maneuvers you can make, where you can and cannot drive and how you must drive in certain situations. Many laws are constant, though there are others which apply only at certain times of day or times of the year.

Basic Driving Rules and Traffic Laws
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Basic Driving Rules

All drivers must be well-versed in basic traffic laws, as failure to abide by them will create dangerous driving situations and may result in a fine, penalty or suspension of your driver’s license. Traffic laws are not open to interpretation; the law is the law and must be followed to the letter.

Is driving on the shoulder always illegal?
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Driving on The Shoulder

Road shoulders are intended for emergency use only. In general, motorists should not drive on the shoulder unless it is necessary to avoid a collision or to remove a disabled vehicle from the roadway. The rules governing when and how drivers may use the shoulder of the roadway may vary from state to state.

Coordinating Traffic

Coordinating Traffic Flow
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Coordinating Traffic Flow

The term “traffic flow” describes the movement of traffic and interactions between individual travelers using the highway transportation system. In an ideal situation, traffic would flow in a continuous and orderly manner, to allow the maximum number of road users to move through a stretch of roadway in the shortest possible time.

Communicating with Other Drivers
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Communicating With Other Drivers

All drivers must learn to communicate with other motorists effectively, in order to keep the flow of traffic moving in a smooth and orderly fashion. You cannot control another driver’s actions but if they communicate their intentions, you can adjust your driving behavior to avoid conflicts and disruptions.

Right of Way Rules

Right of Way Rules for Everyone
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Right-of-Way Rules

When a driver has right-of-way, it means they currently have permission to pass over a section of roadway. Whenever two motorists wish to occupy the same section of roadway at the same time, right-of-way rules will determine who goes first. Understanding and respecting right-of-way is essential, as it allows road users to avoid conflicts which could impede traffic flow or cause a collision.

Right of Way At Intersections
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Right-of-Way at Intersections

Drivers using an intersection must rely on right-of-way laws to determine who goes first. To choose a safe path through an intersection, motorists must understand right-of-way rules and learn to accurately judge the speed and location of other vehicles.

Right of Way Rules for Pedestrians
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Right-of-Way for Pedestrians

Conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians must be avoided at all costs. Remember that you must always yield to pedestrians on the roadway, even if you believe the lawful right-of-way is yours.

Right of Way Rules at Pedestrians Crosswalks
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Right-of-Way at Crosswalks

Pedestrian safety at crosswalks depends on motorists respecting their right-of-way, but that’s not where your responsibility as a driver ends. Remember that many pedestrians do not have the same knowledge of right-of-way laws as drivers. You must always stop for pedestrians crossing the road. This applies to unmarked crosswalks, marked crosswalks, crosswalks at uncontrolled intersections, mid-block crosswalks and crosswalks at intersections which are controlled by traffic lights.

Roundabout right of way rules
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Right-of-Way at Roundabouts

Right-of-way conflicts are less common on roundabouts than they are at other intersections, as all traffic is moving in a counterclockwise direction and there are no left turns. The golden rule when it comes to roundabouts is that traffic approaching the intersection must yield the right-of-way to traffic already circling the center island.

Right-of-Way Rules on Mountain Roads
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Right-of-Way on Mountain Roads

Right-of-way rules help drivers to avoid conflict on all our nation’s roadways, even lesser-traveled mountain roads. Mountain driving can be treacherous and does require some extra consideration. As a result, there are a couple of additional right-of-way rules to learn which relate specifically to mountain and hill driving.

Right-of-Way Rules for Emergency Vehicles
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Right-of-Way for Emergency Vehicles

The law states that emergency response vehicles should have right-of-way over all other road users, when sounding a siren or displaying flashing lights. In most cases, police cars, ambulances and fire engines will use both these devices to warn other motorists that they must yield.

Right of Way Rules for School Buses
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Right-of-Way for School Buses

Motorists have a responsibility to drive cautiously around school buses, whether the school bus has stopped by the roadside or is moving. The law in most states requires drivers to stop for stopped school buses which are displaying a “STOP” arm or flashing lights.

Right of Way Rules at Railroad Crossings
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Right-of-Way at Railroad Crossings

Failure to observe proper right-of-way rules around railroad crossings can result in devastating collisions and loss of life. Trains always have right-of-way over road vehicles at railway crossings – there are no exceptions. As a motorist, you must yield the right-of-way or risk paying for the violation with your life.

Passing & Being Passed

Rules for Safely Passing Other Vehicles
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Passing Others Safely

Passing another vehicle will always temporarily increase the risk you are exposed to at any given time on a stretch of roadway. Remember that most situations require passing on the left-hand side of the vehicle in front. Passing on the right is permitted only in certain rare circumstances.

Situations when passing other vehicles is allowed
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When Passing is Legal

While on a two-way road with one lane of traffic moving in each direction, motorists may only pass another vehicle by merging left into the opposing lane of traffic. In most states, passing another vehicle on the right is prohibited except under certain conditions.

Allowing Others to Pass You Safely
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Allowing Others to Pass

In situations when another driver is seeking to pass you, consider what you can do to make the execution of that pass as easy as possible. Taking any steps to stop the driver from passing you is extremely dangerous and could cause a collision.

Stopping & Parking Responsibly

Picking the right parking spot
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Choosing a Safe Parking Spot

Illegal or irresponsible parking can be just as disruptive and hazardous as bad driving! If you do not park properly, your vehicle may roll into moving traffic or pose a hazard to other drivers by obstructing important parts of the roadway.

Parking restrictions and prohibitions
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Parking Prohibitions

Illegal parking can incur significant fines for the registered owner of the vehicle. If injury or property damage occur as a result of your improperly parked car, you can expect to be held financially responsible.

Speed Regulations

Speed Laws, Rules & Regulations
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Speed Regulations

Speed limit laws and regulations apply to every inch of public roadway in the United States. Driving is an inherently risky activity, both for the driver and every other person on or near the roadway. Speed limits are established to minimize this risk, with the aim of keeping all road users safe.

Choosing Safe Speed for Driving
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Choosing a Safe Speed

Motorists must choose a safe speed based on the posted speed limit, the speed of other vehicles around them and current driving conditions. Traveling faster gives you less time to see and react to hazards, makes maneuvering more difficult and means it will take longer for your vehicle to stop once the brakes have been applied.

Speed Limits Across the US
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Speed Limits Across the US

Different states establish their own maximum and minimum speed limits based on these factors. The maximum speed limit on a rural expressway varies from 65 mph to 80 mph around America, with higher speed limits more commonly found in western states. Currently, the 85 mph is the highest speed limit in the country, which can be found in rural Texas on a limited stretch of tolled highway.

Driving Below the Posted Speed Limit
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Driving at Reduced Speeds

Adhering to a posted speed limit does not guarantee that you are traveling at a safe speed, nor does it always protect you from being cited for “driving at excessive speeds”. If any unfavorable driving conditions increase the likelihood of a crash occurring, or the probable severity of a crash, you must drive at a reduced speed.

Seat Belt Laws & Regulations

Seat Belt Laws & Regulations in the US
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Seat Belt Laws & Regulations

Like all traffic laws, the laws concerning seat belts and child restraints have been put in place for your safety. When used correctly, safety features such as seat belts, air bags and child seats can dramatically reduce the chances of being seriously injured or killed in a car crash. These restraints have been designed to keep you inside the vehicle in the event of a collision, while limiting the damage caused by upon impact by preventing your body from stopping too abruptly.

Child seat and restraint laws & regulations
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Seat Belt Laws for Children

Children and infants must be restrained in an age-appropriate, federally approved car seat when traveling in any passenger vehicle. Standard seat belts are designed to protect adults; children may be insufficiently secured or injured by an ordinary seat belt in a car accident.

Other Traffic Laws

Cell Phone Traffic Rules in the US
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Cell Phone Laws & Restrictions

Operating your cell phone or any other electronic device while driving is dangerous, as it will take your attention away from the road and may limit your control of the vehicle. Rules concerning the use of cell phones and similar devices have now been written into traffic law in the interest of public safety.

Traffic Law Enforcement - What to Do If You Are Stopped by Police
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Traffic Stops

Nearly all motorists are stopped by a law enforcement officer sooner or later. If this happens to you, it is most likely because you have committed a moving traffic violation. You may not believe you have done anything wrong but keep in mind that most traffic violations are committed unknowingly. Whatever the reason, you must comply with the law enforcement officer and pull over when they indicate that you must stop.

Essential Rules for Dangerous Driving Situations
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Rules for Dangerous Traffic Situations

During your time as a driver, you will frequently encounter situations where you are exposed to a greater-than-usual level of risk. Whether the increased in risk is minor or significant, you will need to adjust your driving behavior to keep yourself and other road users safe.

Overlooked driving laws & traffic rules
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Other Important Driving Laws

In this section, we cover various miscellaneous traffic laws which every driver must be aware of, even though may not be relevant so frequently as speed laws, right-of-way rules and other regulations you must adhere to on a day-to-day basis. Unless you are well informed of the rules in your state regarding leaving children unattended in a vehicle, transporting passengers in trailers or how much cargo you can carry, you could inadvertently break a traffic law without even knowing it existed.

Signs, Signals & Markings

Road Signs

Signs, Signals and Marking
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Signs, Signals and Markings

Road signs, traffic signals and pavement markings are crucial topics in your driver’s ed program. Your knowledge of these traffic control devices will be assessed during the learner’s permit test and will ensure you can drive on our nation’s roadways safely, while abiding by the rules of the road.

Intersections

Driving Through Intersections

Driving Through Intersections
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Intersections

An intersection is a point where two or more roads join together. An intersection is an especially dangerous part of the road due to the fact that vehicle trajectories may intersect, which would automatically result in a crash. According to statistics, crashes at intersections, driveways and highway entrance ramps are the second most common type of traffic accidents, it comes right after hitting a stationary object.

Controlled Intersections
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Controlled Intersections

An intersection is said to be “controlled” when access to the intersection is regulated by traffic signals or road signs, while access to an uncontrolled intersection is regulated only by the right-of-way rules. You must remember that traffic signals do not completely resolve traffic conflicts and you must learn to combine traffic signals and the right-of-way rules to avoid hazardous situations.

Uncontrolled Intersections
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Uncontrolled Intersection

An uncontrolled intersection is one of the most common types of intersections out there. An uncontrolled intersection is a road intersection with no traffic light or road signs to indicate the right-of-way.

Roundabout Rules
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Roundabouts

A roundabout is an uncontrolled intersection or an intersection controlled by road signs where traffic moves counterclockwise around a central island. Access to the roundabout is usually controlled by YIELD signs that may be duplicated with additional yield line pavement markings.

Article preview
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Turn Lanes

Turn lanes are traffic lanes that allow you to make a right or left turn at an intersection or to a side-road. Turn lanes are controlled by road signs and pavement markings that show you the direction of travel from the lane.

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T Intersections

T-intersection is a three-way junction where three roads come together. Just like with any other intersection, you must exercise caution when approaching it and you should slow down and watch out for other traffic and pedestrians even if you are traveling on the through road and have the right-of-way.

Highway Interchanges
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Highway Interchanges

An interchange is the intersection of two highways at different levels with separate connecting roads for the transfer of traffic from one highway to the other through a series of ramps. The connecting ramps allow drivers to leave on road and enter another safely, without impeding the flow of traffic.

Driving Maneuvers

Before You Start Driving

Driving Maneuvers
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Driving Maneuvers

When it comes to practical driving maneuvers like steering, backing-up and signaling, the bulk of your learning will be carried out behind-the-wheel; there can be no substitute for actually getting out there and putting these skills into practice. However, getting to grips with essential driving maneuvers does require an academic approach, before you hop into the driver’s seat.

Essential Driving Maneuvers
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Before You Start Driving

When it comes to positioning your car, steering, backing up and communicating with other road users, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about things. It is important to learn the correct maneuvering rules and methods from the start of your learning journey, otherwise you may develop bad habits which are hard to fix later.

Choosing a lane position
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Lane Positioning

It may surprise you to find out that lane positioning is not just a concern for motorcyclists and cyclists. Car drivers must also learn how to position themselves within a lane appropriately. It is not simply a matter of remaining centered in your lane or as many drivers assume, keeping to the right. Different driving situations demand different lane positions.

Vehicle's Operating Space
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Vehicle's Operating Space

Learning to manage the space around your vehicle effectively will help to improve safety and limit the chances of a collision occurring. The area immediately around your vehicle is referred to as the “vehicle operating space”. This space consists of seven “zones”, each of which is as wide as a lane and extends as far as the driver can see in that direction.

Standard Curb Parking Reference Points for Driving
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Car Reference Points

One of your biggest challenges as a new driver will be learning to identify where your vehicle sits in relation to the roadway. Reference points are the key to positioning and maneuvering your car accurately. Master these visual guides and challenging maneuvers like parallel parking will soon be a walk in the park.

Pre-drive checklist
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Pre-Drive Checklist

Drivers should never underestimate the importance of the pre-drive checklist. Looking behind the vehicle to make sure there are no children and animals there, making sure your seat belt is on, adjusting your seat and mirrors, making sure the windshield is clean - you have to go through all these things every time before you start driving.

Hand-to hand vs Hand over Hand Steering Techniques
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Steering Techniques

Getting to grips with the various possible steering techniques begins with learning to position your hands on the steering wheel appropriately for the immediate driving situation and learning and practicing several different steering methods. These include the “hand to hand” technique (pull-push steering) and the “hand over hand” technique.

Backing up and Driving in Reverse
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Backing Up a Car

Alongside parallel parking, backing up is one of the most dreaded maneuvers in the practical driving exam. Drivers must operate the steering wheel and pedals situated in front of them, while looking back to position the vehicle and check for obstacles. With enough practice it will become just as effortless as driving forward.

Acceleration Techniques for Smooth Driving
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Acceleration Techniques

When you press the gas pedal, more fuel is fed into the engine and the vehicle’s speed increases. New drivers must learn to control their speed with effective acceleration techniques and utilize these skills appropriately on the roads.

Braking Techniques
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Braking Techniques

There a variety of complex techniques involved in slowing down or stopping your vehicle; slamming on the brakes is rarely the best course of action. Remember that you may be able to achieve the desired speed reduction simply by removing your foot from the accelerator; applying the brakes is not always necessary. If you do need to reapply the brakes, do so with a smooth, building pressure.

Signaling

Signaling Your Intentions to Other Road Users
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Signaling

Drivers must communicate with other motorists by all available means, using headlights, stop signals, turn signals, hazard lights, the car’s horn and hand signals. Your situation will determine which communication devices should be used. Hand signals should only be used if other signaling tools – such as turn indicators and brake lights – are malfunctioning. Your knowledge of hand signals will also be assessed during the driving test, so it is essential to master them.

Hand Signals for Driving a Car
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Hand Signals for Driving

Most drivers assume that remembering hand signals will only be necessary in the unlikely event that their turn indicators fail, but this is not the case. You will need to recognize other road user’s hand signals far more often than you will need to use them yourself. It is possible that other drivers will use hand signals if their indicators are broken, though you are more likely to encounter cyclists using them.

Flashing Headlight at Other Drivers
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Headlight Flashing

Drivers commonly flash their headlights to attract the attention of other motorists for a variety of reasons. However, most official state driving manuals recommend flashing your headlights only to notify other drivers that their high-beams are on as they approach you from the opposite direction. Leaving your high-beams on can temporarily blind other drivers and cause a collision.

Using Your Car Horn
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Using Your Car Horn

Sounding your car horn is the most effective way to get another road user’s attention. However, it is also the most aggressive means of communication and as such, must be used sparingly. Some drivers use the car horn to express anger and frustration when things on the road do not go their way. Of the all the incorrect reasons to sound your horn, being angry at another road user takes the prize for worst offense.

Using Driving Lanes

Using Driving Lanes
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Using Driving Lanes

There is far more to using driving lanes than simply keeping yourself within the road markings that separate one row of traffic from another. Which lane you should occupy and how you should drive within that lane depend on your speed, direction of travel, whether you intend to turn and a whole host of other factors.

Choosing the Right Lane
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Choosing a Lane

Learning how to use lanes appropriately is essential for any driver who will be using large roads and freeways where there are multiple lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. Incorrect lane usage can endanger all road users, hold up traffic and incur a traffic fine.

Changin Lanes on the Road
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Changing Lanes

New drivers must learn how to change lanes safely and practice the maneuver as often as possible – there is more to it than you think. Changing lanes unsafely endangers you and everybody with whom you are sharing the road! Getting marked down for an unsafe lane change during the driving test will probably cost you your license.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Entering a Highway
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Merging onto A Highway

No matter how thoroughly you mentally prepare yourself for the challenge of driving on the highway, your very first time is going to be stressful. Knowing what you are doing on paper is not the same as being able to execute the advanced maneuvers needed during highway driving. Being around other motorists traveling at speed is intimidating but you will quickly adapt, with regular practice and guidance from your instructor. Let’s find out what you need to know about entering a highway and merging with other traffic safely.

Making Turns

Making Turns Safely
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Making Turns

The art of making turns correctly is a skill often neglected by learner drivers. There are more techniques involved in turning than simply moving the steering wheel in the direction you wish to go. When turning to completely reverse your direction of travel – perhaps because you have missed your destination or are going the wrong way – you have three main options. These are U-turns, two-point turns and three-point turns.

Protected Turn
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Protected Turns

Protected turns are made at signal-controlled intersections when a green arrow light is present. When a turn is protected, all other streams of traffic, cyclists and pedestrians are halted by red traffic signals. This makes protected turns safer and easier to negotiate than unprotected turns, as the chances of colliding with another road user are minimized.

Unprotected Turns
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Unprotected Turns

Any and all turns made at intersections without the aid of a green arrow signal qualify as unprotected turns. When the turn is unprotected, you must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before turning.

Making Right Turns
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Making a Right Turn

While all course changes require knowledge and skill, making a right turn is easier, safer and more straight-forward than making a left turn. When turning right you do not need to worry about traffic traveling in the opposite direction from the road you are entering, which makes things a whole lot simpler. In some areas you can even turn right against a red traffic signal

Making Left Turns
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Making a Left Turn

Turning left is riskier and demands more caution than turning right, because the turn will take you across the path of traffic which is traveling toward you, from the opposite direction. Be sure to signal your intention to turn left as early as possible, while observing any right-of-way laws that are relevant to your situation. Drivers must also take particular care when turning left onto a street from an alley or driveway and learn how to use a center left turn lane.

Center Turn Lane
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Center Turn Lane

Center left turn lanes are also referred to as two-way left turn lanes. These lanes are designed to improve the flow of traffic at busy intersections, by allowing drivers to safely turn left without interfering with motorists traveling straight on. You may use the two-way left turn lane when turning left onto the roadway from an alley or driveway.

Making a Two-Point Turn
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Two Point Turns

When the roadway is not wide enough to make a U-turn, drivers can use a two-point turn to change direction. This will usually only be possible on quiet suburban streets, when there is an available driveway on the left or right side of the road to facilitate the turn. Two-point turns using driveways on the left are more dangerous, as the driver must reverse the vehicle into a traffic lane.

Three Point Turn
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Three Point Turn

Three-point turns are more complex than two-point turns and U-turns. You must know how to execute a safe three-point turn, as they are a standard point of assessment on practical driving tests state-wide. If you need to reverse your direction of travel on a street that is too narrow for a U-turn and has no driveways to allow a two-point turn, making a three-point turn will be your only option.

Making a U-Turn
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U-Turns

Making a U-turn is the quickest and easiest way to turn your vehicle around should you need to reverse your direction of travel. This may happen if you find you are traveling in the wrong direction or if you accidentally over-shoot your destination.

Passing

Passing Basics
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Passing Basics

Passing another vehicle immediately puts you and every road user around you at risk, no matter how safely you execute the maneuver. Passing-related collisions are often high-speed and head-on, which sadly means they are usually fatal. All drivers must learn how and where they should pass other vehicles, in addition to situations in which passing is forbidden.

Step by Step Instructions to Passing
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Passing: Step-by-Step

When learning to pass another vehicle, the most important skill that new drivers must develop is accurately judging whether there is enough space to pass safely. Overestimating how much room you have could cause a serious collision. When passing at highway speeds, drivers need a 10 to 12 second gap in opposing traffic to execute the maneuver safely. During this gap, you will travel approximately 800 feet, or one third of a mile.

Situations When Passing Is Illegal
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Illegal Passing

Qualified drivers must keep up-to-date with passing rules and restrictions, as making an illegal pass could earn you a ticket and create a dangerous driving situation. Do not pass another vehicle when your view is limited by a hill, a curve or unfavorable weather conditions. Passing close to intersections, bridges, railroad crossings or school zones is also illegal.

Parking

Parking Your Car Like A Pro
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Parking

When learning to drive, you must learn how to angle park, perpendicular park and parallel park. The latter of these three techniques – along with parking on a hill – is almost guaranteed to come up during your practical driving exam. Attempting to park becomes dangerous if you fail to think ahead or allow yourself to get stressed-out by other drivers.

Parking Restrictions
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Parking Restrictions

Parking is illegal or restricted in many areas. Unfortunately, you cannot always rely on colored curb markings or a “NO PARKING” sign being present in places where parking is prohibited. As a driver, it is your responsibility to learn about parking rules, restrictions and prohibitions and abide by this information at all times.

Angle Parking
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Angle Parking

Angled parking spaces are designed to make parking easy. This maneuver is far less challenging than parallel parking or perpendicular parking but will still take a little practice to get right. Angled parking spaces are painted with the same dimensions pretty much across the whole of America: once you’ve mastered angle parking, you should be able to repeat the maneuver with ease anywhere.

Perpendicular Parking
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Perpendicular Parking

Also known as 90-degree parking, perpendicular parking uses spaces that are arranged at a 90-degree angle in relation to the parking lot lanes. Drivers may enter a perpendicular parking space head-on or in reverse – there is a great deal of debate among highway and traffic safety experts as to which method is better. As reversing is always more challenging, you should begin by mastering the head-on perpendicular parking method and progress to backing-up later.

Parallel Parking
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Parallel Parking

There is no denying that parallel parking is harder than both angle parking and perpendicular parking, though like all things, it can be mastered with practice. ALWAYS practice parallel parking in an empty parking lot before attempting it on the road between real vehicles.

Parking on Hills
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Parking on Hills

New drivers must learn how to park on a hill safely. Parking on a hill is more dangerous than parking on a flat surface, as you will need to contend with gravity and secure your vehicle in such a way that it does not roll. You will be legally responsible if your car causes damage to another person’s property or injures somebody, if you have not properly secured it.

Choosing a Parking Space
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Choosing a Parking Space

The parking space you choose will depend heavily on your experience level as a driver. Very new learners would be foolish to opt for a tight parking spot when bigger spaces are available nearby. Whereas the size of the parking spot may have little relevance for more experienced drivers, who are more concerned with location or the security of their vehicle.

Exiting the Vehicle
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Leaving the Vehicle

Every driver must ensure their vehicle is safely parked and shut down before leaving it. It is all too easy to neglect proper protocol at the end of a journey. Leaving your vehicle requires just as much thought and attention as the pre-drive checklist you worked through before commencing your trip.

Sharing The Road

Sharing The Road With Other Road Users

Sharing the Road with Other Road Users
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Sharing the Road

You will share the road with many different types of road user – we are not just talking about other motorists. Vehicles and pedestrians are the two primary categories of road user which make up the Highway Transportation System (HTS). Bicycles, passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, slow-moving vehicles and light rail vehicles are among the many types of vehicle included in the HTS.

Road Rules for Pedestrians
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Pedestrian Traffic Rules

You must learn how to protect yourself from harm while walking on or near public roadways. Having the right-of-way at marked and unmarked pedestrian crossings does not mean you are safe. Irresponsible and distracted drivers may not always yield to pedestrians when they should. As a pedestrian, if you are involved in a collision with a car, right-of-way laws will not protect you from death or injury.

Sharing the Road with Pedestrians
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Sharing the Road with Pedestrians

Keeping pedestrians safe is a shared responsibility. Drivers and pedestrians must all abide by certain rules to avoid pedestrian injury. As pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, drivers will usually be held responsible when an auto-pedestrian accident occurs. Remember that in a car accident involving a pedestrian, the pedestrian always loses.

Safety Rules for Cyclists
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Bicycle Safety Rules

As bicycles are legally defined as vehicles, bicyclists are subject to precisely the same rights and responsibility as car drivers. When riding a bicycle on roads you must obey all traffic laws, signs and signals, yield the right-of-way where appropriate and follow the same rules for indicating and making turns.

Driving Around Motorcyclists Safely
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Sharing the Road with Motorcycles

Motorcyclists using public roadways have the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers. As a car driver, you must be on the lookout for motorcyclists. Despite being subject to the same traffic laws, motorcycle riders are at far greater risk of injury while using a roadway than a person operating a car.

Driving Safety for Motorcyclists
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Motorcycle Safety Rules

Motorcyclists must practice defensive driving, ensure their motorcycle meets safety standards and wear appropriate riding clothes to minimize their risk of injury on the roads. Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that motorcyclist deaths occurred 28 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles, in 2016.

Driving Safely Around Large Trucks
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Sharing the Road with Trucks

To share the road safely with large trucks, you must keep in mind that these vehicles are heavy, have a wider turning circle, longer stopping distances and bigger blind spots. Remember that large trucks are designed primarily to transport cargo. They are not as maneuverable as smaller passenger vehicles.

Driving Around School Buses: When to Stop
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Sharing the Road with Buses

The precise definition of a bus varies a little from state to state, though it is safe to assume that any vehicle used for passenger transportation which is designed to carry more than ten people qualifies. We will discuss the challenges you face when sharing the road with ordinary passenger buses and school buses.

Sharing the Road with Emergency Response Vehicles
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Sharing the Road with Emergency Vehicles

Motorists must exercise caution around emergency vehicle operators, as they are exempt from adhering to standard road rules when their sirens and lights are activated. This makes them incredibly unpredictable.

Slow Moving Vehicles: How to Drive Around Them Safely
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Sharing the Road with Slow Moving Vehicles

Slow-moving vehicles are those designed to operate at a speed of 25 mph or less, such as farm vehicles, animal-drawn vehicles, road maintenance vehicles motorized construction equipment. By law, slow-moving vehicles must display an orange triangular emblem at their rear to warn road users approaching from behind of their low speed.

Sharing the Road with Trains
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Sharing the Road with Trains

Vehicle-train collisions are often catastrophic. Drivers must know the tremendous risk they subject themselves to when trying to beat a train to a crossing or drive around protective gates. Understand the risks and avoid injury at railway crossings.

Railroad Crossing Safety Rules
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Railroad Crossing Safety Rules

Crossing railway lines is incredibly dangerous, as the sheer size and weight of trains means that motorists will always come off worse in a vehicle-train collision. Do not take chances or engage in risky behavior around railway-highway intersections. In these situations, impatience or poor concentration could cost you your life – not to mention the lives of your passengers.

Safety Rules for Driving When Animals Are on The Road
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Animals on the Road

Drivers must keep a lookout for wild, domestic or farm animals crossing the roadway, particularly in rural areas. When a yellow, diamond-shaped animal warning sign is present, remain alert and drive with caution. Should you encounter a herd of animals crossing the road, stop your vehicle and allow them to cross. Only when the animals have completely cleared the highway should you proceed.

Complex Driving Environments

Driving In Different Environments

Complex Driving Environments
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Driving in Different Environments

Mastering vehicle control is not the only battle you will face while learning to drive. Student drivers must learn to adjust their driving behavior and new-found vehicle control skills to suit different driving environments and mitigate the risks which accompany them. The type and level of danger you are exposed to while driving can change dozens of times over in a single, short journey.

Risk In Driving Environments
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Risk in Driving Environments

The challenges you face when driving depend heavily on the type of road you are using and whether that road is in an urban or rural environment. As part of your driver's training, you must learn to identify the risks linked to each driving environment and act preemptively to avoid danger. Different driving environments fall into one of four graded risk classifications: controlled, low, moderate and complex.

Urban Driving

Driving in The City
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Driving in The City

New drivers often do not realize what a challenge city driving can pose. You may not be traveling at high speeds when driving around a busy, metropolitan area, but you will none-the-less be afforded very little time to spot and react to hazardous situations. It is very easy to become distracted and make dangerous mistakes while driving alongside so many other motorists, pedestrians, buses, delivery vans and cyclists, in such close quarters.

City Driving Hazards
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City Driving Hazards

There are few driving environments more challenging than busy, urban areas. When driving in the city, you must safely share the road with all kinds of traffic and pedestrians. In addition, you will be dealing with a wide variety of obstacles and traffic control devices. There is so much information to process while driving in the city, hazards are often overlooked.

Urban Driving Strategies
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City Driving Strategies

With so many other road users and hazards to contend with, driving in the city can be stressful and dangerous. Safe city driving relies on your ability to spot hazards and react to them appropriately. With appropriate training, you can make sure you always have time to avoid an accident.

Dealing with Traffic Jams
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Dealing with Congested Traffic

City traffic is at its worst during early morning and late afternoon rush hours. Maintaining a safe space around your vehicle is practically impossible during these high-congestion periods. In this situation, you can expect traffic to be moving extremely slowly and stopping often. Vigilance is the key to preventing gridlock.

Driving Through Construction & Work Zones
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Driving Through Construction Zones

While driving in the city, you may encounter construction zones or detours marked out with warning signs and signaling devices. These are in place to guide road users and pedestrians safely around the work zone. Always reduce your speed when approaching a construction or maintenance area on the road, as there may be workers moving around on foot.

Residential Driving

Driving in Residential Areas
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Driving in Residential Neighborhoods

Motorists are generally exposed to far less danger when driving in residential neighborhoods, than they are when driving in a city or on a major highway. Nevertheless, the risk of being involved in an accident or collision in a residential neighborhood is high – particularly when traveling close to home.

Special Use Driving Lanes
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Special Use Lanes

One of the first things you must learn when driving in residential, suburban and urban neighborhoods is that not all traffic lanes are designed to be used in the same way. To increase public safety and minimize congestion, “special use” lanes and road features, such as one-way streets, center left turn lanes, reversible lanes and roundabouts are present in some areas.

Residential Parking Risks
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Parking Risks

Searching for a parking spot amid crowded road conditions can lead drivers to behave less courteously and safely than they would usually. It is easy to overlook road rules and become frustrated with other drivers, when competing with many other motorists for just a handful of parking spaces.

Driving on Rural Roads

Driving on Rural Roads
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Driving on Rural Roads

Driving on rural roadways can be every bit as dangerous as driving on high-speed freeways or crowded city roads. The dangers themselves are fewer on rural roads, though the overall risk is greater. Limited visibility, lack of road signs, careless driving and changeable roadways conditions make rural traffic fatalities tragically common.

Dangers of Driving on Rural Roads
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Dangers on Rural Roads

Despite the slow pace of life, low traffic volume and quiet countryside which typify most rural communities in America, drivers are more likely to be involved in a fatal accident on a rural road than they are anywhere else. In 2016, the NHTSA recorded 37,461 traffic deaths overall. Of these fatalities, 18,590 (50 percent) occurred in rural areas.

Rural Driving Safety Tips
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Approaches to Rural Driving

Staying safe on rural roads depends on remaining alert, giving yourself the best possible view of the road ahead and making sure you have enough time to stop or maneuver to avoid a collision. Do not take any chances if your feel yourself tiring on a rural road. Find the next safe place to pull over and consider taking a short nap before proceeding on your journey.

Driving on Curves & Hills

Driving Through Curves & Hills
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Curves and Hills

When driving through a stretch of road that is not flat, or straight, a motorist must contend with additional forces acting on their vehicle. Adjustments in speed and lane position must be made to counteract these forces and maintain control. Furthermore, line of sight may be impeded by the mid-point of a curve or the crest of a hill.

Driving on Curves
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Driving Through Curves

You do not need to be a rocket scientist to navigate curves in the road safely, though you will need to understand the forces acting on your vehicle and learn how to maintain control. When driving through any curve in the road, the circular pathway of your vehicle will create a centrifugal force which pulls it toward the outside edge of the curve. Always be on the lookout for curves in the road ahead of you and make any necessary speed and position changes as soon as possible.

Driving on Hills
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Driving on Hills

Driving on hills presents many of the same challenges as driving on a curved road. Your ability to see opposing traffic may be impeded by the crest of the hill and additional forces will be acting on your vehicle. Whereas centripetal and centrifugal forces will affect your car while driving through a curve, hill driving means you must contend with gravity. The steeper the hill, the greater this effect will be.

Driving in Heavy Traffic

Driving in Heavy Traffic
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Driving in Heavy Traffic

Heavy traffic is a major contributing factor to many complex risk environments, such as limited access highways, urban areas, complex intersections and multi-lane roads. When sharing the roadway with a large volume of other motorists, drivers must be able to multitask. While monitoring the area around your vehicle, you will also need to scan the road ahead, position your vehicle appropriately, maintain a safe speed and ensure you are in the correct lane.

Dealing with Heavy Traffic At Intersections
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Heavy Traffic at Intersections

The risk of being involved in a collision is considerable at intersections – particularly during rush hour and other times when traffic is heavy. Recent collision data indicates that around 47 percent of all crashes occur at intersections – including roughly half of all crashes which result in injury.

Dealing with Heavy Traffic on Highways
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Heavy Traffic on Multi-lane Roads

Driving on busy, multi-lane roads requires constant vigilance. With traffic and potential hazards in-front, behind and on both sides of your vehicle, the risk of an accident or collision occurring is high. At a moment’s notice, you must be ready to alter your speed or lane position to avoid danger.

Making Turns At Multi-Lane Intersections
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Turns on Multi-lane Roads

Making turns at intersections on multi-lane roads is a little more complicated than it is at dual-lane intersections. Multi-lane intersections often have additional lanes or dedicated “turn lanes” for motorists wishing to turn. The risk of conflict with other motorists when turning from one multi-lane road onto another multi-lane road is high. You can mitigate this risk by yielding to all other traffic crossing the intersection before executing the turn.

Driving on Highways

Driving on Highways
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Driving on Highways

Highways are the backbone of the United States transportation system. Together, they connect every major population in the country. These high-speed, limited-access roads make it possible to travel long distances conveniently and safely - providing you abide by the rules and avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Understanding Highways
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Understanding Highways

Highways are usually the best roads to use when traveling long distance. These roads are also known as expressways, limited access highways, interstate highways, turn pikes, toll roads and freeways. Freeways are only our country’s safest roads when you know how to drive on them correctly. When traveling at high speed, amidst large volumes of traffic, enormous trucks and ever-changing conditions, motorists must be at the top of their driving game.

Approaches to Safe HIghway Driving
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Highway Driving Approaches

Despite occurring far less frequently, collisions on highways are usually more severe than collisions on other roads. When high speeds are involved, the chances of a collision resulting in fatalities are much greater. Making a mistake on a highway could cost you your life.

Highway Safety Features
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Highway Safety Features

Many highly effective safety features have been implemented on interstate highways around the country over the past few decades. These features are designed to cut back on collisions, reduce off-the-road crashes and minimize annual highway fatalities by making the crashes that do occur less severe. Thanks to the improvements made under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), United States highways are now among the safest roads in the world.

Entering a Highway
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Entering a Highway

It is important to learn the proper procedure for entering a highway - especially where acceleration and merging are concerned. Merging with high-speed traffic can be dangerous and presents a real challenge for less-experienced drivers. The secrets to safe and successful freeway entry are being vigilant, signaling and matching the speed of existing traffic.

Choosing a Driving Lane on a Highway
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Choosing A Lane on A Highway

The speed at which you are traveling will also somewhat determine which lane you should choose to occupy. While avoiding all unnecessary lane changes, motorists must be prepared to change lanes whenever doing so creates a safer driving situation. The distance remaining until your intended exit will also influence your choice of lanes.

Driving Maneuvers on Highways
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Highway Driving Maneuvers

Making any maneuver on a highway will put you at risk, as the high density of traffic and high speeds involved leave little room for error and a small window of time in which to act in response to a threat. The key to maneuvering safely on an expressway is maintaining enough space around your vehicle, keeping up with the flow of traffic and scanning ahead for potential dangers.

HOV Carpool Lanes
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Special Highway Areas

While using highways, you may encounter areas which require different driving behaviors, or where a different set of rules apply. Understanding how areas like HOV lanes and toll booths must be used will help you to stay out of danger and avoid getting a ticket.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Exiting a Highway
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Exiting a Highway

While exiting a highway is nowhere near as difficult or intimidating as entering one, there is still a lot that can go wrong. Learning how to exit a highway safely is a skill like any other you will learn in preparation for your driver’s exam. It will not require you to merge with traffic as you do when entering the highway, though it still deserves considerable attention.

Highway Construction Zones
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Highway Construction Zones

Highway construction zones present additional risks to drivers and the construction workers themselves. You may encounter signs, signal devices, cones and traffic control personnel, all in place to warn motorists and guide them around the work zone safely. Slow down is the number one rule. Keep an eye out for speed limit signs and workers occupying the road.

Highway Driving Safety

Highway Driving Safety
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Highway Driving Safety

There are additional rules, safety tips and considerations which all drivers must keep in mind when using limited access highways. A great deal can be done to minimize the risk of being involved in a highway accident – though we cannot eliminate that risk altogether. This vital conclusion to our highway driving section reiterates the safe highway driving practices you must adhere to, discusses the importance of planning for your trip and teaches you how to handle an emergency on the highway.

Preparing for The Trip on A Highway
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Preparing for The Trip

If your journey involves using unfamiliar limited access highways, planning your route ahead of time is essential. Mapping out your trip in advance will minimize stress and ensure you do not miss vital exits on the freeway.

Important Highway Driving Practices
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Important Driving Practices

This section summarizes those must-know highway driving techniques and safety practices. Organized into an easy-to-follow checklist, this information can be printed off and revisited as often as needed; you may wish to read through it again before taking your car onto a freeway.

Dealing with Highway Emergencies
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Avoiding Highway Emergencies

Practicing defensive driving techniques can help you avoid accidents and emergencies on the highway. You may still encounter crashes irrespective of how careful you are, as you cannot rely on other drivers to make safe decisions all the time. The nature of expressway driving means that a single accident or collision can end up disrupting many different vehicles.

Driving in Work Zones

Driving in Work Zones
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Driving in Work Zones

The term “work zone” refers to any area on a public road where utility, construction or maintenance work is being conducted. There may be barriers, cones, heavy equipment, temporary signs, signal lights and workers in the roadway, prior to, during and beyond work sites. Nearly all states have chosen to discourage dangerous driving around high-risk work zones by increasing or doubling the fines incurred by traffic violations.

Work Zone Signs & Signals
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Work Zone Signs & Signals

Drivers moving through a roadway work zone will come across unexpected road signs, signals and traffic control measures. Traffic control personnel – often known as flaggers or flagmen – may be positioned around a work zone to manage the flow of traffic through the site. The increased risk around work zones means that obeying the signs, signals and traffic control devices established in these areas is every bit as important as obeying them elsewhere.

Hazardous Driving Conditions

Driving in Bad Weather

Driving in Hazardous Road Conditions
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Driving in Hazardous Conditions

Unfavorable weather and road conditions can create hazards that make driving difficult, and more dangerous. You must learn how to identify and compensate for these hazards, to protect yourself and other road users from harm. hoosing not to drive in rain, snow or fog, at night or during any other hazardous conditions is always the smartest decision.

Driving with Sun Glare
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Driving with Sun Glare

Drivers are most susceptible to sun glare in mornings and late afternoons, when the sun is lowest in the sky. Sun glare is incredibly dangerous as it can impair vision and in extreme cases, cause momentary blindness. Less severe sun glare can distort road signs and traffic signals, leading drivers to make potentially devastating mistakes.

Driving in Foggy Conditions
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Driving Through Fog & Smoke

Of all the adverse weather conditions you may have to deal with while driving, fog is the most dangerous. Turn on your headlights, activate fog lights, activate your windscreen wipers and reduce speed. Do not start a journey if the fog is so thick that the way ahead is completely obscured a few feet in front of your vehicle.

Driving in Heavy Rain
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Driving in The Rain

Driving in the rain can be every bit as dangerous as driving in icy or snowy conditions. Water on the road’s surface can seriously impede your vehicle control, while the rain itself impacts visibility. You must understand how to manage theses challenges and drive safely during wet and rainy conditions. Every risk you face during wet and rainy weather can be diminished by reducing your speed; this should be the first action you take.

Hydroplaning Prevention & Recovery
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Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is a phenomenon which occurs on wet roads, when a vehicle hits a film of water at a speed great enough to glide on top of it, rather than maintaining contact with the road’s surface. Increasing speed makes the water-channeling action less effective and can separate your tires from the asphalt, so they ride over the water like a set of water skis. When hydroplaning occurs, it results in partial or complete loss of control and steering ability. It is something that every driver wants to avoid.

Driving through Deep Water
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Driving Through Deep Water

When it comes to driving through deep water, there is only one rule you need to remember: avoid it at all costs. Even relatively shallow water can be dangerous. At low speeds, six inches of water can cause you to lose control of the vehicle and can float some smaller vehicles.

Driving in Windy Conditions
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Driving in Strong Wind

Strong winds can sometimes be a problem for car drivers. They are especially dangerous for lightweight cars, vehicles towing trailers, campers and other high-sided recreational vehicles. When driving in very windy conditions, reducing your speed is the best way to avoid an accident.

Driving on Snow and Ice
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Driving in Snow & Ice

Driving when there is snow or ice on the roads is extremely treacherous. Snow or ice between your tires and the surface of the road will greatly reduce traction, thus increasing the distance it takes to stop. Ice is generally more dangerous than snow, as it is very difficult to see.

Driving through A Blizzard or Snow Storm
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Driving in a Blizzard

Blizzards combine the limited visibility of fog with the slippery roads you can expect from ice and snow. Driving in a blizzard makes it incredibly difficult to see what is going on around you and maintain control of your vehicle. The best defense against a blizzard is simply not to drive in one in the first place.

Getting Out of Mud
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Getting Out of Mud & Snow

Vehicles that have not been properly prepared for winter driving conditions can easily become stuck in snow or ice. In other situations, deep mud or even sand can be enough to ground your vehicle. You may be able to maneuver your way out of trouble when your car gets stuck in mud or snow, without any specialist equipment.

Using Snow Chains
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Using Snow Chains

In extremely cold, snowy or mountainous regions, using snow chains may be the only way to keep your vehicle moving. Snow chains work by increasing traction, or the “grip” your tires have on the surface of the road. Winter tires have a similar function, though they may not provide enough traction to get your vehicle out of extremely slippery situations or very deep snow.

Driving in Hot Weather
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Driving in Hot Weather

Driving in extremely hot weather can be harmful to your health, and the health of your vehicle. Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. When traveling in very hot weather, always keep an eye on the temperature warning light. If it goes on, or if the gauge enters the red zone, pull your vehicle over to the side of the road and stop. Keep well away from traffic and park in the shade, if any is available.

Driving on Mountain Roads
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Mountain Driving

Mountain driving can be challenging, due to the frequently changing weather conditions and elevated concentration required of the driver on mountain roads. On the other hand, driving in the mountains can be an immensely joyous experience, with a great scenery surrounding the driver every mile of the way.

Driving on Steep and Icy Hills
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Driving on Steep and Icy Hills

Starting and parking on hills may be challenging to inexperienced drivers due to the fact that the vehicle does not remain stationary when the parking brake is disengaged. Learning a few simple techniques and practicing them diligently whenever you have to drive or park your vehicle on a hill will ensure your safety and allow you to tackle even the steepest of ascents.

Night Driving
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Driving at Night

Driving at night is considerably more difficult and dangerous than driving during the day. Reduced visibility is one of the main reasons that driving at night is so dangerous. You must drive more slowly at night, as limited visibility extends reaction time. The average motorist needs substantially more time to stop when driving at night that they would during the day.

Traction in Hazardous Driving Environments
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Traction in Hazardous Environments

Many hazardous roadway situations can lead to loss of traction in your vehicle’s tires. The word “traction” describes a tire’s ability to grip the surface of the road. Without traction, your wheels cannot roll and will simply slide across the surface of the road instead. Maintaining traction is necessary to be able to stop, start and steer your vehicle.

Skid Control and Recovery Techniques
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Skid Control & Recovery

Skidding can occur on roads that are slippery due to rain, mud, snow or ice. It may also be caused by sudden turns, lane changes or hard braking at a speed which causes wheels to lock. If you lose your grips on the road’s surface and begin to skid, stay calm – do not overreact or slam on the brakes. Instead, use the skid prevention and recovery techniques to help you regain control of the vehicle.

Accident Prevention & Escape Techniques
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Traffic Accident Escape Techniques

Even the most careful and conscientious driver will occasionally find themselves in an emergency situation where a collision seems imminent. You will have a better chance of avoiding a collision or coming out unharmed, if you remain calm and do not let panic take over.

Running Off The Road
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Running Off The Road

Hazardous conditions may result in your vehicle running partially or completely off the road. Drivers must know what to do under such circumstances, to limit the severity of the incident and bring their vehicle back under control.

Mechanical Failures

When Your Car Breaks Down

When Your Car Breaks Down
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Mechanical Failures

It is a simple fact that despite our best efforts, things sometimes go wrong. While there is a great deal that can be done to prevent your vehicle sustaining mechanical and electrical failures, the risk can never be eradicated altogether. Automobiles are complex pieces of machinery. A fault in the smallest of components can lead to loss of steering, failed brakes or out-of-control acceleration.

Car Dashboard Warning Lights
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Dashboard Warning Lights

Every driver experiences a mechanical failure at some time or another, even when their vehicle is new and well-maintained. Fortunately, most modern vehicles are built with a warning system which indicates when an important component has malfunctioned or is at risk of failing. If this happens, a warning light will usually be triggered on the dashboard to tell the driver that some action is required.

Brake Failure From Overheating
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Handling Brake Failure

If you look after your vehicle and have your brakes serviced regularly, it is unlikely you will ever experience the terror that accompanies brake failure. As with any vehicle malfunction, the key to surviving a brake failure while driving is not to panic. The advice we offer here will help you understand the causes of brake failure and what to do, should it ever happen to you.

Handling a ire Blowout When Driving
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Handling A Tire Blowout

Tire blowouts are incredibly dangerous as they effect handling and can make you lose control of your vehicle. Blowouts can be avoided by making sure your tires are safe and in good condition. Tire safety depends on maintaining the correct pressure, keeping within vehicle and tire load limits, avoiding hazards and regularly checking tires for damage.

Steering Failure
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Steering Failure

When steering fails completely, the driver will have absolutely no directional control over the vehicle. Partial steering failure is far more common and thankfully, easier to handle. This type of steering problem may manifest as extremely “heavy” steering, where the vehicle becomes difficult to maneuver. You must stop as soon as safely possible.

Headlight Failure
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Headlight Failure

Your headlights are essential for safe night-driving and driving during other conditions where low-visibility is a problem, such as fog and heavy rain. You must check your headlights regularly to ensure they are fully functional. A single failed headlight may not be too noticeable while driving, but it can still put you in considerable danger if other road users mistake your vehicle for a motorbike.

Jammed Gas Pedal
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Stuck Accelerator

There are few automobile faults more frightening than a jammed gas pedal. A partially or totally jammed accelerator could be the result of a mechanical or electrical failure and it could happen in any vehicle. If your accelerator gets stuck the most important thing to do is remain calm. There are steps you can take to regain control of your vehicle or else steer it safely off the road.

Driving with Reduced Visibility
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Limited Visibility

Driving with limited visibility is dangerous, not to mention challenging. If you cannot see the road it will be practically impossible to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front. Plus, you may not see approaching obstacles or hazards in time to avoid collisions.

Overheated Car
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Overheating and Fires

High temperatures can put a great deal of strain on your car’s engine. Driving in extremely hot weather, on steep hills, in stop-and-go traffic or while towing another vehicle are all activities that will make your engine run at higher-than-usual temperatures. Driving at high speeds for prolonged periods can also cause overheating and should be avoided as much as possible.

Car Battery Failure
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Car Battery Problems

Without a functional battery the engine cannot start. Drivers must learn how to look after their vehicle’s battery and avoid wearing it out. Running your engine for very short periods is extremely bad for the battery, as you will deplete its power without allowing it time to recharge.

Car Engine Stalled
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Engine Stalling

When your car engine dies, this is known as “stalling”. A wide variety of different issues can lead to an engine stall, including air flow problems, insufficient fuel, overheating and mechanical failures. Engine stalls themselves are not usually dangerous, though they can put drivers in sticky situations. If you’re unlucky, it could happen while you are driving on a busy road. The information on this page will help you handle such situations.

The Driver

Medical Fitness for Driving

Being in Shape to Drive
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The Driver

Estimates provided by the vehicle insurance industry suggest that every motorist will be involved in at least four traffic accidents or collisions in his or her lifetime. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a car accident occurs somewhere in the United States every minute of every day. On average, one in every 16 of these traffic accidents will claim at least one person’s life.

Being Fit to Drive
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Being Fit to Drive

The importance of being fit to drive is often overlooked by new and experienced drivers alike. Your ability to drive safely does not only depend on having good vehicle control skills and a well-rounded knowledge of road rules. These attributes are essential, but they mean nothing if your body and mind are not up to the task of driving.

Multitasking for Driving
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Multitasking While Driving

It should be obvious by now that driving usually involves performing several different tasks at any one time. The need to manage a variety of physical and mental tasks while concentrating on the road is what makes driving such a challenge when you first start out. Eventually, the act of driving and all it involves will become second nature.

Approaches to Multitasking Behind The Wheel
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Approaches to Multitasking

Multitasking while driving is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the best drivers are those who can multitask effectively. Of course, we are not talking about doing your make-up, texting on your cell phone or chatting to your passengers while driving; engaging in any activity that unnecessarily takes your attention away from the road is definitely a bad idea!

Physical Challenges of Driving
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The Physical Challenges of Driving

Most modern vehicles can be operated with relative physical ease, thanks to power brakes and power steering. The challenges associated with driving are predominantly mental challenges, such as perceiving hazards on the roadway or managing multiple tasks at the same time. Though, in some vehicles and situations, driving can still be a physically demanding activity.

Physical and Mental Impairments
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Physical and Mental Impairments

Your physical and mental condition has a direct affect on your ability to manage and execute multiple tasks while driving. Persons with physical or mental disabilities may lack the necessary skills to operate a vehicle safely.

The Effects of Illness and Temporary Impairment on Driving Ability
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Illness and Temporary Impairments

Driving ability can be equally as impeded by a temporary physical or mental impairment as it is by ongoing medical conditions and permanent physical disabilities. Every person experiences an illness or injury at some time or another; the fact that you are usually fit to drive does not meant that you are always fit to drive.

Safe Driving Rules for Aging Drivers
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Safe Driving and Aging

Getting older does not necessarily mean that you are no longer fit to drive. According to Federal Highway Administration statistics, there are more than 41 million licensed drivers in the United States aged 65 or older. Unfortunately, the physical and mental changes associated with natural aging can adversely affect driving skills and increase the risk of being injured or killed in a car crash.

Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisnong
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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is responsible for roughly 500 fatalities and 15,000 emergency room visits around the United States every year. A large portion of these poisoning cases are caused by motor vehicle exhaust emissions. All drivers must be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and be able to spot the symptoms when it occurs.

Drowsy Driving

Drowsy Driving Statistics
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The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Most people accept being tired as a normal part of their hectic, day-to-day lives. Tiredness rarely prevents us from fulfilling our regular daily tasks, such as working, going to school or seeing our friends, so we do not assume that it should stop us from driving to and from these activities. Sadly, driving while fatigued can be a fatal mistake.

Natural Causes of Fatigue and Drowsiness
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The Causes of Fatigue

Being fatigued does not necessarily mean feeling sleepy, though it can lead to that. The term “fatigue” describes a mental and physical state which can occur following a challenging or prolonged activity. A person who is fatigued has a lower-than-normal capacity for work and concentration, while being less capable of completing any task efficiently.

Fatigue Risk Factors
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Fatigue Risk Factors

Understanding the risk factors that increase your chances of becoming drowsy will help you to make sensible driving decisions. If you know you are at risk, you are more likely to be tuned in to your physical and mental state while driving. When you notice the symptoms of fatigue taking hold, you can take steps to maintain your safety.

The Consequences of Driving Fatigue
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The Consequences of Drowsy Driving

When fatigued, a person cannot perform as well as they would usually during any task. When the task in question is maneuvering a large, heavy metal object that is hurtling along a roadway at speed, persevering despite the effects of fatigue invites death and destruction.

Myths About Driving Fatigue
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Drowsy Driving Myths

Driving while drowsy or fatigued is every bit as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Most drivers are aware of the effect that alcohol may have on their driving ability and would be hesitant to get behind the wheel if they have had a drink, even if they believe they are within the legal BAC limit.

Preventing Driving Fatigue
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Preventing Drowsy Driving

Rest is the only cure for fatigue. When you are tired or feeling mentally or physically drained, the only sure way to stay safe is to rest before driving, or not to drive at all. After a hard day at school or a tiring shift at work, people often force themselves to drive, thinking they will rest when they get home.

Highway Hypnosis & Velocitation
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Highway Hypnosis and Velocitation

Highway hypnosis is a dangerous trance-like state, during which a driver may travel a short distance – or many miles – without having any recollection of the experience. Velocitation is a psychological phenomenon brought on by monotonous, extended periods of high-speed driving. When velocitation occurs, a driver loses touch with how fast they are traveling and often believes they are moving slower than they truly are.

Reducing Driving Risks

Reducing Driving Risks
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Reducing Driving Risks

Every time you slip into the driver’s seat you are essentially strapping yourself in to a powerful, dangerous and potentially lethal machine. Making safe and sensible driving decisions is crucial, as you are subjecting yourself to considerable risk, simply by choosing to drive in the first place.

Recognizing Driving Risks
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Recognizing the Risks of Driving

The first step to creating the safest possible driving environment is understanding what you are up against. When you know the risks you face, it is possible to forge safe driving habits that will lessen the chances of a collision occurring. No matter how dangerous the situation, there is always something you can do to reduce risk and improve your safety.

A Responsible Driving Attitude
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A Responsible Driving Attitude

To develop a responsible and safe attitude towards driving, you must first understand the power of your actions. While driving, a single action can set off a chain of events which leads to a crash or collision. Each driver acting or reacting within that sequence of events has the power to worsen the situation or move it toward a more positive outcome.

Dangerous Driving Behaviors
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Dangerous Driving Behaviors

Certain irresponsible driving behaviors pose a more serious threat to road user safety than others, as they are frequently committed and typically associated with serious consequences. To be a safe and responsible driver you must adopt a “zero tolerance policy” towards engaging in dangerous driving practices yourself. Allowing yourself to drive irresponsibly even once can have terrible consequences.

The Dangers of Disrupting Traffic Flow
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The Dangers of Disrupting Traffic Flow

On busy roadways, the way you turn, change lanes merge, pass and otherwise interact with the traffic around you influences the level of risk you are exposed to. To create the safest possible environment, motorists must maneuver in a way which keeps traffic flowing smoothly.

Teen Drivers - Inexperienced Drivers Statistics
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Inexperienced Drivers Statistics

People of all ages are at-risk while driving. However, teenage drivers experience the greatest risk, largely because of their inexperience behind the wheel and poor judgment skills. Tragically, car crashes are the leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 20 in the United States. In fact, drivers under 20 are almost three times more likely to die in a car accident than older drivers.

Young Drivers Mistakes
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Novice Drivers Mistakes

As a newly licensed driver, you will make some mistakes behind the wheel – it is inevitable. However, if you make yourself aware of some of the most common errors new drivers make, you should be able to avoid exposing yourself or any other road users to serious risk.

Strategies to Minimize Driving Risks
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Strategies to Minimize Risk

There is no way to avoid risk altogether while driving, as it is an inherently dangerous activity. Though, you do have the power to influence the level of risk you are exposed to in a positive or negative way. Every decision and action you make while in the driver’s seat will either decrease or increase the risk of an accident or collision occurring.

Consequences of Risky Driving Behavior
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The Consequences of Risky Behavior

Why is reducing risk as a driver so important? Every risk carries with it a set of possible, undesirable consequences. Every time you take a risk behind the wheel, it becomes more likely that you will experience a crash or collision.

Distracted Driving

The Vigilant Driver

Distracted Driving
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Distracted Driving & Being Attentive

Safe drivers are attentive. By paying attention to the roadway and their own actions inside the vehicle, attentive drivers can use their vehicle control skills and knowledge of road rules appropriately, to avoid conflict with other road users, accidents and collisions. Distracted driving stands in opposition to attentive driving.

Attentive Driver
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The Vigilant Driver

Safe and responsible drivers attend to vital aspects of the driving environment both inside and outside the vehicle. Being attentive is more than simply being alert – though that does help! It is understanding that all aspects of the driving environment must be closely monitored and knowing how to split your attention between a variety of different targets effectively.

The Importance of Paying Attention
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The Importance of Paying Attention

Your ability to fully and consistently focus your attention on the environment around your vehicle is every bit as important as your road rule knowledge and vehicle control skills. Paying attention while driving is an important skill which must not be overlooked while you’re learning to drive.

Importance of Good Vision for Drivers
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The Importance of Good Vision

No sense is more important to a driver than vision. As your eyes are responsible for 90% of the information you receive while driving, good vision is essential in making safe and appropriate driving decisions.

Visual Impairments That Affect Your Driving Ability
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Visual Impairments

People with less than 20/40 vision do not qualify for an unrestricted driver’s license in most states. However, there are vast numbers of people with poorer than 20/40 vision who can drive safely and legally under a restricted license, providing they wear corrective glasses or contact lenses. Only in extreme cases of vision impairment or blindness will a person be refused a driving license altogether.

Mental Skills Required for Driving
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Mental Skills for Driving

The “vision, memory and understanding” trinity allows you to assess and make decisions based on all the information your eyes receive while you’re driving. If you do not receive accurate visual information due to a vision impairment, or do not have relevant memory information stored in your brain to help you make sense of what you have seen, you may not respond to roadway hazards appropriately.

All Senses Matter to the Driver
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Proprioception and Kinesthesia

While most of the information we receive while driving is visual, our other senses are important too. In addition to sight, our brains collect information about the world around us via hearing, smell, taste and touch.

The Importance of Visual Targeting
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Visual Targeting

Visual targeting is the practice of focusing your attention on a stationary object which is 12 to 20 seconds ahead of your vehicle. As you move closer to your visual target, you should then select a new fixed object within that 12 to 20-second window, repeating this process continually as you move along the roadway.

Visual Search Patterns for Safe Driving
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Visual Search Patterns

Knowing where to look and how long for can be confusing for new drivers, particularly when there is so much to keep track of inside your car, right in front of the vehicle and 20 seconds ahead of you on the roadway. To drive safely, you need to adopt a systematic and efficient method of visually scanning your environment.

Safe Following Distance Three Seconds
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Safe Following Distance

It is impossible to drive safely and attentively without leaving enough space between your vehicle and the car ahead of you. Maintaining an adequate following distance is crucial to maximize your view of the roadway up ahead.

The Effects of Speed on Driving Ability
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The Effects of Speed

Keeping speed to a minimum is one of the best risk-reducing tactics you can employ as an attentive driver. As the speed you are traveling at increases, so too does the danger you are exposed to and the challenges you face.

Interacting with Other Drivers to Prevent Distracted Driving
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Interacting With Other Drivers

Without effective communication between motorists, it would be impossible to predict the movement of other vehicles and negotiate the roadway safely. Attentive, conscientious motorists think about how their actions will affect other drivers and endeavor to behave considerately, at all times. It is not simply a matter of being polite, it is a matter of safety.

Dealing with Driving Distractions

Dealing with Driving Distractions
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Distracted Driving

While some distractions can be avoided, there is no way to remove all possible distractions from any driving environment. Therefore, we must know how to handle them safely when they occur.

The Risks of Distracted Driving
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The Risks of Distracted Driving

Any activity you engage in which does not immediately relate to the driving task is considered a distraction. This includes travel-related activities such as map reading or operating a navigation device. Irrespective of how important you may consider an activity to be, controlling your vehicle and monitoring the roadway demands your full attention and must take precedence.

The Cognitive Basis of Distracted Driving
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The Cognitive Basis of Distracted Driving

While we may often feel as if we are performing two or more tasks at the same time, we’re not, as the human brain is physically incapable of it. This means that you are only ever working on one task at a time. While driving and engaging in a distracting activity such as eating or combing your hair, your mind will not be focused on driving at all, for at least some of the time.

Distracted Activity - Talking on The Cell Phone
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Talking on The Cell Phone

Using a cell phone is one of the most risk-enhancing mistakes you can make while operating a moving vehicle. Many motorists assume that this only applies to hand-held cell phone use, though hands-free phone activity can be equally as dangerous.

No Texting While Driving
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Texting on A Cell Phone

There is no driver distraction more dangerous than texting, emailing or sending any other written communication with an electronic device. While typing on a cell phone or similar device, you will be visually, manually and cognitively distracted from the task of driving.

Distracted Driving - Reading Behind The Wheel
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Using Multimedia Devices and Reading

The risks associated with using a cell phone while driving also apply to laptops, computers, tablets and all other electronic devices. Taking your attention away from the road to engage in any non-driving related task is incredibly dangerous.

Adjusting the Radio Can Be Distracting
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Listening to Music Safely

Though listening to music behind the wheel is not necessarily dangerous and is definitely not illegal, you must be aware of the risks your car’s stereo system presents in order to make safe decisions. Drivers who constantly switch between radio stations, adjust the volume or play music loudly are more likely to become distracted and miss important details about the roadway environment.

Eating and Drinking While Driving Can Be Distracting
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Eating and Drinking While Driving

It is impossible to eat or drink without taking at least one hand off the steering wheel – this is time in which you will not be in complete control of your vehicle. A driver who is distracted by eating or drinking from an open container is 39 percent more likely to experience a collision or near-miss collision than an attentive driver.

Grooming While Driving Is Distracting
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Personal Grooming Behind the Wheel

Typical personal grooming activities require one or both hands be taken off the steering wheel, a degree of mental focus and the use of your eyes to see what you are doing. The safest thing to do is allow yourself a little extra time at home to complete your personal grooming routine before setting off.

Sneezing Behind The Wheel Can Be Distracting
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Less Common Distracting Activities

There are countless minor tasks which we engage in on a day-to-day basis without thinking, which could prove to be dangerous distractions while driving. You may not think twice about smoking, allowing your mind to wander, swatting away a bug or picking up a dropped object while you’re walking down the street, but you must avoid these activities as much as possible while behind the wheel.

Driving with Passengers Can Be Distracting
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Driving With Passengers

As a driver, your responsibility is to keep your passengers safe, not to keep them entertained. Any passenger you transport must respect your need to pay attention to the road and must not distract you from the driving task. Remember: your car, your rules.

Distractions Outside Your Vehicle
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Distractions Outside The Car

Distractions inside the car are not the only problem you face while driving. Your attention will be focused on events around your vehicle and on the roadway up ahead, which means you are at risk of becoming distracted by things happening outside the car and by the roadside.

Beware of Distracted Drivers
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Dealing with Distracted Drivers

Even the most attentive drivers in the world become distracted from time to time. Unfortunately, distracted driving is a country-wide epidemic in America, so it is something you will encounter quite frequently. You must know how to deal with distracted drivers, otherwise they may end up distracting you in turn.

Defensive Driving

Defensive Driving Crash Course

Crash Course in Defensive Driving Techniques
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Defensive Driving Crash Course

Defensive driving is a set of strategies which reduce the risk of sustaining property damage, injury or death, as a result of traffic accidents or collisions. The technique works by helping you to avoid conflicts and dangerous situations while driving.

Different Space Management Systems
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Driving Space Management Systems

Effective space management is a driver’s most powerful line of defense against hazards and traffic accidents. There are several different space management systems commonly taught in driver’s ed programs. Each of these systems work to achieve the same goal: maintaining a safe “bubble” of space around your vehicle.

The SEE System for Space Management
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The SEE System

The SEE system is a defensive driving strategy which allows you to avoid collisions, by keeping the space around your vehicle free from obstacles – it is a space management system. Drivers who manage the space around their vehicles effectively can predict hazardous situations before they happen and change their driving behavior to avoid that situation coming to pass.

Scanning The Road - Defensive Driving Techniques
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Scanning the Road

The first stage of the SEE system – or indeed any defensive driving strategy – is scanning the roadway to detect potential hazards and upcoming changes, which would require alterations to your driving behavior. This step is crucial, as your ability to make safe driving decisions rests on forming an accurate picture of the situation around your vehicle.

Identifying Road Hazards
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Identifying Road Hazards

As you become more confident behind the wheel, evaluating hazards and making the necessary adjustments to your driving behavior will become as instinctual as breathing. The only way to ensure you avoid all hazards is to remain attentive and focused on actively scanning the roadway.

Evaluating Road Hazards - Defensive Driving
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Assessing and Responding to Hazards

Having conducted a search of the roadway to gather visual information, you must then evaluate what you have seen in order to choose an appropriate response. In accordance with the SEE system, the final step will be to execute that response. Your chosen response must reflect the safest course of action for that driving situation.

Taking Evasive Action
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Executing a Response

The final step of the SEE system is to execute a response, based on your evaluation of roadway conditions. Your response may involve making a drastic, evasive maneuver – or at the other end of the scale – a minor lane position adjustment. There will also be plenty of occasions where your response will simply be to do nothing, by holding your current course and speed.

Road Rage

Dealing with Road Rage

Road Rage Among Drivers
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Road Rage

“Road rage” describes an extremely aggressive state of mind resulting in inconsiderate, dangerous and often violent driving behavior. A motorist who is suffering with road rage may completely disregard traffic laws, defensive driving protocols, their own safety and the safety of those around them.

Right Attitude for Preventing Road Rage
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Adopting the Right Attitude

Depending on the actions of other road users and events in the roadway environment, you may experience anxiety, nervousness, frustration or anger. Adopting a positive, self-reflective attitude from the start of your learning journey will help you to keep these emotions in check and stay safe behind the wheel.

Exercising Self Control While Driving
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Emotions Affect Your Driving

Human emotions are powerful forces which can easily disrupt an ideal mental state if left unchecked. Think about how many times on a day-to-day basis your emotions affect the choices you make and the way you go about things. Imagine, how easy it would be to live a successful, productive and efficient life without emotions getting in the way.

Coping with Driving Stress
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Coping with Driving Stress

Driving is a stressful activity, as it requires you to remain alert, alternate between multiple tasks and avoid dangerous situations. If you get behind the wheel while already suffering with stress caused by other events or pressures, you may become too stressed to pay attention, properly assess the roadway and make sensible driving decisions.

Aggressive Driving & Road Rage
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Road Rage & Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving is a behavior that can result from unchecked emotions or excessive stress while behind the wheel. Any purposeful, dangerous action fueled by frustration, impatience, anger or stress qualifies as aggressive driving.

Aggressive Driver Stuck in Traffic
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The Causes of Aggressive Driving & Road Rage

To tackle the threat posed by aggressive driving we must understand its causes. The increasing number of vehicles our roads, day-to-day stresses, tiredness and the growing prevalence of disrespectful behavior have all created an environment in which aggressive driving is rife.

Common Road Rage Behaviors
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Common Road Rage Behaviors

While scanning the roadway for potential threats, you must watch out for any motorists displaying aggressive behavior. If you encounter a driver experiencing road rage, it is likely that they are the most dangerous hazard in the roadway environment. You must pay attention and act defensively, to protect yourself against the threat such drivers pose.

How To Avoid Provoking Road Rage
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How to Avoid Provoking Road Rage

As part of your road safety training, you must learn how to avoid becoming the target of another driver’s road rage. Every day, you will be sharing the road with stressed out and frustrated drivers, many of which are capable of succumbing to road rage if things don’t go their way.

Dealing with Agression and Road Rage
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Dealing with Aggression on the Road

You must know how to deal with aggression on the road just in case you ever find yourself in hot water. It is important not to take an aggressive driver’s actions personally, even if you are the target. When a driver’s aggression develops into rage, there is very little you can do or say to calm them down.

Controlling Your Emotions When Driving
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Controlling Your Emotions

Holding a driver’s license is both a privilege and a responsibility. It is not enough simply to say that you will not become an aggressive driver, you must continually monitor yourself and be proactive about avoiding aggressive behaviors behind the wheel. Most new motorists believe that they will not act aggressively on the road and yet many drivers end up doing it anyway.

The Science of Driving

Natural Forces and Physics

The Physics of Driving
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The Physics of Driving

Everything in the known universe is subject to natural forces like inertia, gravity, friction and energy. Your car is no exception, in fact, it relies on the laws of physics to operate. As part of your driver’s training, you must learn how different forces and natural laws affect your car, in order to maintain control and respond appropriately in emergency situations.

Effect of Gravity on Driving
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The Force of Gravity

Though we rarely stop to consider its effects, gravity is an ever-present force which acts on you, everything you can see in the room around you and of course, your vehicle. The force of gravity pulling your vehicle toward the center of the Earth will influence your speed when traveling on a hill. It will also affect the way weight is distributed across your vehicle’s four tires.

The Laws of Motion and Inertia
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Inertia & The Laws of Motion

Using the three laws of motion, we can accurately predict how an object will move under different circumstances. Getting your head around the idea of inertia is necessary to understand vehicle-occupant safety.

The Physics of Braking
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Potential and Kinetic Energy

Energy is the capacity to do work. The more energy something has, the longer or harder it can work. When slowing down or stopping, your vehicle’s brakes must overcome its kinetic energy. If your vehicle collides with an object, the force of the impact will be equal to its kinetic energy, divided by your stopping distance.

Centrifugal and Centipetal Forces
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Centrifugal and Centripetal Forces

When an object moves along a curved path, it is acted on by centrifugal and centripetal forces. This will affect your vehicle whenever you drive through a curved stretch of road. These two forces act simultaneously and pull in different directions.

Friction, Traction and Rolling Resistance
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Friction, Traction and Rolling Resistance

Understanding how your tires interact with the road’s surface is important, as your ability to accelerate, slow down or perform any maneuver depends on maintaining “grip” on the pavement beneath your wheels. This knowledge will also help you to avoid dangerous tire malfunctions like tread separation and blow outs.

Friction on the Brakes
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Friction in Your Brakes

Some of your vehicle’s essential systems rely on friction to work. The best example of this is the brakes. Without friction, your brakes would not be able to resist the movement of the wheels and stop your car. Let’s delve a little deeper into this idea.

Traction for Drivers
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Traction

Traction is the grip between tires and the surface of the road, which allows your vehicle to stop, start and change direction. Understanding how traction works - and what environmental factors can diminish or improve it - will help you maintain maximum control of your vehicle while driving.

Correcting Traction Loss
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Correcting Traction Loss

If you are fortunate and drive conscientiously, controlling a skid caused by traction loss is not something you should have to do often. However, you must understand what contributes to traction loss and how to solve it, as being underprepared when your vehicle begins to slide could make things a great deal worse.

Vehicle Balance
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Vehicle Balance

The term “vehicle balance” refers to the distribution of the car’s weight across its four tires connecting with the road. our car’s balance will shift when acceleration, braking or turning cause weight to move from one area of the vehicle to another.

Controlling Vehicle Balance
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Pitch, Roll and Yaw

The balance of your vehicle (where its weight sits) will be altered every time you speed up, slow down or turn the steering wheel. Fortunately, precise steering, smooth acceleration and gradual braking can prevent loss of balance.

Vehicle Balance on Slippery Roads
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Balance on Hills, Curves & Slippery Roads

Factors such as the gradient of the road, the material the road is surfaced with, the condition of the road surface, the width and shape of the road and even the weather will influence your car’s center of gravity and its ability to grip the pavement.

Basic Physics Behind Traffic Collisions
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The Physics of Collisions

The amount of damage sustained in a traffic collision is determined by the energy your vehicle has at the moment of impact, and the energy of the object you hit. It is important to understand the forces at work in collisions, as there is usually some action a driver can take to minimize the severity of a crash, if one is imminent.

Traffic Accidents

Understanding & Avoiding Collisions

Understanding and Avoid Traffic Accidents
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Understanding & Avoiding Collisions

Traffic accidents and collisions are an inevitable part of being a driver. Even if you manage to avoid serious property damage or injury during your time as a motorist, it is likely that you will at least experience some sort of minor collision. Learn how to evade and minimize the severity of different types of traffic collision.

Rear-end Traffic Collision
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Types of Collisions

No two collisions have ever played out in precisely the same way. Head-on collisions are generally the most severe; whereas, vehicles involved in rear-end collision typically sustain minor damage. Understanding the usual consequences of each collision-type helps you to react appropriately in an emergency.

Distracted Driving Causes Accidents
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Causes of Accidents

The primary causes of traffic accidents and collisions are: the actions of the driver(s) involved; the condition of the road; the condition of the vehicle(s) involved. Poor driving behavior is by far the most prominent cause and can be identified at the root of nearly all traffic accidents.

Preventing Traffic Accidents
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Accident Prevention & Management

When a hazard appears on the roadway, you must begin by considering the most likely consequences of the situation. This will allow you to decide on an appropriate course of defensive or evasive action to avoid a collision. Remember that you must only adjust your driving behavior as much as is necessary to avoid danger.

When a Traffic Collision Happens
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When an Accident Occurs

It is highly likely that at some point during your life as a driver, you will be involved in an accident or collision. Whether you are directly involved or not, it is important not to panic and know what to do when a traffic collision occurs.

Driving Under The Influence

Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol

Driving Under The Influence
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Driving Under The Influence

When a driver is impaired by alcohol, drugs, fatigue or illness, they are not able to think as clearly, move as precisely or accurately perceive the situation on the road around their vehicle. As a responsible young adult, you must respect the law and say no to alcohol and drugs. If you DO choose to drink or take drugs, don’t drive.

Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol
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Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

Drinking and driving is a serious crime. It is also one of the most stupid and dangerous things a person could choose to do. While the penalties for drinking and driving vary quite a bit from state to state, the rules concerning DUI are practically identical from coast to coast.

Blood Alcohol Concentration & Standard Drinks
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Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Driving with any amount of alcohol in your system will impair your physical skills, reaction-time, vision and ability to make appropriate judgments based on the roadway environment. The higher your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the more significant the impairment will be.

Alcohol Intake and Elimination Rates
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Alcohol Intake and Elimination Rates

To develop a safe and responsible relationship with alcohol, it helps to understand precisely what you’re subjecting your body to each time you take a swig of beer or a shot of hard liquor. How rapidly and efficiently a person’s body can eliminate alcohol depends on a whole host of different environmental and genetic factors.

Sensory Impairment from Alcohol Consumption
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Alcohol-related Sensory Impairment

Alcohol’s effects on your brain begin just minutes after you take the first sip of your beverage. Your mental ability is adversely affected, and your muscles do not respond to instructions as efficiently as usual. The negative impact of alcohol on your driving ability will become more severe as you become more intoxicated:

Physical Impairment from Alcohol Consumption
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Alcohol-related Physical Impairment

While alcohol is hi-jacking your brain to wreak havoc on your perception, judgement and motor skills, it is also disrupting other important systems directly. Remember that one way or another, alcohol ends up in your blood. From here, it has access to every tissue and vital organ in your body.

Physiology of Driving Intoxicated
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The Physiology of Intoxicated Driving

Driving is an activity which requires physical coordination, swift reactions, keen observation and the ability to process information effectively. As alcohol intoxication has a detrimental effect on each of these skills, it will significantly impair your ability to drive safely.

How Alcohol Affects Cognition and Emotion
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Alcohol’s Effect on Cognition & Emotion

Cognition is the mental process of collecting information, forming thoughts and making decisions based on what you know. If any aspect of the cognitive process is impaired by alcohol while you’re driving, you are likely to make unsafe decisions, endangering yourself, your passengers and all other road users nearby.

How Alcohol Affects Your Driving Skills
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The Effects of Alcohol on Your Driving Skills

Your responsibilities as a driver and alcohol do not mix. You must do everything within your power to avoid injuring yourself, injuring other road users or damaging property. Even very small amounts of alcohol can impair your mental and physical driving ability and so you must not drink and drive.

Alcohol and Emotional Fitness
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Alcohol & Emotional Fitness

Experiencing an intense negative emotion will directly disrupt your ability to remain attentive while driving, affect the decisions you make in response to events on the roadway and alter your behavior towards other drivers. Drinking alcohol affects your emotional fitness both in the short-term and over time

Alcohol Poisoning - Driving Under The Influence
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Alcohol Poisoning

If your blood alcohol concentration surpasses a safe level, you can become dangerously ill very quickly. This is known as alcohol poisoning; it occurs when your liver is overwhelmed by the amount of alcohol in your blood and can no longer filter it rapidly enough to protect you.

Long Term Health Effects of Alcohol Consumption
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Long-Term Impact of Alcohol

Alcohol is technically a drug in that it is a “substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.” In addition to the obvious short-term negative impact, alcohol consumption can seriously damage your mind and body when used repeatedly over a prolonged period.

Impaired Driving: Laws, Penalties and Consequences

The Consequences of Drunk Driving
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The Consequences of Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is the most commonly committed criminal offense in the United States, with an estimated 300,000 people driving under the influence of alcohol every day. Alcohol impaired driving incurs serious, long-lasting consequences for the offending drivers themselves, and every innocent person effected by their crimes.

In many parts of the United States, teenagers are legally required to complete a state-mandated driver’s education program to qualify for a provisional license. In Portland, Salem, Eugene and every other Oregon city, taking state-licensed drivers ed is optional. However, being able to evidence a completed driver’s education course when putting in your license application will mean you need fewer hours of practice time on your driving log. Without state-licensed driver’s ed, teen license applicants must accrue at least 100 hours of supervised driving practice. A certificate of completion from an approved driver’s ed course will cut the required practice time in half, as it counts for 50 hours. Aside from this obvious advantage, taking a classroom-based driver’s education course is advisable, as it will ultimately result in you becoming a safer and more competent driver.

Whether you choose to take a classroom-based driver’s education program or not, working through our free, 2019 drivers ed course will accelerate your learning. Unlike the state-licensed course, our lessons can be accessed via any internet enabled mobile device, whenever and wherever you need them. This will come in handy if you want to study core topics like defensive driving, alcohol awareness, driving in different environments and road rage avoidance outside a classroom setting. Furthermore, this Oregon drivers ed course will prove to be an enormous asset when you start learning how to execute essential driving maneuvers under the supervision of a licensed adult. There are strict safety procedures to follow when driving in reverse, parallel parking, making turns and performing the other key driving skills which are assessed during the practice exam. Using our diagrams and step-by-step guides, you can make sure you’re learning these maneuvers the right way, from the very beginning of your training journey.

If you have not achieved your provisional permit yet, your first task should be studying Oregon rules of the road and road signs with the official DMV driving manual. Before you can be issued a permit, you must pass the DMV written test to prove you have the minimum acceptable level of knowledge to start learning to drive. While we strongly recommend that the Oregon driving manual is your primary resource in the run-up to the permit test, you can also use our driver’s education course to speed things along. Reading the manual can be a little hard going, but our course explores every essential topic using plain language and helpful images. “Signs, signals & markings” and “Rules of the road”, are the two modules you should spend most of your time on while studying. Don’t forget to double-check everything in our lessons against the information in the permit book. Then, why not try out one of our Oregon DMV permit practice tests, to find out how much you have learned. Like the driver’s ed program, the are totally free to use!

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