Safe Driving Tips

Follow the posted speed limit or drive at a speed that is safe for the conditions; whichever speed is slower.

Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Keep a three second following distance between you and other vehicles. Pick a landmark. When the other car passes it start counting. Stop counting when you pass the same landmark. If there are less than three seconds between you and the vehicle you are following, you are too close. Gradually slow down until there are three seconds between your car and theirs.

When you are stopped in traffic, don’t stop too close to the car in front of you. Leave enough space so that you can see some of the pavement between your car and theirs.

Make full and complete stops at all red lights and stop signs. Check left and right and inch forward if necessary before going when safe.

Drive defensively. Scan ahead for hazards. Check left and right before going through intersections. Slow for hazards as needed. Check the mirrors often and whenever you brake.

Execute lane changes safely. Put on your turn signal, check the appropriate mirror, and turn your head and look over your shoulder for one second before you drift into a new lane. Blinker, mirror and shoulder are required in the following situations: Simple left and right lane changes, getting into turn lanes and bike lanes, merging due to lane ending including getting onto the freeway and pulling away from the curb into traffic.

Stop for pedestrians who are in the crosswalk, or for pedestrians who are waiting to cross, if safe to do so. Stop for pedestrians who are crossing against a light or outside of a crosswalk if they’ve started to cross. Wait for pedestrians to reach the curb. When leaving a parking lot or alley, stop behind the sidewalk, slowly move forward and yield to any pedestrians before proceeding.

When there is an emergency vehicle approaching with its lights and sirens on, both directions of traffic should pull over and stop.This is not necessary when the emergency vehicle is travelling away from you or when it is travelling in the opposite direction on the other side of a physical barrier. Avoid blocking the intersection when emergency vehicles approach.

Avoid blocking the intersection even if the light is green. When waiting to turn left on a green light, try to get through the intersection before the light turns red.

Don’t stop on the railroad tracks. Never try to beat the train across the tracks.

Avoid unnecessary braking and stops. This can lead to rear end collisions.

Follow the right-of-way rules. Don’t go when it’s not your turn or not safe. Avoid unnecessary hesitation or indecision.

On the driving test, when backing up straight at the curb for 60 feet, start parallel with the curb and 12 to 18 inches away from it. Start with the steering wheel straight and keep it straight as you back up. Look out the rear window until stopped. Don’t hit the curb.