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Flashcards in Defensive and Eco Driving Deck (50):

How should you best check your surroundings when backing out of a parking space with limited vision?

Backing out can sometimes be tricky, so the best way is to check all around by looking over your shoulder. You have the best view of what is behind you by looking over your shoulder rather than by checking your mirrors.


When a pedestrian with a guide dog is stepping out into the street, not heeding a green-arrow light given to traffic, what should you do?

Although the pedestrian is not obeying traffic laws, he or she must be given the right-of-way for safety reasons. You should slow down and wait for the pedestrian to safely cross. Pedestrians on the road are at a much greater risk of being harmed by the cars around them, and should be given the right-of-way at all times.


How do you best handle sliding on an icy road?

When skidding or losing control on an icy road, the best thing to do behind the wheel is to steer in the direction of the skid. You will most likely regain traction, and continue driving (a little more cautiously, so next time you can prevent it from happening!).


How should you correctly exit the highway so as not to endanger anyone on the road?

To correctly exit the highway, you maintain your speed and move over when you can, only decreasing your speed once you are in the exit lane. Driving more slowly or much faster to get over is a hazard on the road one should avoid.


How do you brake most efficiently in an emergency in a car without ABS brakes?

To stop in an emergency situation with a car that doesn’t have ABS brakes, you should pump the brakes. Slamming on them all the way will cause you to lose control and traction.


What is the best way to avoid hydroplaning on the road?

The best way to avoid hydroplaning is simply to drive more slowly when on wet roads.


What should you do when an emergency vehicle is coming up from behind you with its lights flashing?

When being approached by an emergency vehicle, drivers must pull over to the right of the road and stop, allowing them to pass.


When backing up a car, what is the most commonly made mistake drivers tend to make?

Drivers usually fail to look both ways behind them when backing up.


When a large truck wants to pass you, what should you do?

Slow down to shorten the time required for the truck to pass you.


If you are traveling on a road with two or more lanes going in each direction and you approach an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the road with its lights on, how must you pass the emergency vehicle?

When passing emergency vehicles stopped on the side of a highway, you must slow down, and if possible move a lane over so as not to drive next to the stopped vehicle.


When driving in adverse conditions, what is the proper speed to travel?

When driving in adverse conditions such as rain or snow, you should only drive as fast as it is safe, and not necessarily the speed limit the road sign permits. (But NEVER over the posted limit)


What is by far the number one cause of accidents on the road?

Whether through fatigue, daydreaming, talking, texting, or just zoning out on the road, inattention is the number one cause of accidents on the road.


What are the three basic elements of defensive driving?

To "see", "recognize", and "avoid" hazards are the three basic elements of defensive driving.

Remember them well and you will be much better off on the roadway!


How should you always drive to maintain safety and some form of communication with the drivers around you?

To drive predictably is to drive safely.  An erratic driver is an unsafe driver.  By driving erratically with sudden stops, lane changes, or accelerations, you put yourself and everyone around you at risk. 


What are two things you should always do while passing through a green light intersection?

When going through an intersection, you should always slow down even though you have the green light.  You should also always look both ways from a standstill and while you are passing through.

More than 80% of collisions involving injury or death occur in controlled intersections. The first four seconds from when the light turns green are when most accidents occur.


What's the general rule of thumb for changing lanes in an intersection?

Just don't do it!

Although it's not illegal, doing so heightens the possible dangers of driving through an intersection.


How do you best deal with inconsiderate people who make a habit of following much too closely?

To best get rid of a tailgater, you should gradually slow down until the driver behind you changes lanes and decides to pass you.  Some people make the mistake of hitting their brakes suddenly to scare the person behind them, but this can result in an accident, which is the last thing anyone wants!


What does it mean on the road to look, but not to "see"?

When driving, many times drivers do not connect where they are looking to what they are really seeing.  Connecting your eyes with your brain allows you to recognize situations before they happen, and in turn to avoid hazards.


What is the most dangerous type of collision on the road?

Believe it or not, a single vehicle collision is the most dangerous type of collision. Single vehicle collisions are the most avoidable, yet they kill more people than do any other type of collision.


Of all the single vehicle collisions on the road, what percentage of those are strictly the result of DUI's?

DUI's count for over 30% of all single vehicle collisions in the United States! That's a whole lot for something that is illegal!


How would you recover from losing traction and skidding on the road?

To recover from a skid, remember to always turn INTO the skid, meaning turning the direction that the car is sliding until your car has regained traction on the road.


Does driving impaired simply mean under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

No, driving impaired can mean many things.

Being fatigued, driving with injuries, even forgetting your eyeglasses can mean driving impaired.  


If you have ABS brakes in your vehicle, how should you best stop to avoid making contact with the car in front of you?

ABS brakes are designed so that you can mash the brake pedal into the floor, and the computer takes care of the rest. You don't want to pump ABS brakes, because that defeats the purpose of the computer doing what it needs to do make you brake most efficiently.  


When driving around large trucks, what are some safety tips as far as how to drive and what to watch for?

Large trucks take much longer to stop than do normal vehicles, and can't make sudden movements very easily.  They also have a lot of blind spots for their drivers.

When driving close to large trucks, never dart in front of them, follow too closely, or ride in their blind spots.


What are some of the most common distractions encountered on the road?

Driving safely means always staying focused on the road, so things such as playing with the radio, eating and drinking, or talking with your passengers can distract you from the most important task at hand: driving safely!


Should you move around the car in the lane next to and ahead of you and through an intersection since the light is green?

No, the green light may mean that you can proceed, but because the car ahead is still fully stopped, he or she could be stopped for an accident, or maybe even a pedestrian crossing the road.


When there is an oncoming vehicle to the left, as well as a bicyclist on the right, what should you do?

The safest way to go is to take the obstacles one at a time, meaning slowing down for the car to pass, and then when safe, passing the cyclist.


In order to best avoid last minute moves and accidents, you should be looking down the road to where you vehicle will be in about how many seconds?

You should be looking down the road about 10 to 15 seconds.


If you plan to pass another vehicle, you should assume what?

You should assume the other driver will not make space for you to return to your lane.


How do you check for hydroplaning while driving?

If you look in your rearview mirror and see your treadmarks imprinted into the water, it means that you have traction and your tires are channeling away all the water under your tires.

If you are hydroplaning, don't use your brakes, just let off the gas until you regain control of your vehicle.


What part of your car can make the biggest impact on your driving?

Your tires! Check them once a week to make sure that they are properly inflated, and that there are no imbedded objects such as nails or glass, or any worn or uneven spots.


Is there a "defensive" way to come to a full stop?

Yes, to do so you must slow down early and carefully.  Give the driver behind you as much notice as you can so that they too have room to stop.  You should never stop suddenly unless it is completely necessary!


For maximum safety, where should your headrests be positioned?

The headrests should be directly behind your head, and not your neck. 

The headrest is meant to prevent your head from whipping back suddenly in an accident.


Is it legal to exceed the speed limit only to pass slower traffic?

Absolutely not.  The speed limit is the speed limit; you cannot legally exceed it. 

To pass a vehicle safely, make sure there is enough room.


What precautions can you take to avoid head-on collisions?

Never drive close to the center line on curvy roads.

Always be aware of oncoming traffic as well as the way they are driving. 

Always think twice before swerving to avoid debris on the road.


What are some good tips when approaching slow or stopped vehicles?

Always slow down and be cautious when coming up on slowed or stopped vehicles.  They may be stopped due to hazards that you cannot yet see.  You should also attempt to figure out why they are stopped in case they need help.


While driving on the highway, what is the best way to conserve fuel?

Drive slowly! Driving 55 miles per hour instead of 65 will reduce your fuel consumption by 10-15%.

Along with driving slowly, always try to maintain a constant speed and use cruise control when possible. Accelerating uses much more gas than cruising.


With newer cars, what is it that you should know about idling?

Cars built these days don't need warm up, or idling time.

Prolonged idling only releases more emissions and wastes fuel. When you start your car, gently and immediately begin your driving.


To best save fuel while driving at high speeds, what should you do with your windows?

Closing your windows at high speeds allows for a more aerodynamic car, which in turn saves fuel by reducing drag.


What are some ways to make your vehicle more aerodynamic besides keeping the windows up?

Refraining from storing luggage on the roof of your vehicle, as well as taking off sports racks when you don't need them, will help decrease your vehicle's drag and save fuel.


What are some driving tips to follow to extend the life of your car?

When accelerating or braking, always do so smoothly.  Doing so saves components, as well as brakes and tires.  

You should also make sure you choose the right kind of oil for your vehicle.  And keep your tires at the correct pressure.


What is one utility on most vehicles, that by being controlled, can save up to 10 to 15% of fuel use? 

Believe it or not, your air conditioning system, under certain circumstances, generates a heavy load on your vehicle.  

If temperatures are above 80 degrees, decreasing your AC usage can save 10 to 15% of fuel.  


What is the "Green Wave," and how does riding it help your fuel economy?

Usually, traffic lights are synchronized so that if you are traveling at a certain speed, you hit all of the green lights without having to stop (hence the term "Green Wave").  

Traveling too fast means hitting red lights, as well as wasting gas accelerating after a stop.


What is the number one way to reduce fuel emissions while sitting in slow traffic on the highway?

Always remember, that slow-and-go is much more efficient than stop-and-go when in traffic.  Maintaining speed increases fuel economy.  It can actually take 20% more fuel to accelerate from a full stop than from 5 miles per hour!


What is the best way to save gas while running errands?

When running multiple errands, plan your route for the least amount of total distance--and a route that avoids traffic--to save up to 20% in gas costs.


Is cruise control an effective way to drive economically?

Cruise control works well on flat roads, where there is little or no downshifting.

On hills or mountains, using cruise control consumes more gas.


Where do cars most often idle for the longest consecutive amount of time?

At drive-through windows!

If possible, park your car and walk into that fast food restaurant to help save gas.


If an overly aggressive driver passes you, cuts in front of you, and slams on the brakes at an intersection, you should do which of the following:

  • Honk your horn and wave your hands
  • Calmly let him go with a smile
  • Do the same to him at the next light

Calmly let him go! Road rage is one of the most dangerous precursors to an accident--or worse.


What can you see and do that can help avoid accidents before they happen?

Watch the drivers around you.  Are they talking on the phone, putting on makeup, or even reading the newspaper?!

If so, they're just an accident waiting to happen; avoid them, be aware of them, and stay focused. Also be on the lookout for cars that aren't staying in one lane -- distracted drivers tend to swerve between lanes.


"I am a great driver! I've never been in an accident or received a ticket."

What's wrong with this statement?

Even the best drivers can get a ticket or get in an accident. Never be overconfident; remember to stay aware; use seatbelts; and be a defensive driver at all times! Always assume that an accident could happen at any moment.