Depending on the day, driving can be a pleasure or a pain. A convenient way to get from Point A to Point B, driving allows you to travel in comfort and privacy. Unfortunately, the irresponsible actions of others can sometimes lead to tension on the road. If you’ve ever found yourself screaming or making obscene gestures at another driver, or been on the receiving end of another’s road rage, you know how quickly the situation can escalate. In the future, you can take steps to quickly defuse a road rage situation and ensure that you and others arrive home safely.
Your Own Road Rage
Dealing with road rage starts with yourself and how you react to certain situations. Here are some tips on managing road rage in yourself.
Stop Road Rage Before It Starts
While anyone who drives understands how frustrating it is to be cut off or tailgated, it’s critical that you maintain your cool and refuse to respond to an aggressive driver. Make a decision before you leave the house that you are not going to let other drivers provoke you. Being aware of potential road rage situations and deciding beforehand not to engage in them is half the battle when it comes to avoiding altercations.
Defuse the Situation
If you do become angry while driving, immediately try to distance yourself from the situation by falling back from the other car or pulling off the road in a safe spot to allow the driver to pass you by. The best thing you can do to help yourself calm down and defuse the situation is to remove yourself from the vicinity of the other driver as soon as possible.
If you do become involved in an altercation with another driver after becoming angry, step back and realize that your reaction is probably out of proportion to the situation. If you are in close proximity to the driver, say in a parking lot or at a stop light, apologize to the driver or make a gesture to let them know that you regret your reaction. Even if you started out angry, you don’t have to maintain it. Stop yourself in your tracks and refuse to engage in negative behavior.
VIDEO: How To Deal With Road Rage
Another’s Road Rage
Sometimes, even if you aren’t angry or feel you did nothing wrong, road rage comes to you. Here’s how to handle a situation when someone else is having road rage towards you.
Oftentimes, being the recipient of a road rage attack can simply be avoided by respecting the rules of the road. Drive the speed limit, stop fully at stop signs and lights and never tailgate the driver in front of you. In parking lots, look before you back out and never swoop in and steal a spot that you know someone is waiting for. By being courteous and considerate to other drivers, you greatly decrease the chances that other drivers will be gunning for you.
While there’s really no good excuse for another to behave abusively toward you while driving, realize that the other driver may simply be having a bad day and that his rage at you is not personal. The other driver may have just received some devastating news, be going through a personal challenge that has him ready to snap or simply have anger issues that need to be addressed. At any rate, road rage says more about him than it does about you.
Ensure Your Own Safety
If you do become a target of a driver who is jeopardizing your safety, take immediate measures to protect yourself. Slow down or pull off of the side of the road to allow the driver to pass or give an apologetic wave if you’ve done something wrong that provoked the other driver. Simply acknowledging your mistake is often enough to take the wind out of the aggressive driver’s sails. If necessary, proceed to a safe location and phone the police about a driver who seems intent on harming you.
While road rage is never an acceptable reaction, we’re all human and we all become angry from time to time. By refusing to contribute to antagonistic situations on the road, and by avoiding causing them when you can, you’ll find driving is a more pleasurable experience overall and you’ll arrive home in one piece.
You’ve put in the hours, studied the material, and done all your homework. You’re finally set to test for your driver’s license or permit! How you perform during your driving exam will determine your eligibility for your permit, so it’s important to keep a cool head and treat it as seriously as any major exam. Here are five valuable tips that will help you prepare (and pass!) your driver’s exam, whether you’re taking it tomorrow, next week, or in the coming months.
1. Practice! Practice! And Practice Some More To Pass Your Exam On The First Try
The hard truth is that nothing can replace lots of practice. Your best bet is to be prepared in as many ways as you can. Start by getting comfortable with the vehicle that you’ll use for the exam. Practice driving, turning, and parking as much as you need to. It’s worth it to spend a few hours perfecting your mastery of these basic techniques, which will help you be successful on the big day.
With a trusted adult, take a drive around the exam area. Familiarize yourself with what speed limits, road signs, and potential hazards there are. Your helper can give you tips and reminders to sharpen your skills and boost your confidence. He or she will also be able to guide you through foggy, slippery, or icy conditions if present. Then, you won’t be tripped up if it’s rainy on the day of your exam! Of course, refrain from driving in severe weather conditions.
Always remember: Never drive (even if it’s just for practice) if you’re sick, angry, or tired. You’re more of a danger on the road than you may think!
VIDEO: Actual Behind The Wheel Driver’s License Exam
2. Review Theory and Defensive Driving Habits That Will Be On Your Driver’s License Exam
You’ll definitely want to brush up on core knowledge like road rules, traffic signals, and parking guidelines. In addition, below are some safe and defensive driving habits that should be key qualities of all smart and responsible drivers.
Check for safety and reduce distractions before you start the ignition. Walk around the vehicle and examine it for any potential safety hazards before entering it. Once your start the vehicle, make sure the dashboard isn’t showing low gas or other critical signals. As you prepare to drive, check that the trunk is shut, the doors are locked, and every passenger is wearing his or her seat belt. Adjust your seating distance and/or height, make sure you can clearly see the rear-view mirror and both side mirrors, and check that your headlights are on. Finally, set any electronic devices to silent to remove the potential noise distraction and you’re ready to roll.
After you’re finished, you’ll want to check that you’ve completely turned the vehicle off, shut and locked all the doors and that no damage has been done during operation.
3. Demonstrate Your Knowledge on the Road
This is one of the most critical portions of your exam. It’s really worth it to review correct road behavior and be able to apply it correctly when it’s time to do so.
First, be aware or your surroundings at all times. It’s extremely important to maintain proper following distance and always get a “big picture” look on the road. Is there an accident or other hazard down the road? Is there a speedy, swerving, or otherwise dangerous driver around you? Create a plan to handle these situations so you can avoid accidents and continue traveling safely.
Next, be able to recognize and adhere to all types of road signs, especially speed limit ones! While you can be penalized for driving too slowly, you’re actually breaking the law if you cross the speed limit. Limits change often and are different on main roads, highways, near residences, and in construction zones. Watch out! Stop signs are also extremely common and missing one of them can automatically fail you. Come to a short but complete stop behind the line, look both ways, and check your mirrors before proceeding. Yield signs are less common and only require you to slow down, but you must yield to other approaching vehicles even if they motion for you to go ahead. Understanding right of way rules is extremely important during your exam, even if they’re not exactly followed by others. Remember, you’re trying to demonstrate correct driving behavior to your instructor.
Finally, use proper signals to indicate your intentions. When making a turn, make sure you’re in the correct lane before turning and know which lane you’ll be turning into. Turn on your signals early and slow down to a safe speed to complete your turn. When changing lanes, turn on your signal first to let others know your intention. Then, check your mirrors and check over your shoulder for a safe opportunity to move. Remember, only complete a turn or lane change if it’s 100% clear and safe for you to do so.
If your area has railroads, roundabouts, or other special situations (i.e. a “Michigan Left”), make sure you recognize the signs and know how to handle them.
4. Know How to Park Properly Before Taking Your Driver’s License Exam
Parking is one of the largest and most critical portions of a driver’s exam. Since it’s important to get it right on your first try, you should practice all types of required parking as much as you can. Your driver’s education center will usually have cones and spaces you can use to help you. If you master these techniques, you’ll be able to score a huge chunk of points (and a huge chunk of confidence!) right away.
For most parking tasks, you’ll want to properly position your vehicle, take your time and take it slow, and generally finish with your vehicle straight. With classic (forward) parking, the instructor is looking for proper distance between your vehicle, the parking block, the parking lines, and any vehicles to your sides. These requirements are mirrored in reverse parking (backing into a parking spot), except that you’re dealing with the other end of your vehicle. During both, make sure you keep an eye on the space you’re moving into to ensure that nothing gets in the way. Parallel parking involves a lot of gear shifting and close proximity to other vehicles. You’ll want to show that you can judge the size of your vehicle, how close you can park to the curb without hitting it, and how smoothly you can slide into the parking slot. Parking generally tests your mastery in maneuvering your vehicle, so it’s important to do your very best.
Some exams include uphill and downhill parking. The key for both of these situations is to angle your wheels properly (away from the curb for uphill and towards it for downhill) and engage the parking break when you’re finished positioning your vehicle. If your curriculum includes this type of parking, make sure to review it because it does involve a few different techniques from the other types.
5. Be Comfortable and Confident During Your Exam!
Even if you’ve practiced a lot, it’s completely normal to feel nervous with the instructor in your vehicle. Remind yourself that you need to dedicate your full alertness to the road and that uncontrollable nerves can lead to simple mistakes or even accidents. Focus on your driving performance and not your stress! Help yourself to be your best on the big day.
Before anything else, eat and sleep well! It’s dangerous and distracting to drive when hungry or fatigued. Quality food and sleep will help you be calm and alert. During the exam, speak aloud to your instructor about your actions. It’s a good way to show that you understand what you’ve learned. Don’t be afraid to ask your instructor for help if any instructions were unclear, you momentarily draw a blank, or you come across an unfamiliar situation. Remember, instructors want you to succeed. Conveniently, they also have the final say on your exam and it pays to demonstrate that you can remain calm even when things don’t go as planned.
Good luck in preparing for your driver’s exam! Acquiring your permit grants you an adult responsibility, a privilege you should be proud of but one that can be taken away at any time. Do your part to keep the road safe and you’ll be able to enjoy the satisfaction and utility of driving for years to come!
The ability to thrive in Texas has always been predicated on mobility, and that includes San Antonio. Back in the old days, if you didn’t have access to a horse or a train, you couldn’t do much. Today, it’s the car that plays such an important role in the lives of people in this state, both for personal and professional reasons.
But a typical San Antonio driver has to do more than just get a license, get a car and start driving. At some point, most drivers in San Antonio will get a traffic ticket. In most cases, you can get your traffic ticket dismissed by signing up for a San Antonio approved defensive driving course. Some people in San Antonio choose to take their defensive driving course in a classroom, but most are now opting to take their San Antonio defensive driving course online.
There are ways to improve the driving experience, both for the driver and for passengers and even other vehicles on the road. Something like a school teaching online defensive driving in San Antonio is a great way for people to expand their personal and professional opportunities with a car in San Antonio, and we’re here to help you find the best online defensive driving course in San Antonio.
The 3 Best Online Defensive Driving Courses In San Antonio, Texas For 2021
Approved Course is one of the best online defensive driving courses in San Antonio. They are approved in the entire state of Texas for all court jurisdictions. No hidden fees with free certificate delivery, audio read-along, and other features that most other online defensive driving courses charge extra for.
iDriveSafely has been in business for over 20 years and have had millions of drivers go through their defensive driving, driver's ed, and traffic school courses. They offer both a text-based course as well as a video course depending on your preference. They are approved in San Antonio as well as every other city in Texas.
A Sense Of Humor is a comedy based online defensive driving course approved in San Antonio. All online defensive driving courses are boring, but this school tried to make it as entertaining and least painful as possible by using humor throughout the program. The quizzes and tests are very easy as well.
Why Take An Online Defensive Driving Course In San Antonio In 2021?
Everyone already knows that you don’t just jump into a car and start driving. It’s a learned skill, and you need to either have an experienced friend or relative teach you how to drive or get instruction from a professional to learn. Taking driver's ed when we are learning how to drive is all about the very basics of driving, how to start a car, how to brake, accelerate and properly turn. It also covers the fundamentals of driving rules, such as proper protocol at a 4-way stop, or when it’s appropriate to overtake another driver.
Online defensive driving in San Antonio does not teach these things and works under the assumption that you already know the basics, but just need a refresher. This isn’t about driving school, so much as “traffic school,” in that it’s an enrichment course. While these online defensive driving courses aren't super advanced, it's always good to freshen up on our driving knowledge from time to time. The lovely folks who run our criminal justice system believes the best time to freshen up is after receiving a traffic ticket. In exchange, they will usually dismiss the ticket, saving you money on your insurance rates and keeping your license protected. Afterall, none of us are perfect drivers. We all make mistakes every now and then.
The Benefits Of Taking A San Antonio Defensive Driving Course In 2021
When you learn online defensive driving in San Antonio you can improve your driving experience in a lot of ways. Younger drivers just learning are getting an excellent foundation in safe driving skills that will boost their safety and performance for years to come.
Older drivers can also benefit, as some insurance companies may actually provide a discount once presented with proof of having successfully learned online defensive driving in San Antonio. This is because the statistics bear out that people who take defensive driving courses and put those lessons into practice have a significantly lower chance of getting into accidents. Insurance companies feel more confident about providing services to people who have taken this extra step.
And finally, there are people that have made a few mistakes on the road and have been reprimanded with a ticket for a moving violation, as well as points on their driving record. Taking the time to attend a traffic school (called "defensive driving" in Texas) and furnishing proof of having completed the course and passing the test can get those points deducted. Too many points acquired in too short a time can lead to a license suspension, so for people that rely on their cars to do day-to-day tasks like going to work, or even driving for a livelihood, it’s important to reduce the chance of having driving privileges taken away.
Taking Online San Antonio Defensive Driving vs. Classroom Defensive Driving
If you need to take defensive driving in San Antonio, it’s important to select the right school. There’s still the traditional means of doing so, which involves going to an actual, physical school. This means needing to find one that is accessible to you, then making sure you have enough time during the days or nights to attend the classes. It’s a valid way to learn, though it requires a fair amount of commitment.
When you learn online defensive driving in San Antonio, however, you get the convenience of learning at your own pace, on your personal schedule. That’s much more flexible for more people, but it does mean you have to check the school carefully. Not all online schools offer courses approved by the Texas DMV, so be sure to confirm that a school you’re interested in is actually valid for the state of Texas. We’ve already put together a few suggestions on good places to start.
If you do want to take your defensive driving course in a classroom, here are the courses you can choose from:
Sign Up For An Approved San Antonio Defensive Driving Course With An Great User Rating
One good place to start is with ApprovedCourse.com, which is a great online defensive driving in San Antonio. For people that don’t like to read, one of the biggest advantages of this course is that you can choose an easy to digest video format. You can just click play, and “go.”
The course is very friendly for different devices, so while you can take the course on your desktop computer or laptop, you can also use your phone or tablet if you want. The course is fully certified for Texas, so you can sign up in confidence and start learning.
If you’re looking for something that’s even easier to watch, then try asenseofhumordriving.com. This is another online defensive driving in San Antonio that focuses on trying to keep the material interesting. However, the focus of this course is to try to make things as fun as possible.
As the name implies, this course for online defensive driving in San Antonio puts the emphasis on comedy. It takes the comparatively dry, more serious material of being a better, safer driver, and sprinkles it with jokes and more interesting visuals. This is another good course for people that don’t want to read.
A Defensive Driving Course With A Reputation For Quality
Our final recommendation is iDrivesafely.com which is available in multiple states, including Texas but is one of the oldest and most reputable traffic schools around. We’ve confidently recommended this course for online defensive driving in San Antonio for many years, and will probably continue to do so in the future.
In addition to an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, this course in online defensive driving in San Antonio give you options for how to study. If you prefer videos, those are available, but for people that actually feel reading is faster, a text version is available to quickly scan through. The choice is up to you.
There are many choices for Texan drivers interested in getting studying online defensive driving in San Antonio. In some cases, these courses aren’t even available to the majority of other states. So take your time, read our reviews, and make the choice that’s right for you.
You know what’s annoying? How almost every online traffic school out there markets themselves like it’ll be the best time of your life.
Let’s be honest here…
Taking traffic school sucks. If you’re searching for online traffic school reviews, that means one of 3 things:
You got a traffic ticket.
You want to get an insurance discount.
You’re old and your insurance company is forcing you to take a defensive driving course.
In other words, nobody takes online traffic school by choice. This is something most people do out of necessity.
So, when you’re looking for online traffic school reviews, what are you REALLY searching for?
Simple. You’re searching for a legit traffic school that you can take online at the lowest possible price and in the shortest amount of time.
So let’s cut to the chase, then. Listed below are the 4 fastest, easiest, and cheapest online traffic schools, period.
If you want more detailed reviews, I’ve got you covered. Keep scrolling and I’ll go over the differences of each course. Otherwise, any of these below online traffic schools will get the job done. Just go with the one that looks the best to you.
Taking Traffic School Online Vs. Traditional Classroom Courses
All states that offer online traffic school still also offer the traditional means of taking traffic school in a classroom. So, you might be wondering – is there any advantage to taking traffic school in a classroom?
Well, ok, that’s not fair. Some people just don’t like staring at a computer screen. I guess it comes down to personal preference, but really, there is no advantage at all to taking a traffic school course in a classroom.
Online traffic schools are usually:
Not in a classroom
If you really feel like getting lectured at for 6 hours on a Saturday, be my guest. Plenty of driving schools would love to take your money and lecture you.
In some states, online courses aren’t even timed, so you can just blast through the course as fast as you can (maybe an hour). Even in states where there is a course timer, you can log into and out of the courses whenever you want including from your phone, it’ll be cheap, and it’ll still be faster.
So in short, there is no real advantage to taking traffic school in a classroom unless you’re just weird. And hey, that’s alright. You be you.
Updated Online Traffic School Reviews For 2021
You might be asking yourself….
Did the dude who is writing these online traffic school reviews actually go through the online traffic schools himself to review them? Or is this just some B.S. generic review website?
Well hey… can’t it be both?!
Yes, I actually created all of these online traffic school reviews by signing up and going through every single course. Each one of them. Not only that, but about 10 years ago I helped to create various online driver training courses, so I’m intimately familiar with the companies behind these courses.
Did you know there are literally over 1,000 online traffic schools approved all over the country? No joke.
And most of them are terrible.
I’m also a former driving instructor including teaching professional drivers, CDL holders, blah, blah blah. It doesn’t really matter. The point is, these online traffic school reviews are legit and I’m about the only truly qualified “insider” to review them.
In the end, you don’t care. It’s ok, I don’t take offense.
So without further rambling by me about stuff you don’t care about, here are the best online traffic schools for 2021 if you want to get it done as quick, easy, and cheap as possible.
As you’ll see in this comparison list, some of the other online traffic schools offer fancy mobile apps, 3D animations, and even Hollywood stand-up comedians. But are you willing to spend extra money on gimmicky features like that?
Didn’t think so.
Go To Traffic School knows what you’re looking for and they don’t B.S. you about it. You’re just looking for something fast, easy, and cheap.
Well, as you can see in the list of states they are approved in, they offer traffic schools almost everywhere in the United States. Each state has its own unique course to make sure it is the fastest online traffic school allowed by state law.
If getting it done as fast as possible wasn’t reason enough to sign up with them, Go To Traffic School also has a lowest price guarantee, and they also guarantee you’ll pass the course (in some states you literally can’t fail).
This company has been around since the the late 90’s. Yeah, as in last century. They have had millions of drivers use their courses for ticket dismissal and insurance discount purposes.
With all of this in mind, Go To Traffic School is the clear winner in my book as the best online traffic school in 2021. There’s really no reason to not sign up with them.
iDriveSafely is approved in the following states for ticket dismissal:
iDriveSafely is another online traffic school that goes back decades. In the 1990’s, this company offered home-study online traffic school by sending you booklets in the mail along with a VHS tape (remember those?).
You’d then have to mail the booklet and tape back and wait for your results and completion certificate. Fortunately, it’s much easier these days.
In the year 2000 (Conan voice)iDriveSafely launched their online version of the home-study traffic school course and now operate in a growing number of states.
After decades of experience, millions of students, and consistently positive reviews, iDriveSafely has more than proven itself to be a legit online traffic school.
If you do sign up for this online traffic school, make sure you sign up for the TEXT ONLY course. They offer a video course for a few bucks more, which might sound like a less boring option, but it isn’t.
When you take the text-only traffic school, you can basically just watch a movie as you go through it without even really reading anything.
I mean if you want to actually read it all or watch hours worth of driving safety videos, more power to ya. That’s very responsible.
But for the rest of us, the quizzes are SUPER easy and open book. So just watch a movie and when you actually need to do something like take a quiz, do it in 2 minutes and get back to your movie.
With their experience, low price, and ability to basically not pay attention to the course at all, iDriveSafely is a perfect choice and a top contender for the best online traffic school in 2021.
Even though I have it a bit lower on this list, Improv Traffic School is probably my personal #1 online traffic school choice. I just love their business model.
Unlike most other online traffic schools, Improv Traffic School doesn’t pretend you’re signing up with them by choice. They know you’re doing it out of absolute necessity.
That’s why Improv Traffic School hired a bunch of Hollywood stand-up comedians to create an online traffic school. They’ve coined the term “edutainment” to describe their course. In other words, they will educate and entertain at the same time.
This online traffic school is full of funny videos, jokes, silly games, and other features to keep you laughing as you go through it.
Ironically, I’d especially recommend this online traffic school for those who plan on taking their course seriously. The comedy aspect will help keep you engaged, interested, and you’ll retain the information much better than a typical course.
Like the others on this list, Improv Traffic School has been around for decades and has had millions of drivers dismiss traffic tickets with their traffic school courses.
If you’re looking for a traffic school that’s actually entertaining, Improv Traffic School might be the best one for you in 2021.
Aceable is approved in the following states for ticket dismissal:
Aceable hasn’t been around for decades like the other traffic schools on this list, but that’s actually what makes them a great choice.
One of the biggest problems with most online traffic schools is how outdated they are. Beleive it or not, only a few online traffic schools in 2021 actually have downloadable apps to take your traffic school on your phone.
Sure, you can still access other courses from your phones web browser, but the apps that Aceable has available to download work better than any other online traffic school available today.
The bottom line is this – if you’re planning on using your phone to take the majority of your traffic school course, Aceable is the school you want to sign up for.
In addition to having the best mobile apps, Aceable is BY FAR the most modern. Most other online traffic schools look like they’re straight out of the ’90s, because that’s when most of them were developed.
Aceable was developed about 5 years ago, easily making them the most modern traffic school.
By modern traffic school, I mean it works well on all devices, has up-to-date videos, fancy in-house animated videos, and even a mascot named Ace to guide you through the whole process.
Without a doubt, Aceable is the best traffic school app in 2021.
While the online traffic school reviews listed above are by far the best online traffic schools in 2021, as I said before, there are literally over 1,000 online traffic schools that are approved for ticket dismissal. Those are hardly your only choices. So, if for whatever reason you don’t like the picks I gave above, here are some other traffic schools that you should consider…
Easy Fast Cheap Online Traffic School – This online traffic school was once a very popular online traffic school course. Over the years, the course has deteriorated somewhat as they have not kept up with technology (even their homepage looks outdated). However, it is still a fully licensed and popular traffic school.
DriversEd.com – This online traffic school began as one of the very first online driver’s ed programs available for teen drivers. Over a decade ago they also became certified to offer online traffic school courses and have obtained certifications from nearly every state. This online traffic school has also been recently updated for a better experience on mobile devices and tablets, along with some cool videos, graphics, and diagrams to help you absorb the material.
Get Defensive – This is another online traffic school that promises to have the lowest price. If you find an online traffic school at a cheaper price, you can have them match or beat the price you found. So if you are price conscious, this is another good option to consider.
Comedy Traffic School – Here is another comedy-based online traffic school to consider if you enjoy humorous traffic schools. While we personally prefer the Improv course, this one is pretty funny, too. In addition, they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and have maintained a good online reputation.
MM Traffic School – The reason I like MM Traffic School is because they are one of the few remaining traffic schools operated by a small business. Based out of San Diego, they are only available in the state of California, but this is a good course with above average customer service.
Safe2Drive – Safe2Drive gets some of the best reviews online from former customers. They are also approved in a growing number of states and have courses offered in multiple languages. Some parts of the course are getting a little outdated, but for the most part it’s higher quality than most.
Ticket Toaster – Ticket Toaster is a traffic school I’d probably have on my top recommended list except for the fact they are only approved in California. This online traffic school includes a lot of “extras” that other online traffic schools charge additional fees for. They also have a lowest price guarantee.
The Online Traffic School – One of the first online traffic schools in existence was The Online Traffic School, also called OLTS. This traffic school has a great reputation, they have been in business for many years, and are priced right. Unfortunately, they have some spammy advertising methods, but all-in-all it’s a solid choice.
Traffic School To Go – Here is yet another option of a cheap online traffic school course. You might not get all the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive online traffic schools, but this school will get the job done at low pricing.
No Stress Traffic School – Who wants traffic school to be stressful? We don’t really think this online traffic school does anything to make it less stressful, but it’s a certified online traffic school with years of experience.
Driving School Express – This online traffic school offers both text-based as well as video-based courses. It works well on mobile devices and they also offer other courses such as driver’s ed and behind-the-wheel training.
5 Dollar Traffic School – I know what you’re thinking already; “is it really just $5?” Yup! So what’s the catch? None, other than you have to live in the state of California as that is the only place they are approved. Other than that, it really is just 5 bucks!
Ticket School – Here is another online traffic school that is considered to be one of the main players. Once again, we don’t see anything too special with this traffic school, but it is a certified course and a very safe bet.
Traffic School 101 – This online traffic school is getting slightly outdated, but it is still an excellent choice as long as you are planning to complete your online traffic school from a PC (vs. a mobile device or tablet).
A Few Additional Tips For Finding A Great Online Traffic School
If you go with any of the above options, you’re going to be pretty safe. However, here are a few additional tips on finding a legit online traffic school.
Make Sure It’s Mobile-Friendly Before Signing Up
A REALLY surprising number of online traffic schools still work horribly on phones and tablets. If a traffic school’s homepage or sales pages look outdated, you can bet their course will be.
Make sure they specifically state that they are mobile friendly. If they don’t specifically state it, make the assumption that it will not work well on mobile phones.
You’d be surprised how outdated many of these online traffic schools are.
Try Out Your Online Traffic School For Free
Many online traffic schools allow you to start taking your traffic school course for free. You only pay after a certain percentage of the course is completed or sometimes until the “final exam” (I know that’s scary sounding but I promise the exam is always simple to pass).
Some online traffic schools don’t advertise that you don’t have to pay right away. So go through the payment process and see if the option is there.
Not all states allow this, but most do. So if you want a true guarantee that you’ll be happy with the traffic school you sign up for, find one that allows you to pay later.
You always want to verify that an online traffic school is certified for your exact violation and in your exact location.
Beware Of Poor Customer Service
Online traffic schools are notorious for outsourcing their customer service to crappy third party customer service firms. It’s almost unavoidable.
If you have an issue, such as getting locked out of your course, don’t expect it to get resolved right away. You may need to send an email and wait for a response from someone that actually works at the traffic school.
If this is a big concern for you, try to find a traffic school that proudly advertises that they have an in-house customer service team.
Don’t Fall For The Extras & Hidden Fees At The End
Just about every online traffic school will try to upsell you different features, both when you start the course and after you finish. For instance, they might charge $5 for a “read-along” option where it reads the text to you. Or you might be able to upgrade to a video course or some other features.
Don’t waste your money.
Seriously, it’s not worth it. Most online traffic schools take 6 hours max. No matter what, it’s going to be boring and it’s going to suck. Just take the basic course, it’s all you need.
At the end of the course, they may try to sell you “expedited processing” to process your certificate quickly. If you procrastinated and need your certificate in just a day or two, this could cost you $25 or more. So, get it done fast to avoid greatly exaggerated shipping charges.
They might also try to upsell you other crap like a “printable version” of your certificate or driving record searches or roadside assistance or any other way they can squeeze a few more bucks off of you.
Again, don’t waste your money. Get the course done early and avoid giving in to any of their marketing. None of those extras are necessary or worth it.
Make Sure The Traffic School You Sign Up For Is Actually Certified In your State
When in doubt, call your local court clerk’s office and ask! You also want to find an online traffic school that has been in business for at least 10 years (there are plenty of them around) and has a good reputation online. You can check additional online traffic school reviews here as well as on this website. You can also check for online traffic school reviews through the Better Business Bureau and local review sites such as Yelp.
Additional Tips For Taking Traffic School
Now that I’ve given you several of the best online traffic schools in 2021, a complete recommendation list with online traffic school reviews, along with over a dozen additional options, AND important things to consider when choosing an online traffic school on your own, here are even more general tips for taking traffic school.
File For An Extension With The Court If You Need To
We all procrastinate, and really, if you’re going to procrastinate anything, doing that with traffic school is certainly understandable.
If you did procrastinate too long, and suddenly you find yourself just a couple of days away from the day you’re supposed to have traffic school completed, just file an extension.
In the vast majority of cases, all you need to do is call the court clerk’s office where you received your traffic ticket (usually listed on your traffic citation), and ask for an extension. Usually, it’s a “no questions asked” yes to your request.
Do Not Ignore Your Traffic School Obligation
Procrastinating is one thing, but ignoring your traffic school entirely is a whole seperate issue.
Nobody is going to force you to take traffic school. In most cases, the court won’t even force you. But that doesn’t mean there are no consequences.
Generally, failure to complete a traffic school will result in points on your driving record and higher insurance rates. The few hours that it takes to do traffic school is well worth the consequences of ignoring it, unless you hate money and don’t care about protecting your right to drive.
Contact your Insurance Company For A Discount
Once you have your completion certificate, contact your car insurance company to see if you can get a discount on your premiums.
It doesn’t really matter if they know you took traffic school because you got a ticket. If the ticket isn’t on your record, they don’t care.
In fact, they might even give you a price break for taking traffic school.
In many states, you’re allowed to take traffic school or defensive driving every couple of years, and you get a mandatory discount on your insurance premiums. New York State is just one example.
Even in states that don’t mandate a discount, many insurance companies will give you a discount that lasts years if you show them proof you’ve completed a defensive driving course or traffic school.
Godspeed – And Slow Down!
Well, there you have it. A full list and updated online traffic school reviews for 2021.
Seriously, if you read this entire thing… What’s wrong with you?!
Most of you probably just skimmed all of this. In which case, I once again must tell you to just stick with the 4 online traffic schools I compared and recommended earlier in this long overdrawn guide.
Good luck to you, and slow down (or stop doing whatever else you did to be forced into taking traffic school).
Ahhh, the open road! If you’re a fan of traveling and particularly taking extended camping or road trips, a class A motorhome is about as luxurious as it gets.
So, you’ve saved your pennies over the years and can FINALLY afford your dream RV. You’ve done all the research, all the budgeting, talked it over with your significant other, and found your perfect motorhome. How exciting! But then it hits you…
“I have to DRIVE this thing?!? The biggest vehicle I’ve ever driven before is an SUV!”
Now, instead of imagining the wonderful times you can have in your motorhome, you are stressed about navigating city streets, merging onto busy expressways, maneuvering through tight corners in outdated RV parks, and wondering how you’ll ever be able to put the thing in reverse with your vehicle being towed behind.
As a former truck driver and CDL-A driving instructor, I can offer some pointers to help put your mind at ease.
It’s OK To Be Nervous – But Not TOO Nervous!
Whenever I was given a new truck driving student, the first thing I would try to find out was their mentality and confidence level behind the wheel. One one hand, I wanted a student who was confident, willing to learn, and safety conscious. On the other hand, I did NOT want a student who was so afraid and nervous that his or her judgement was impaired. The best students were those who were somewhere in the middle – not exactly fearless, but not crippled by their nerves, either.
The thing is – driving is dangerous. It’s the most dangerous activity we perform on a day-to-day basis and is the #1 cause of accidental death or serious injury. And that’s with your CAR! Once you jump into a huge class A motorhome, the entire playing field has changed. If you aren’t nervous driving such an enormous vehicle on public roadways, I would rather you not be on the road at all. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your journey. So, let’s dive into this a bit further.
Learn How To Use The Airbrakes Properly
While there are many variations of class A motorhomes, the vast majority of motorhomes use air brakes. Unless you have driven a commercial vehicle in the past, you likely have zero experience using air brakes. In fact, everyone who uses a vehicle with air brakes is required to pass a written and driving exam so they can get a special endorsement on their driver license… except you! That’s right – Recreational vehicles are exempt from this requirement.
Now, when using air brakes, there are a few things to keep in mind….
It takes longer for the brakes to be applied: One of the things you’ll need to get used to is the delay from the time you hit the brake pedal to the time your brakes actually are applied. It can take up to a half second to a full second for your brakes to actually be applied after depressing the brake pedal. In an emergency situation, this is an eternity. Learn to look as far down the road as possible, actively anticipate possible emergencies, and double or tripe your normal following distance.
It will take you longer to stop: This is pretty obvious but needs to be mentioned. Not only does it take your brakes longer to fully apply, but with such a heavy vehicle, it will take much, much longer for your class A motorhome to stop.
Air brakes are prone to leaks: If your air brake system develops a leak (either in the lines, the air compressor / chambers, or elsewhere) it could cause major problems. The air in the air brake system actually keeps the brakes from applying. If too much air is lost, the brakes will be applied automatically… Even if you’re traveling down the expressway at 65mph. Most class A motorhomes include an air pressure gauge on the dashboard. If that gauge shows an abnormally low amount of air pressure, pull over immediately! It is an emergency situation. Also note that rapid pumping of the brakes will eventually reduce air pressure to dangerously low levels.
ABS is much less effective: If you need to brake heavily during slippery driving conditions, be aware that your anti-lock braking system will be far less effective than in your vehicle. This increases the likelihood of losing control of your motorhome and also vastly increases the following distance.
This is NOT an all-inclusive list by any means. If you would like to do more research on how air brakes work, the absolute best place to learn is by viewing a CDL study guide and reading over the air brakes section. I particularly like the way the Illinois CDL study guide covers it.
Driving In Mountains With A Motorhome
Owning a class A motorhome gives you the ability to see all of the most beautiful areas the country has to offer. Undoubtedly, some of the most frequented areas by RVers are mountainous regions. There are a few things to keep in mind when driving in the mountains in a large vehicle like a Class A motorhome:
Brake BEFORE Turns & Hills – Since you’re driving a high-profile vehicle that is much more vulnerable to rolling over, you want to brake BEFORE turns. You may not notice them in your car, but most turns have small orange “suggested speed limit” signs. Well, you’ll want to pay attention to those now. Enter corners 10mph below that speed. As you enter the turn, you will want to be off the brakes and even accelerating slightly through the turn if possible. This will shift the weight and center of gravity on your RV in a way that will make things much more stable. You also want to brake before a downhill grade to help save on your brakes.
Brake Properly Going Downhill – If you are going down a steep hill, you’ll want to use special braking methods to avoid overheating your brakes. When brakes get too hot, they become less effective to the point they will not work at all. This is obviously a disaster scenario. To avoid having that happen, you can use a simple braking technique. Here’s how it works: Choose a “safe speed”. For this example, we’ll say your “safe speed” is 40mph. What you want to do is apply the brakes until your motorhome reaches 30mph. Then, release the brake pedal and allow your motorhome to speed up to 50mph. At that point, apply the brakes until you slow to 30mph and repeat the process as much as necessary. Using this technique will allow you to apply the brakes, but then allow the brakes to cool off before you apply them again. This is the same technique used by commercial truck drivers.
Beware Of RAPIDLY Changing Weather Conditions – I’ve seen it dozens of times driving my truck through the mountains. As you begin your climb up the mountain, you see nothing but blue skies. In an instant, you’re greeted with white-out conditions, fog, high winds, and/or blowing snow. Welcome to the mountains! Always check weather conditions along your entire route when driving through the mountains. The weather literally changes in an instant.
Keep A Longer Following Distance When Driving Your Motorhome
In driver’s ed, we learn that a 2 to 3-second following distance is adequate. As you probably know already, this is definitely not the case for a class A motorhome. So, how do you calculate a proper following distance?
To know how much space you have, wait until the vehicle ahead passes a shadow on the road, a pavement marking, or some other clear landmark. Then count off the seconds like this: “one thousand-and-one, one thousand-and-two” and so on, until you reach the same spot. Compare your count with the rule of 1 second for every 10 feet of length.If you are driving a 40-foot motorhome and only counted up to 2 seconds, you are too close. Drop back a little and count again until you have 4 seconds of following distance and remember to add 1 additional second for speeds above 40 mph. After a little practice, you will know how far back you should be. Also remember that when the road is slippery, you need much more space to stop.
Drive A Little Bit Slower Than Everyone Else
When driving a large vehicle such as a class A motorhome, you need to slow it down. It takes you longer to stop, you are more prone to losing control, and you always want your following distance to be increasing. Remember, you’re in a motorhome. It’s not all about the destination, it’s about the journey!
Also be sure to keep an eye out for special speed limits, especially if you’re towing a trailer or vehicle behind you. In some states there are split speed limits – one for regular vehicles and one for larger vehicles and vehicles with trailers. California is probably the most well known example where they have 70mph speed limits except for trucks and vehicles with trailers who need to obey the 55mph speed limit (which, by the way, is STRICTLY enforced in California).
Be Patient In Traffic With Your RV
When driving in heavy congestion, you will be cut off constantly. People will seriously put their lives at risk just so they can get in front of a large vehicle. Just stay back, leave a large gap between you and the vehicle in front of you, and accept the fact that other drivers will close that gap constantly. It’s ok – they are probably on their way to work while you’re going on vacation. Just keep safety in mind, don’t let road rage get the best of you, and relax. Staying right on the bumper of the vehicle in front of you to avoid being cut off is not only dangerous, but it doesn’t save you as much time as you think.
Watch Your Head
Class A motorhomes are allowed to reach heights of 13ft 6in. Not all class A motorhomes are this height, but most of them are close to 13ft including the air conditioning units on top. Unfortunately, not all bridges in the United States are 13ft 6in tall. While you are safe on expressways, country roads and city streets are a whole different ballgame and striking a bridge is extremely costly at best, especially if you damage the bridge.
Don’t Mess With Wind When Driving An RV
You probably have never paid much attention to high wind warnings or advisories, but TRUST me, you do not want to drive your class A motorhome in very windy conditions, particularly if it is a crosswind (coming at you from the right or left vs front or back). We’ve all heard the warnings saying “travel for high profile vehicles is not recommended.” Well, guess what… That’s you! Please head these warnings. They are there for good reason. It’s just not worth the risk.
Snowstorm? Forget About Driving Your Motorhome
There is absolutely no reason to be on the roadways in a class A motorhome during a snowstorm. While a little snow can be managed, motorhomes are notoriously unstable and very dangerous during snowy or icy conditions. I’m not even going to give you any tips on driving a class A motorhome in the snow. Just don’t do it.
Making Right Turns Is Especially Hazardous When Driving A Large Vehicle
When you are making a right turn, you need to keep a very close watch on your rear tires as they will take a more inward track than your front tires. Also be very, very careful about other vehicles attempting to pass you on your right side as you’re making the turn. This is perhaps the #1 cause of accidents between cars and large vehicles.
Navigating Campgrounds & RV Parks Can Be Stressful
You would think campgrounds and RV parks would have more than enough room for you to navigate. Not so! You will quickly find that many of these places are extremely tight leaving you just barely enough room to maneuver. This is especially apparent in older state and national parks. Always remember this acronym: GOAL
Whether you’re taking a tight corner or backing into your space at the campground, always remember to GOAL if you are uncertain. This is rule #1 for commercial truck drivers. Never take a chance – EVER.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask your significant other or passengers for help. Having a spotter available is infinitely helpful. You can use two way radios or even cell phones to help communicate as your spotter assist you in maneuvering.
Buy Some Cones And Practice, Practice, Practice!
Perhaps the best advice I can give is to buy about 10 traffic cones, find a large open parking lot, and practice. Learn how to maneuver your motorhome, how to back it up properly, how to parallel park with it, etc. You can read as many articles as you want and you can watch as many videos as you can, but nothing will prepare you like real world experience.
Also remember that many local RV dealerships offer motorhome training classes. You can also go to just about any truck driving school and ask if they would help you learn how to operate your rig. Most truck driving instructors would jump at the chance to help (for a price, of course!).
Last but not least, have fun! Traveling around in an RV is a dream for so many people. The fact you get to have the RV experience in a large motorhome is something to be cherished. So yes, please be safe (and even be a little bit nervous to drive such a big vehicle), but also have a great time. Crusin’ around in a class A motorhome is THE LIFE!
This short guide will cover the basics of sharing the road with railroad and emergency vehicles.
Buses, Streetcars, and Trolleys
Do not drive through a safety zone. This is a space set aside for pedestrians and marked by raised buttons or markers on a roadway.
When people are boarding or leaving a streetcar or trolley where there is no safety zone, stop behind the vehicle’s nearest door or vehicle platform and wait until the people have reached a safe place.
When a bus, streetcar, or trolley is stopped at a safety zone or at an intersection where traffic is controlled by a police officer or traffic signal, you may pass at no more than 10 mph.
Do not overtake and pass any light rail vehicle or streetcar on the left side, whether it is moving or standing.
When you are on a one-way street.
When the tracks are so close to the right side that you cannot pass on the right.
When a traffic officer directs you to pass on the left.
Light Rail Vehicles
Light-rail vehicles have the same rights and responsibilities on public roadways as other vehicles. Although everyone must follow the same traffic laws, light-rail vehicles require exceptional handling ability because of their size.
Safely share the road with light-rail vehicles by:
Being aware of where light-rail vehicles operate. Buildings, trees, etc., cause blind spots for the trolley operator.
Never turning in front of an approaching light-rail vehicle.
Do not turn in front of light rail vehicles
Maintaining a safe distance from the light-rail vehicle if it shares a street with vehicular traffic.
Safety Zones are marked by dotted white lines
Looking for approaching light-rail vehicles before you turn across the tracks. Complete your turn only if a signal indicates you may proceed.
NOTE: Light-rail vehicles can interrupt traffic signals. Do not proceed until the signal light indicates you may proceed.
You must yield the right-of-way to any police vehicle, fire engine, ambulance, or other emergency vehicle using a siren and red lights. Drive to the right edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle(s) have passed. However, never stop in an intersection. If you are in an intersection when you see an emergency vehicle, continue through the intersection and then, drive to the right as soon as it is safe and stop. Emergency vehicles often use the wrong side of the street to continue on their way. They sometimes use a loud speaker to talk to drivers blocking their path.
Yield to Emergency Vehicles
You must obey any traffic direction, order, or signal given by a traffic or police officer, or a firefighter even if it conflicts with existing signs, signals, or laws.
It is against the law to follow within 300 feet behind any fire engine, police vehicle, ambulance, or other emergency vehicle with a siren or flashing lights (CVC §21706).
If you drive for sight-seeing purposes to the scene of a fire, collision, or other disaster, you may be arrested. Casual observers interfere with the essential services of police, firefighter, ambulance crews, or other rescue or emergency personnel.
To reduce the chance of having a collision with a large truck or RV, you must be familiar with a big rig’s physical capabilities and how it maneuvers.
Large Trucks Take Much Longer To Stop
Large trucks take longer to stop than vehicles traveling at the same speed. The average passenger vehicle traveling at 55 mph can stop within 400 feet. However, a large truck traveling at the same speed can take almost 800 feet to stop. Do not move in front of a large truck and suddenly slow down or stop. The trucker will not be able to stop quickly enough to avoid crashing into you.
Trucker’s Blind Spots – The “No Zone”
Shaded areas are the driver’s blind spots.
Passenger vehicle drivers incorrectly assume that a trucker can see the road better because he or she is higher off the road. While truckers do have a better forward view and bigger mirrors, they still have large blind spots and your vehicle can get lost in those blind spots. If you stay in those blind spots, you block the trucker’s ability to take evasive action to avoid a dangerous situation. Generally speaking, if you cannot see the truck driver in his or her side mirror, he or she cannot see you. These blind spots are often called the “NO ZONE.”
Large Vehicles Make Wide Turns
When a vehicle makes a turn, the rear wheels follow a shorter path than the front wheels. The longer the vehicle, the greater the difference in the turning path. This is why big rig drivers must often swing wide to complete a right turn. When you follow a big rig, look at its turn signals before you start to pass. If the truck appears to be turning left, check the turn signals again; the driver may actually be turning right but first swinging wide.
Maneuverability Of Large Vehicles
Trucks are not as maneuverable as passenger vehicles. Large trucks have longer stopping and starting distances. They take more space for turns and they weigh more. When no signs are posted, these vehicles must be driven in the right hand traffic lane or as close as possible to the right edge of the roadway. On a divided highway with four (4) or more traffic lanes in one direction, these vehicles may also be driven in the lane just to the left of the right hand lane.
Avoid these mistakes when driving around large trucks:
Cutting off a truck in traffic or on the highway to reach an exit or turn. Cutting into the open space in front of a truck is dangerous. Trying to beat a truck through a single-lane construction zone, for example, removes the truck driver’s cushion of safety and places you and others in danger. Slow down and take your turn entering the construction zone. Do not speed up to pass a truck, so you can exit the roadway. Take a moment to slow down and exit behind a truck—it will only take you a few extra seconds.
Lingering alongside a truck when passing. Always pass a large truck on the left side, and after you pass the truck, move ahead of it. Do not linger. Otherwise, you make it very difficult, if not impossible, for the trucker to take evasive action if an obstacle appears in the road ahead.
Following too closely or tailgating. When you follow so closely behind a truck that you cannot see the truck driver’s side-view mirrors, the trucker cannot see you and has no way of knowing you are there. Tailgating a truck, or any vehicle is dangerous because you take away your own cushion of safety if the vehicle in front of you stops quickly.
Underestimating the size and speed of an approaching tractor-trailer. A large tractor-trailer often appears to be traveling at a slower speed because of its large size. Many collisions involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck occur at intersections when the passenger vehicle driver did not realize how close the truck was or how fast it was traveling.
In this guide, we’ll go over how to properly position your vehicle while driving.
Following distance makes a huge difference when driving. Here are some things to consider when determining your driving distance.
Taking Dangers One at a Time
Suppose there is an oncoming vehicle to your left and a child on a bicycle to your right. Instead of driving between the vehicle and the child, take one danger at a time. First, slow down and let the vehicle pass. Then, move to the left to allow plenty of room to pass the child.
Splitting the Difference
Sometimes there will be dangers on both sides of the road at the same time. For example, there will be parked cars to the right and oncoming cars to the left. In this case, the best thing to do is “split the difference.” Steer a middle course between the oncoming cars and the parked cars.
If one danger is greater than the other, give the most room to the most dangerous situation. Suppose there are oncoming cars on your left side and a child on a bike on your right side. The child is more likely to make a sudden move. Therefore, slow down, and if safe, use as much of your lane to the left as possible until you pass the child.
Persons Who Present Dangers to Drivers
Increase your following distance and allow a bigger space cushion for drivers who may be potentially dangerous. Persons who present dangers are:
Drivers who cannot see you because their view is blocked by buildings, trees, or other cars.
Drivers backing out of driveways or parking spaces.
Drivers who pass you when there is a curve or oncoming vehicle(s) ahead.
Drivers about to be forced into your lane to avoid a vehicle, a pedestrian, a bicyclist, an obstruction, or because of fewer lanes ahead.
Pedestrians with umbrellas in front of their faces or hats pulled down over their eyes.
Distracted people, such as:
Distracted pedestrians, such as those on the phone or texting.
Children, who often run into the street without looking.
Drivers talking on cell phones or speaking to their passengers.
Drivers taking care of children, eating, or looking at maps while driving.
Confused people, such as:
Tourists, often at complicated intersections.
Drivers who are looking for a house number or who slow down for no apparent reason.
Merging In/Out Of Traffic
Whenever you enter traffic, signal and be sure you have enough room to safely enter the lane. You have to share space with traffic already on the road, and you must know how much space you need to merge with traffic, cross or enter traffic, and exit out of traffic.
Space to Merge
Enter the freeway at or near the speed of traffic. (Remember that the maximum speed allowed is 65 mph on most freeways.) Do not stop before merging into freeway traffic, unless it is absolutely necessary. Freeway traffic has the right-of-way.
Any time you merge with other traffic, you need a gap of at least four seconds, which gives both, you and the other vehicle, only a two-second following distance. When it is safe, go back to following the “three-second rule” (refer to the “Do not be a tailgater” section).
Do not try to squeeze into a gap that is too small. Leave yourself a big enough space cushion.
Watch for vehicles around you. Use your mirrors and turn signals. Turn your head to look quickly over your shoulder before changing lanes or merging in traffic. Leave three seconds of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Make sure you can stop safely, if necessary.
If you need to cross several freeway lanes, cross them one at a time. If you wait until all of the lanes are clear, you may cause traffic delays or a collision.
Space to Cross or Enter
Whenever you cross or enter city or highway traffic from a full stop, you will need a large enough gap (from vehicles approaching in either direction) to get up to the speed of other vehicles. You need a gap that is about:
Half a block on city streets.
A full block on the highway.
If you are crossing lanes or turning, make sure there are no vehicles or people blocking the path ahead or to the sides of your vehicle. You do not want to be caught in an intersection with traffic coming at you.
Even if you have the green light, do not start across the intersection, if there are vehicles blocking your way.
When turning left, do not start the turn just because an approaching vehicle has its right turn signal on. The driver may plan to turn just beyond you, or the signal may have been left on from an earlier turn. This is particularly true of motorcycles. Their signal lights often do not turn off automatically. Wait until the other driver actually starts to turn before you continue.
Space to Exit
When you plan to exit the freeway, give yourself plenty of time. You should know the name or number of the freeway exit you want as well as the one that comes before it. To exit safely:
Signal, look over your shoulder, and change lanes one at a time, until you are in the proper lane to exit the freeway.
Signal your intention to exit for approximately five seconds before reaching the exit.
Be sure you are at the proper speed for leaving the traffic lane—not too fast (so you remain in control) and not too slow (so the flow of traffic can still move freely).
Passing Other Traffic
Space and Speed to Pass
Always signal before passing. Do not pull out to pass unless you know you have enough space to pull back into your lane.
Avoid passing other vehicles, including motorcycles and bicycles, on two-lane roads; it is dangerous. Every time you pass, you increase your chances of having a collision. However, when you pass a bicyclist, be patient. Slow down and pass him/her only when it is safe, allowing for a minimum of three (3) feet between your vehicle and the bicyclist where possible.Do notpass a bicyclist unless it is safe to do so and do not squeeze the bicyclist off the road.
At highway speeds of 50–55 mph, you need a 10–12 second gap in oncoming traffic to pass safely. At 55 mph, you will travel over 800 feet in 10–12 seconds; so will an oncoming vehicle. That means you need over 1,600 feet (or about one-third of a mile) to pass safely. It is harder to see and judge the speed of oncoming vehicles that are traveling one-third of a mile or more away from you.
You must judge whether or not you have enough room to pass whenever you approach:
An oncoming vehicle.
A hill or a curve.
A road obstruction.
Do not pass:
If you are approaching a hill or curve and you cannot see if there is another vehicle approaching.
Within 100 feet of an intersection.
Vehicles appear to move slower than they really are moving. A vehicle that is far enough away generally appears to be standing still. In fact, if you can see it moving closer to you, it is probably too close for you to start to pass.
Space to Return
Before you return to your driving lane, be sure you are not dangerously close to the vehicle you have just passed. One way to do this is to look for the vehicle in your inside rearview mirror. When you can see both headlights in your rearview mirror, you have enough room to return to your driving lane. Do not count on having enough time to pass several vehicles at once or that other drivers will make room for you.
This guide will cover the horn, headlight, and emergency signal laws in California.
Horn, Headlights, and Emergency Signals
Use Your Horn
Only when necessary, to avoid collisions.
To try to get “eye contact” with other drivers. You may tap your horn to alert another driver who might turn in front of you and cause a collision.
On narrow mountain roads, where you cannot see at least 200 feet ahead of your vehicle.
Don’t Use Your Horn
If a driver or bicyclist is going slowly, and you want him or her to drive faster or get out of your way. The driver or bicyclist may not be able to safely go faster, due to illness, being lost, intoxication, or having mechanical problems with the vehicle.
To alert other drivers that they made a mistake. Your honking may cause them to make more mistakes or to become angry and retaliate.
Because you may be angry or upset.
To honk at pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists unless necessary to avoid a collision. Remember that your horn sounds much louder outside a vehicle.
NOTE: Honking your horn may startle other drivers. It is safer to slow down or stop instead of honking your horn.
Use Your Headlights
When it is cloudy, raining, snowing, or foggy. If weather conditions require you to use your windshield wipers, you must turn on your low-beam headlights — it’s the law.
On frosty mornings, when other drivers’ windows may be icy or “fogged.”
Any time conditions (clouds, rain, snow, dust, smoke, fog, etc.) prevent you from seeing other vehicles. Other drivers may have trouble seeing you, too.
On small country or mountain roads, even on sunny days. This helps other drivers see you and may help you avoid a head-on crash.
When necessary to get another driver’s attention.
Use Your Emergency Signals
If you can see a collision ahead, warn the drivers behind you by turning on your emergency flashers or tapping your brake pedal quickly three or four times. You can also use the hand signal when slowing and stopping.
Never stop on the road, unless necessary for safety or to obey a law. If you need to stop, then start braking early as a signal to the cars behind you. If your vehicle breaks down on the road, make sure that other drivers can see it. If you experience vehicle trouble, and need to stop, follow these rules:
Pull off the road away from all traffic, if possible.
If you cannot get completely off the road, stop where people can see you and your vehicle from behind. Do not stop just over a hill or just around a curve.
Turn on your emergency flashers if you are not moving. If your vehicle doesn’t have emergency flashers, turn signals may be used instead.
If it is safe, lift the hood to signal an emergency.
Give other drivers plenty of warning. Place emergency flares or triangles 200–300 feet behind the vehicle. This allows other drivers time to change lanes, if necessary. Be very careful when using flares. They may cause fires, especially when used near flammable liquids.
If you do not have emergency flares, follow the rules listed above and stay in your vehicle until help arrives. Be careful for your safety and stay off the road. Remember: Do not try to change a tire if it means you have to stand in a traffic lane.
Text Messaging and Cell Phones
It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communication device to write, send, or read text messages, instant messages, and e-mailsunless you are 18 years of age or older and using an electronic wireless communications device designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to text-based communications when operating a vehicle.
Although hands-free devices are permitted (except for minors), drivers should minimize distractions to focus on safe driving practices.
Call for help in emergencies only.
If your cell phone rings, do not answer it. Let the call go to voicemail if you have this feature.
If you must make a call, pull safely off the road and stop before making the call.
Keep telephone conversations short or if possible, have a passenger make the call.
Here is a quick guide on California vehicle turn signal laws.
Signaling Laws In California
Always signal when turning left or right, changing lanes, slowing down, or stopping; it lets other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians know your intentions.
Signals may be given by hand-and-arm positions or by using the vehicle’s signal lights. If bright sunlight makes the signal lights hard to see, also use hand-and-arm signals.
SLOW OR STOP
Motorcyclists often use hand signals to make themselves more visible. Bicyclists may give right turn-signals with their right arm held straight out, pointing right.
During the last 100 feet before reaching the turning point (left or right turn). Caution!—Even though you signal, do not automatically assume that the space you want to occupy is clear.
Before every lane change. Check your mirrors, look over your shoulder, and check your blind spot before changing lanes.
At least five seconds before you change lanes on a freeway.
Before pulling next to the curb or away from the curb.
When you change directions.
Even when you do not see other vehicles. A vehicle you do not see may suddenly appear and hit you.
If you plan to turn beyond an intersection, start signaling when you are in the intersection. If you signal too early, the other driver may think you plan to turn into the intersection and he or she may pull out in front of you.
Remember to cancel your signal after turning.
Steering Control – Modern vehicles require very little effort to turn. Look at the steering wheel as a clock face and place your hands at 9 and 3 o’clock or slightly lower at around 8 and 4 o’clock. These are the desired hand positions that reduce the possibility of turning the wheel too sharply.
To reduce forearm and hand injuries, your hands should be placed on the lower half of the steering wheel, with your knuckles on the outside of the wheel, and your thumbs stretched along the rim of the steering wheel.
Pull-Push Steering – Use pull-push steering for most turning maneuvers. Pull down with one hand and push up with the other. This results in smooth steering and reduces the potential for over steering, which can lead to loss of control. Keep your hands and thumbs on the outside of the wheel.
Hand-Over-Hand Steering – Use hand-over-hand steering when steering movements are critical, such as when:
Performing sharp right turns.
Correcting a skid.
Use quick movements on entry to the maneuver, and then use slow, smooth movements when straightening the wheel.
One-Hand Steering–Use one-hand steering for:
Backing maneuvers that do not require full left or right turns, or
When operating vehicle controls for information, safety, or comfort.