arkansas driver license study guide

arkansas driver license study guide
ARKANSAS DRIVER LICENSE
STUDY GUIDE
VOLUME 1 - EDITION 7
APRIL 2012
LITTERING:
IT’S AGAINST THE LAW.
With a driver license comes the responsibility of being familiar with
the laws of the road. As a driver you are accountable for what may be
thrown from the vehicle onto a city street or state highway.
8-6-404 PENALTIES
(a)(1)(A)(i) A person convicted of a violation of § 8-6-406 or § 8-6-407 for a first offense
shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor and shall be fined in an amount of not
less than one hundred dollars ($100) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(ii) An additional sentence of not more than eight (8) hours of community service shall
be imposed under this subdivision (a)(1)(A).
(B)(i) A person convicted of a violation of § 8-6-406 or § 8-6- court shall have his or her driver's license suspended for six
407 for a second or subsequent offense within three (3) years (6) months by the Department of Finance and Administration,
of the first offense shall be guilty of an unclassified upon receipt of an order of denial of driving privileges from the
misdemeanor and shall be fined in an amount of not less than court pursuant to this section.
two hundred dollars ($200) and not more than two thousand 8-6-407 COMMERCIAL REFUSE HAULING BY
dollars ($2,000).
UNCOVERED VEHICLES
(ii) An additional sentence of not more than twenty-four (24) It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commercial or
hours of community service may be imposed under this for-hire hauling to operate any truck or other vehicle within
subdivision (a)(1)(B).
this state to transport litter, trash, or garbage unless the
(2) In addition to those penalties, any violator may also be vehicle is covered to prevent its contents from blowing,
required to remove litter from alongside highways and at dropping, falling off, or otherwise departing from the vehicle.
other appropriate locations for any prescribed period.
In addition, any person operating his own truck or other
(b) Any person who violates § 8-6-406 or § 8-6-407 and who vehicle to transport litter, trash, or garbage shall take
is found to have committed the prohibited acts in furtherance reasonable steps to prevent its contents from blowing,
of or as a part of a commercial enterprise, whether or not that dropping, falling off, or otherwise departing from the vehicle.
enterprise is the disposal of wastes, shall be guilty of However, no vehicle hauling predominately metallic material
commercial littering and shall be guilty of a Class A shall be required to be covered if it is loaded in a manner
misdemeanor. Additionally, those convicted may be required which will prevent the material from falling or dropping from
to remove any litter disposed of in violation of this subchapter. the vehicle.
(c) Any person who violates any provision of § 8-6-408 shall
8-6-408 DISCARDING CERTAIN ITEMS PROHIBITED
be guilty of:
(1) An unclassified misdemeanor for a first offense and shall It shall be unlawful for any person to place or cause to be
be fined one thousand dollars ($1,000) and sentenced to one placed any junk motor vehicle, old vehicle tire, or inoperative
or abandoned household appliance, or part thereof, upon the
hundred (100) hours of community service; and
right-of-way
of any public highway, upon any other public
(2) A Class A misdemeanor for a second or subsequent
property,
or
upon any private property which he does not
offense.
own,
lease,
rent,
or otherwise control, unless it is at a salvage
(d)(1) All or any portion of the fines, community service, and
yard,
a
permitted
disposal site, or at the business
imprisonment penalties provided by this section may be
establishment
of
a
demolisher.
suspended by the judge if the violator agrees to remove litter
from alongside highways and at other appropriate locations 8-6-409 PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE AGAINST DRIVERS
If the throwing, dumping, or depositing of litter was done from
for a prescribed period.
(e) In addition to all other penalties, any person convicted of a motor vehicle, except a motor bus, it shall be prima facie
a violation of § 8-6-406 or § 8-6-407 who fails to pay any fines evidence that the throwing, dumping, or depositing was done
by the driver of the motor vehicle.
assessed in accordance with the findings and orders of the
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE DRIVER LICENSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Keeping the Driver License . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Accepted Identification List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Applicants Under Eighteen Years of Age . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
BEFORE YOU DRIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Planning the Trip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Inspecting the Vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Keeping Your Field of Vision Clean and Clear . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Adjusting Driver Seat and Mirrors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Use of Safety Belts and Child Restraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
The Law on Littering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Unattended Children and Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
RULES OF THE ROAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Construction/Maintenance Zone Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Traffic Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Lighted Traffic Signals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Traffic Signs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Pavement Markings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Right Of Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Intersections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Passing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Emergency Vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
School Buses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Parking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
AR Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities . . . . .23
PRACTICE THE RULES OF SAFE DRIVING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Operating the Motor Vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Starting the Vehicle Engine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Acceleration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Steering the Vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Monitoring Vehicle Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Stopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Remaining Alert and Avoiding Distractions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Looking Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Looking to the Sides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Intersections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Looking Behind. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Changing Lanes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Slowing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Backing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Moving Along Steep Inclines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
See and Be Seen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
External Vehicle Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Warning Horn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Emergency Signals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
Blind Spots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Let Other Drivers Know Your Intentions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Signaling to Change Directions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Signaling to Slow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Adjusting the Vehicle Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
Adjusting to Road Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
Slippery Road . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
Water Over the Roadway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Adjusting to the Flow of Traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Keeping Pace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Merging With Traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Exiting the Traffic Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Slow Moving Traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Trouble Spots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Visibility and Reaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Darkness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Rain, Fog or Snow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Hills and Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Parked Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Sight Distance Rule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Speed Limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Distance and Reaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Following Distance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Slippery Roads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
The Driver Behind You Wants to Pass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Following Motorcycles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Towing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Poor Visibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Being Followed Too Closely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Following Emergency Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Approaching Railroad Crossings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Stopping on an Incline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
The Safety Cushion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Traffic to the Rear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Traffic to the Side . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Merging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Intersecting Traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Passing Distance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Oncoming Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Hills and Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Intersections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Lane Obstructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Beware – Unusual Traffic Circumstances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Individuals Who Cannot See You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Individuals Who Are Distracted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Individuals Who May Be Disoriented or Confused . . . . . . . .42
Consideration of Other Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
TRACTOR TRAILER RIGS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW . . . .42
Braking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Turning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Avoiding the Tractor-Trailer “No
Manuverability . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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.42
.42
.43
.44
SHARING THE ROAD WITH BICYCLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44
Safety Tips For Motor Vehicle Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
Residential Areas Are Danger Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
Lane Positions for Bicycles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
DRIVING FITNESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Peripheral Vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Judging Distance and Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Night Vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Hearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Fatigue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Drinking and Driving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
Alcohol Impairment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
Body Metabolism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
Alcohol and the Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
Other Types of Drugs and Driving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50
Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50
Epilepsy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50
Diabetes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
Heart Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
Emotional Distress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
EMERGENCIES
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
Vehicle Emergencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
Brake Failure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
Blowouts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
Engine Failure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
Headlight Failure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
Faulty Accelerator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
Avoiding Collision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
Stopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
With ABS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
Without ABS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
Turning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
With ABS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
Without ABS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
Accelerating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
Skids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
Protect Yourself . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54
Rear Impact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54
Side Impact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
Front Impact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
Traffic Crashes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
Crash Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
Assisting the Injured . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
Keep a Record of Crash Informaiton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
SKILLS TEST GUIDELINES
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57
PLEASE RETURN THIS STUDY
GUIDE TO YOUR ARKANSAS STATE
POLICE DRIVER
LICENSE EXAMINER.
Published March 2012
This study guide offers you information about safe driving rules and practices that,
if closely followed, will serve as the foundation in preparing you to successfully pass
your written and practical driver license examinations and many safe and enjoyable
years of driving pleasures.
Be sure to read the guide thoroughly. Without becoming adequately familiar with
the information contained within the guide, you cannot pass the written test. Likewise,
you should read and understand the section describing the written and practical tests.
THE DRIVER LICENSE
Anyone who operates a motor vehicle, motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or
motorized bicycle on public highways in Arkansas is required to have a license or
certificate. In order to be legal, drivers are required to have an Arkansas driver
license if they are located in the state for more than six months as a non-resident, or
within thirty days once becoming a resident.
On July 1, 2002, Arkansas implemented a graduated driver license program.
The graduated program is explained later in this section of the study guide.
Any questions that may arise as you read about the graduated license
program should be directed to the nearest Arkansas Department of Finance
and Administration, Office of Driver Services, or through the DF&A web site
http://www.arkansas.gov/dfa/ or by telephone contact at (501) 682-7059.
The following individuals can drive on Arkansas streets and roadways provided they
have a valid license from their home state and they are at least sixteen years old.
Military – Members of the Armed Forces on active duty, or
members of foreign military on temporary duty with the U.S.
Armed Forces. Act 235 of 2005 permits U.S. military spouses to
obtain an Arkansas Driver License without testing, if the spouse
has held a driver license that expired while residing outside the
United States.
Student – Students attending classes who are considered
non-residents under rules regulating payment of tuition.
An individual may obtain a driver license if:
• You are at least fourteen years of age (restricted license).
• You are at least eighteen years of age (non-restricted license).
• You are under the age of eighteen and submit the appropriate documents
from your school (i.e. school attendance form).
• You are able to submit proof of name, residential address, and date of birth.
• You possess parental or guardian consent if under the age of eighteen.
• You pass a regular driver license test.
• You submit a valid driver license issued by another recognized licensing
authority.
1
• You are not currently under any suspension, revocation, or denial in whole
or in part by this or any other state, or one year has passed since any
revocation.
• You legally reside within the United States.
• You have not been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent, an
alcoholic, or a habitual user of illegal narcotics.
• You have no judgments pending for a moving traffic violation.
Types of Graduated Driver Licenses
An individual who does not possess an Arkansas driver license but intends to
practice their driving skills while learning to drive must first obtain an instruction
permit. Such permits are only valid while the unlicensed driver is driving with a parent,
guardian or authorized licensed driver present inside the vehicle.
Instruction Permits (except Motorcycle Permits), Learner’s Licenses, Intermediate
Licenses and Class D Licenses authorize an individual to operate an automobile or
any other four-wheel vehicle with a gross weight rating (GVWR) under 26,001 pounds,
provided the vehicle is not designed to transport sixteen or more passengers (including
the driver), and the vehicle is not transporting material defined as “hazardous material.”
For information concerning driver licensing for persons who may operate vehicles
with a GVWR over 26,000 pounds, designed to transport sixteen or more passengers
or transport “hazardous material,” please refer to the Arkansas Commercial Driver
License Manual.
Instruction Permit – This permit allows a driver to operate a motor vehicle when
accompanied by a licensed driver, twenty-one years of age or older, who is occupying
a seat beside the driver, except in the event the permit holder is operating a motorcycle.
The applicant for an instruction permit must be at least fourteen years of age. To
obtain the instruction permit, an applicant must pass the knowledge test and vision
test. If the applicant is under the age of eighteen, a consent form signed by the
applicant’s parent or legal guardian must be submitted along with grade and
attendance forms from the applicant’s high school. The permit is issued for six months
and can be renewed for an additional six month period if the applicant has not been
at fault in an accident or been convicted of a serious traffic violation within the
preceding six month period.
All passengers riding in a motor vehicle being operated by a person with an
Instruction Permit must wear safety seat belts while the vehicle is operating.
Learner’s License – This license is a restricted license issued to persons between
fourteen and sixteen years of age. The applicant must possess a valid Instruction Permit
indicating successful completion of the required knowledge, vision and skills tests.
2
The applicant must not have been at fault in a traffic crash or been convicted of a serious
traffic violation within the preceding six months prior to application. A person operating
a motor vehicle with a Learner’s License must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is
at least twenty-one years of age and all passengers riding in a motor vehicle being
operated by a person with an Instruction Permit must wear safety seat belts while the
vehicle is operating. Cellular phones are prohibited by law for telephone conversations
except for an emergency. Text messaging is also prohibited.
Intermediate License – This license is a restricted license issued to persons between sixteen
and eighteen years of age. The applicant must possess a valid Instruction Permit indicating
successful completion of the required knowledge, vision, and skills tests or a Learners
License. The applicant must not have been at fault in traffic crash or been convicted of a
serious traffic violation within the preceding six month period prior to application. All
passengers riding in a vehicle being operated by a person with an Intermediate License
must wear safety seat belts while the vehicle is operating. Cellular phones are prohibited
by law for telephone conversations except for an emergency. Text messaging is also
prohibited. A driver with an intermediate license shall not operate a motor vehicle with
more than one (1) unrelated minor passenger unless accompanied by a licensed driver
that is twenty-one (21) years of age or older who is occupying the front passenger seat of
the motor vehicle. A driver with an intermediate drivers license can not operate a motor
vehicle between the hours of 11:00 pm and 4:00 am unless accompanied by a licensed
driver twenty-one (21) years of age or older, driving to or from a school activity, church
activity, job, or because of an emergency.
Class D License – This license is a non-restricted license issued to persons eighteen years of
age or older. The applicant must possess a valid Instruction Permit indicating successful
completion of the required knowledge, vision, and skills tests or an Intermediate License.
The applicant must not have been at fault in connection with a traffic crash or been
convicted of a serious traffic violation within the preceding twelve months prior to
application. A driver of a motor vehicle who is at least eighteen (18) but under twentyone (21) years of age may use a hands-free wireless telephone or device for interactive
communication while driving. A hand-held wireless telephone can only be used for
emergencies. Text messaging is not allowed regardless of age.
Class M License – This license is a non-restricted license issued to persons sixteen years of
age or older to operate a motorcycle on public roadways. The applicant must possess a
valid Instruction Permit indicating successful completion of all required knowledge,
vision, and skills tests. The motorcycle skills test can be waived for an applicant
successfully completing a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Riders Course within the
preceding ninety day period prior to application.
Class MD License – This license is a restricted license issued to persons between fourteen
and sixteen years of age. The applicant must possess a valid Instruction Permit indicating
successful completion of all knowledge, vision, and skills tests. The motor-driven skill test
can be waived for an applicant successfully completing a Motorcycle Safety Foundation
Riders Course within the preceding ninety day period prior to application. A person
possessing a Class MD License is restricted to operating motorcycles displacing 250-cubic
centimeters or less.
Motorized Bicycles Certificate – This certificate is a restricted certificate issued to persons
fourteen years of age or older as of July 27, 72011. A person possessing a Motorized Bicycle
Certificate is restricted to operating motorized bicycles or motorcycles displacing fifty
centimeters or less. The applicant must successfully complete knowledge, vision, and skills
tests. The Motorized Bicycle Certificate skill tests can be waived for an applicant successfully
completing a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Riders Course within the preceding ninety day
period prior to application. A person possessing a Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D,
Intermediate, Learner’s, Class M or Class MD License can legally operate a motorized
bicycle or motorcycles displacing fifty cubic centimeters or less.
3
Keeping the Driver License
In order to keep your driver license, you must drive safely at all times. You can lose
your license for:
• Being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Refusing a request by a law enforcement officer to be tested for alcohol or
narcotics intoxication.
• Leaving the scene of an accident in which you are involved without
identifying yourself.
• Failing to notify the Department of Finance and Administration of a
reportable traffic crash in which you were involved.
• Giving false information when you apply for a driver license.
• Failing to show proof of financial responsibility or failing to settle a
financial judgment made against you for damages resulting from a motor
vehicle crash.
• Attempting to change the information on your license or using another
person’s license when attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverage.
• Failing to appear for re-examination when requested to do so by the
Office of Driver Services.
• Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony or cause the death of anyone in
a motor vehicle crash.
• Accumulating excessive points against your driving record.
• Allowing another person to use your driver license.
Failure to disclose any information about a previous driver license or presenting
any false information or altered documents can result in loss of future driving privileges
and/or arrest for fraudulent application.
Driver license applicants not citizens of the United States making an initial application
for an Arkansas driver license must show proof of legal presence in the United States.
Before testing can begin, the applicant must provide one of the following documents:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
United States birth certificate (original or certified copy)
U.S. Passport
U.S. Visa
Social Security Card (no metal cards)
Photo INS document (except Border Crosser)
Photo military or military dependent ID
Naturalization Certificate
4
Accepted Identification List
All applicants for an Arkansas driver license must provide proof of identification
before testing can begin. The accepted identification documents include:
• An Arkansas photo driver license or identification card
• Two Primary Documents; or
• One Primary and One Secondary Document
Primary Documents:
• Out of state driver license or state issued photo ID
• US birth certificate (original or certified copy)
• Photo INS Document (except border crosser)
• Passport (if foreign, INS Card or U.S. Visa required)
• Naturalization certificate
• Court order (must contain full name, date of birth & court seal)
• Military or Military Dependent photo ID
• Armed Forces Discharge documents
Secondary Documents:
• Employment or school photo ID
• Vehicle registration and/or title
• Bureau of Indian Affairs/Indian treaty card (no tribal cards)
• Marriage license
• Health insurance card
• IRS/State Tax Forms (W-2 Form is not acceptable)
• Court order (date of birth not present)
• Medical records (from doctor or hospital)
• Concealed Handgun License
• Certified school transcript
• Pilot license
• Parental affidavit (Parent must appear in person, proving his or her
identity and submit notarized affidavit of child’s identity. Applies to
minors only)
• Court records
• Prison release documents
Proof of legal documents may also serve as proof of identification in the appropriate
primary or secondary category. Additional documentation may be required if the
documentation submitted appears to be questionable or if the issuing agency has
reason to believe the applicant has claimed a false identity.
Applicants Under Eighteen Years of Age
Before written driver license testing can begin, applicants under the age of eighteen
must have the following documentation:
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• An original or certified copy of a BIRTH CERTIFICATE and any one (1)
secondary document issued by a different source with corresponding
identity and/or date of birth.
• SIGNATURE OF PARENT (if living) must be provided on the application
indicating the parent assumes all legal and financial responsibilities
associated with the operation of a motor vehicle by the applicant. A
step-parent or guardian may sign the application if the individual can
present court documents substantiating legal guardian status as provided
in ACA §27-16-702.
• SCHOOL ATTENDANCE & GRADE AVERAGE FORMS are mandatory
documents required to begin the testing process. These special forms are
obtained from the business office at your school. Prior to your
application inform your school’s administrative staff of your intentions to
test for a driver license and ask them to provide you with proper grade
average and attendance forms. The forms are furnished to the school
district by the Department of Education. The form must be completed at
the school office, signed by a school official, stamped with the school
seal, and must be dated no more than 30 days prior to submission of
the license application. High school diplomas and GED certificates may
also be accepted. Individuals being “home schooled” must provide proof
in the form of a notarized copy of the written notice of intent to home
school provided by the parent or guardian to the superintendent of the
local school district. Adult education program students must furnish proof
of enrollment and regular attendance in the program. Report cards are
not accepted. Likewise, the reporting forms from the local school
districts that appear to have been altered will not be accepted.
• HOME SCHOOL STUDENT FORMS are available through the Arkansas
Department of Education, Office of Home Schooling. Telephone contact
with the office can be made through (501) 682-1874. The reporting forms
must exhibit a legal notary seal when submitted with a license
application.
Failure to disclose any information about a previous driver license or presenting
any false information or altered documents to the examiner may result in loss of future
driving privileges and/or the applicant being arrested for fraudulent application.
Before any skills test is administered, the applicant must show proof of insurance and
have a current vehicle registration certificate for the vehicle to be used during the skills test.
BEFORE YOU DRIVE
Before you drive take the time to honestly assess whether your trip is necessary,
especially during bad weather or when driving may be hazardous. If you drive, your safety
and that of the public depends greatly on what you do before driving, including
6
adjusting your seat and mirrors, using safety belts, checking your vehicle, maintaining
a clear view outside the vehicle, and securing the vehicle.
Planning the Trip
There are ways you can help reduce your driving costs. First, determine your overall
transportation needs and consider the following:
• Plan the trip, no matter the distance. Planning reduces driving distance
and stress.
• Use public transportation whenever it is available.
• Avoid driving during periods of heavy traffic. It causes stress on the driver
and the vehicle.
• Use carpools and share rides whenever possible.
• Plan and combine your trips. Make a list of the things you need and the
places you need to go. Go to as many places as possible on any one trip.
Take the shortest distance between locations. Attempt to reduce the
number of places you need to go.
• When picking up packages or specialty items, call ahead to your
destination and confirm whether the items you need are available.
By doing these things you can help reduce the amount of traffic on the road, reduce
your travel costs, and save yourself time and effort.
Inspecting the Vehicle
How safely you may complete a trip begins with the condition of the vehicle you
plan to drive.
A vehicle in poor operating condition is unsafe and likewise more costly to operate.
Such vehicles are more likely to become disabled along the highway or cause
a collision. Vehicles in sub-standard operating condition may not properly respond to
a driver’s reaction while attempting to avoid an imminent emergency or collision.
A vehicle in good operating order will always provide an extra margin of safety.
Exercise the safety recommendations that are specific to your vehicle. This very
important information as well as the prescribed routine maintenance schedule for your
car can be found in the operating handbook. It’s a good idea to become familiar with
the handbook and learn the unique operating features of the vehicle, especially those
relating to emergencies such as a flat tire.
Some of the maintenance functions can be performed by the vehicle operator,
however it is important to appreciate the safety value found in a certified mechanic who
will inspect and/or make repairs to your vehicle.
A few extra minutes checking the following items may prevent the need for roadside
assistance from a mechanic, avoid a traffic crash or even save your life or another.
7
Braking system – Only the brakes installed by a vehicle manufacturer can safely stop
the vehicle. It is very dangerous if you attempt to drive a vehicle and the brakes are not
working properly. If the brakes are not working properly, or even if you think the brake
system is not functioning as it should, you should not drive the vehicle until it can be
inspected or repaired by a certified mechanic. Some indicators of problems with the
braking system include noise from under the vehicle when the brake pedal is depressed,
a foul odor during heavy braking or depressing the brake pedal with little or any
breaking action.
Lights – Make sure that turn signals, brake lights, tail lights, and headlights are operating
properly. These should be checked from outside the vehicle. Brake lights indicate to
other road users that you are stopping, and turn signals indicate the direction you will
turn. A misaligned headlight may be aimed in the direction it does not help you or
temporarily blind other drivers. If you are having trouble clearly seeing the roadway at
night, or if other drivers of opposing traffic are flashing their headlights as you pass,
it may be time to have a mechanic check the headlights.
Windshield and Wipers – Damaged glass can break more easily in a minor collision
or when an object hits the windshield. Have a damaged windshield repaired or
replaced. Windshield wipers keep the rain and snow off the windshield while you’re
driving. Make sure the wiper blades are in good condition and replace the blades
regularly.
Tires – Worn or bald tires may increase your stopping distance and make turning
more difficult especially on a wet street or highway. Unbalanced tires and low inflation
pressure cause faster tire wear, reduce fuel economy, and make the vehicle harder to
steer and stop. If the vehicle bounces, or the steering wheel shakes, or the vehicle pulls
to one side, have a mechanic check the tires and suspension. Worn tires can cause
hydroplaning and increase the chance of a flat tire during a trip. Keep an air pressure
gauge in the vehicle glove box and check the tire air pressure regularly. Always check
the pressure before the vehicle is operated while the tires are cold. Use information
from the vehicle owner’s manual for proper inflation pressure. The tire tread can be
checked for proper depth by using a penny. Place the coin with Abe Lincoln’s head first
between the tread grooves. If the tread does not come up to or cover Lincoln’s head,
the tire is not safe and should be replaced.
Steering System – If the steering is not working properly or difficult to control the
direction of the vehicle or if the vehicle does not turn when the steering wheel is first
moved, have the steering mechanism checked by a mechanic.
Suspension System – The suspension helps the driver control a vehicle and provides
a comfortable ride over a variety of road surfaces. If the vehicle bounces a lot and
continues to bounce after passing over a bump or after the vehicle comes to a stop, you
may need new shock absorbers or other suspension system parts.
Exhaust System – The exhaust system helps remove toxic gases from the engine, aids
in the reduction of noise from the engine, and helps cool the hot gases from the
running engine. Fumes from a leaky exhaust can cause death in a very short time.
8
Never allow the engine to idle in your garage or sit in the car while the motor is idling
without opening a window. During extended winter travel it’s a good idea to
occasionally open a window and allow fresh air to fill the cabin of the vehicle avoiding
any risk of toxic exhaust fumes filtering into the moving vehicle.
Engine – An engine not properly maintained may lose power needed for routine
driving or in a worst case situation, when the driver needs power to avoid an imminent
crash or emergency. Poorly maintained engines also tend not to start easily, offer less
than acceptable fuel economy and pollute the environment. Always follow the
prescribed procedures for routine maintenance found in the vehicle owner/operator
handbook.
Loose Objects – Always be aware of what items may be in the vehicle you’re driving.
Make sure the there are no loose packages or other objects that could become
dangerous projectiles that could strike you or a passenger in the event of a sudden
stop or crash. Keep the floor of the vehicle clear of anything that could roll under the
brake pedal preventing the brake from operating at its maximum effectiveness.
Horn – It may not seem that the warning horn would be an important part of the
vehicle safety package, but this device could save your life. It should only be used as
a warning to others.
Keeping Your Field of Vision Clean and Clear
Being able to clearly see what’s outside your vehicle while you’re driving is probably
the best defense there is to prevent a traffic crash. It is important that the driver’s view
through all windows of the vehicle is unobstructed with a clear field of vision for the
driver to see the rearview mirror and both side view mirrors. Likewise, your headlights
and warning lights should also be unobstructed and clear of dirt and debris. Here are
a few tips to remember that may help you:
• Keep the windshield clean. Bright sun or headlights on a dirty windshield
make it difficult to see. Carry liquid cleaner and a paper or cloth towel so
you can clean your windshield surface whenever necessary.
• Keep your window washer bottle full. Use antifreeze wash when the
temperature may fall below freezing.
• The inside surface of the windows should not be overlooked. Keep the
inside window surfaces clean, especially if anyone has been smoking in the
vehicle. Smoking causes a film to build up on the interior glass.
• Never try to drive with snow, ice or frost on the exterior windows. Clear the
front, side, and back windows before you drive.
• Do not hang items from your mirror or clutter-up the view through the
windshield with decals. These items could block a portion of your view.
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• Keep the headlights, backup, brake, and taillights clean. Dirt on the lenses
can cut the effectiveness of the lights by as much as 50 percent.
Adjusting Driver Seat and Mirrors
Always check your seat and mirrors before driving away. Some vehicles are driven
by more than one person and these adjustments will have to be made regularly as the
drivers change.
• Adjust the driver seat so that you can see above the front of the vehicle with
an unobstructed view of the roadway. If necessary use a seat cushion. Never
try to move the seat forward beyond a point that you cannot easily
maneuver the steering wheel.
• You should be able to see out the back window with the rear view mirror,
and to the sides using the exterior side mirrors.
• If you vehicle is equipped with a daylight/nighttime mirror, make sure it is
correctly positioned for the current lighting conditions.
• Head restraints are designed to prevent neck injuries should your vehicle
be struck from behind. Head rests should be adjusted so the head restraint
contacts the back of the head.
Use of Safety Belts and Child Restraints
Before you drive away, always fasten your safety belts and make sure all passengers
are using safety belts, or child restraints. Also remember to lock the vehicle doors.
It is important that you and your passengers use safety belts. Studies have shown
that if you are involved in a crash, using safety belts, your chances of being hurt or
killed are greatly reduced. In Arkansas, it is illegal to drive, or to be a front-seat
passenger, without wearing safety belts.
Be sure to wear both the lap belt and shoulder belt. Using just one part of the safety
restraint system reduces the level of protective effectiveness. If your vehicle is equipped
with an automatic shoulder belt, be sure to also buckle the lap belt.
In addition to protecting you from injury, safety belts help the driver keep control
of the vehicle. If your vehicle is struck by a moving object such as another vehicle, or if
you have to make a sudden turn, the inertial force from the impact or turn could push
you and your passengers to one side or the other of the vehicle. A safety belt will help
keep the driver in place to control the vehicle.
Safety belts should be worn even if the vehicle is equipped with air bags. While modern
air bag systems are good protection devices, an air bag will not keep you and your
passengers in position, particularly during a roll-over crash.
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The law requires that all children under the age of fifteen wear appropriate safety
restraints while the vehicle is in motion. Children under the age of six, or weighing less
than sixty pounds, must be secured in an approved safety seat. A number of
organizations will loan you a child safety seat if you are unable to afford one.
Many individuals have come to rely on inaccurate information about using safety
belts. Here are a few examples:
“Safety belts can trap you inside a car.” It takes less than a second to release a safety
belt. You may hear reports of a car that was engulfed by fire or was emerged in water
after being forced from the roadway. Crashes such as these seldom happen. Even if
they do, a safety belt may keep you from being left unconscious. Your chance of escape
from the flames or water will be better if you are conscious.
“Safety belts are good on long trips, but I do not need them if I am driving around town.”
Over half of all traffic crash deaths occur within twenty-five miles of a driver’s home.
Many of the crashes occur on roads with posted speed limits of less than 45 mph.
“Some people are thrown clear in a crash and walk away with hardly a scratch.” Your
chances of surviving a motor vehicle crash are much better if you stay inside the vehicle.
A safety belt can keep you from being thrown out of your vehicle into the path of
another vehicle.
“If I get hit from the side, I’m
better off being thrown across the
car, away from the crash point.” When a
vehicle
is
struck
from
the
side, it quickly
moves sideways.
Everything in the car that is not
secured, including the driver
and
passengers, will slide toward the
point of crash, not away from it.
“At slow speed, I can brace myself.” Even at 25 mph, the force of a head-on crash is
the same as pedaling a bicycle into a brick wall or diving off a three story tall building
onto the sidewalk below. No one can safely brace themselves for such an impact.
The Law on Littering
Arkansas is “The Natural State” and litter is unnatural. More than just an ugly,
offensive nuisance that detracts from Arkansas’ scenic beauty; roadside litter is
dangerous to motorists and negatively impacts the environmental quality. Litter is also
expensive to control. Motorists must accept personal responsibility for keeping their
waste items from littering Arkansas roadways. Please demonstrate pride while using
your driving privilege. Don’t permit thoughtless or careless actions to litter our state’s
roadways.
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Littering is also a violation of the law. Upon conviction, first offenders are subject
to a fine of up to $1,000 and not more than eight hours of community service.
Subsequent convictions can result in fines up to $2,000 and twenty-four hours of
community service.
Unattended Children and Pets
Every summer we read tragic stories of children or pets dying due to drivers who left
them unattended inside a hot vehicle. Even with the windows partially open,
temperatures rapidly rise to deadly levels inside a vehicle parked in direct sunlight.
There is also the danger of a child being abducted from an unattended vehicle. Even
if you only intend to be away from the vehicle for a few minutes, do not leave children
or pets unattended.
RULES OF THE ROAD
There are traffic laws, rules and regulations that dictate where, when, and how fast
you can drive and each is designed to help keep traffic moving safely. Rules of the road
include traffic controls, lane controls, right-of-way laws, and parking rules.
Construction/Maintenance Zone Safety
Highway work zones are established according to the type of work underway along
the roadway. Signs in work areas are typically diamond shaped, orange, displaying
black letters or symbols, and serve as a warning that people are working on or near the
highway. In addition to warning signs, police officers, flaggers, roadway markings, and
traffic control devices are used to direct drivers safely through work zones and protect
highway workers.
Through many work zones, the speed limits may be reduced and lane usage could
be restricted for safety purposes. Any reduced speed will be clearly posted within the
work zone. If there are no reduced speed limits posted, drivers should obey the normal
posted speed limit. Remember though to be prepared for the unexpected when
traveling through work zones.
In Arkansas, fines for all moving traffic violations occurring in a highway work zone
are doubled if workers are present and warning signs are present in advance of the work
zone.
Traffic Controls
Traffic controls include traffic signals, traffic signs, and pavement markings. Traffic
control also can be provided by law enforcement, highway personnel, or school
crossing guards. You must obey directions from these individuals.
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Lighted Traffic Signals
Traffic signal lights are designed to indicate to a driver when and where to stop and
when to proceed. The signals are typically placed at intersections or other roadway
locations where there is a large volume of traffic or high incidents of traffic crashes.
While the most common form of
traffic signal light is constructed with
three different color lenses (red,
yellow and green), a driver may
encounter intersections with a single
light and lens of a particular color.
A green light indicates you may
proceed if there is no opposing traffic.
A yellow light indicates caution and a
red light is an indication to stop.
At some locations a driver may encounter a small but very bright strobe light within
the center of the red light. Such devices are designed to draw the attention of the driver
to the red light and stop. Once the light changes to green and there is no opposing
traffic a driver may continue through the intersection.
Approaching a controlled intersection with intentions to turn right will require the
driver to come to a stop if the traffic signal is red. However, once the driver has come
to a complete stop and there is no opposing traffic to interfere with the right turn, the
driver may proceed with the turn. It is important during such turns to be cautious of
pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle.
A flashing red traffic light indicates the same as a stop sign. A driver must come to
a complete stop, then proceed only when it is safe.
A lighted red arrow indicates a driver must stop and is prohibited from turning in
the same direction indicated by the arrow. The driver may proceed however once the
arrow light changes to green.
A continuous yellow traffic light indicates the traffic signal is about to change. The
driver of a vehicle must stop if such a stop can be executed safely without blocking the
intersection. However if the driver is within the intersection when the yellow light
changes, the driver must not stop, but proceed through the intersection. A flashing
yellow traffic signal light indicates to proceed with caution. A yellow lighted arrow
indicates the signal is about to change and if the driver is about to turn in the direction
of the arrow, preparation should be made to stop.
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A steady green traffic light indicates a driver may proceed through an intersection
if there is no opposing traffic. If a driver is stopped at a controlled intersection and the
signal light changes color to green, the driver must allow opposing traffic already in the
intersection to clear the intersection before proceeding. A green lighted arrow is an
indication a driver may turn in the direction of the arrow.
Unless a traffic sign is posted to prohibit turns in a particular direction through an
intersection, a driver may turn left from a one-way street onto another one-way street
when a traffic signal light indicates red, however the turn can only be initiated after the
driver has come to a complete stop and yields to any opposing traffic within the
intersection.
Always remember that Arkansas laws require drivers to yield to emergency vehicles.
Law enforcement, fire, or ambulance vehicles that may be moving through an
intersection with emergency lights and sirens will have the right of way and you must
yield to this traffic.
Traffic Signs
Traffic signs indicate traffic rules, hazards, location, travel directions, and where
services are located. The shape and color of these signs provide an indication of the type
of information that will be indicated by the sign.
Stop Signs – A stop sign is red with white letters and has eight sides. It means a driver
must come to a complete stop. The driver must wait until crossing vehicles and
pedestrians have cleared the intersection. Also there may be a line painted on the street
or roadway at the intersection next to a stop sign indicating where the vehicle must
stop. If necessary, a driver may pull forward to the stop sign or the edge of the
intersection, then proceed only when it is safe to do so.
Speed Limit Signs – These signs indicate the maximum or minimum safe speed that
is allowed for a particular section of highway, road or street. Always remember that the
maximum speed limits are for ideal conditions and a driver must reduce speed as
conditions dictate such as when the roadway is slippery or visibility becomes obscured.
Some high speed roads have minimum speed limits. If a minimum speed is too fast
for a particular driver or their vehicle, another route should be used.
Yield Signs – A yield sign is a triangle shaped sign pointing downward. It is red and
white with red letters. It means the driver must slow and yield the right-of-way to traffic
in the intersection the driver may be crossing or roadway the driver is entering. Court
imposed fines for failure to yield charges can amount up to $1,000 and suspension of
the violator’s driver license for up to 180 days.
Do Not Enter Signs – A square sign with a white horizontal line inside a red ball
means the vehicle cannot enter. The driver will see such signs at roadway openings to
one-way streets, exit ramps, in crossovers on divided roadways, and at numerous
locations on one-way streets.
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Slow Moving Vehicle Signs – A reflective orange triangle on the rear of a vehicle means
the vehicle is traveling less than 25 miles per hour. A driver may see this sign on
construction equipment or in rural areas on farm vehicles, or on horse drawn wagons
or carriages.
Destination Signs – These signs are square or rectangular shaped, and are green or
brown with white lettering. The signs indicate directions and distance to various
locations such as cities, airports, state borders, or to special areas such as national parks,
historical areas, or museums.
Service Signs – These signs are square or rectangular shaped, and are blue with white
letters or symbols. The signs indicate the location of various services such as rest areas,
gas stations, campgrounds, or hospitals.
Route Signs – The shape of route signs indicates the type of roadway: Interstate, U.S.,
state or county. When planning a trip, use a highway map to determine your route.
During the trip, follow the route signs.
Railroad Crossing Warning Signs – Many railroad crossings have signs or signals to
warn drivers. You should never try to cross a rail crossings in an attempt to beat an
oncoming train and never start to cross until there is enough distance for your vehicle
on the opposite side of the track. If your vehicle is equipped with a manual
transmission, it is wise not to shift gears when crossing railroad tracks to avoid the
possibility of an engine stall. Some common railroad crossing warning signs and signals
are illustrated below.
A round yellow sign with an
X” symbol and black “RR” letters
(top right) placed along the
roadway may be your
first
warning that you are about
to approach a railroad crossing.
A white
X-shaped sign or
“crossbuck” is located at the
railroad crossing. This sign has the
same meaning as a “Yield” sign.
Posted at some railroad
crossings, along with the “cross
buck“ sign, a driver will see
parallel lights that flash alternately.
Gates that lower as a train
approaches are also common at
some crossings along with a
warning bell. Signs may also
indicate a number of track sets
within a railroad crossing zone.
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Warning Signs – These signs are yellow with black lettering or symbols and most are
diamond shaped. These signs warn a driver to slow and be prepared to stop if necessary,
or provide information about a special situation or a hazard that may be along the road
ahead. Some common warning signs are shown below.
Intersection
Traffic Signal
Merging Traffic
Two-Way
TrafficLane Ends
School Zone
Pedestrian Crossing
School Crossing
Divided Highway
Slippery When Wet
Bridge Clearance
Incline or Hill
There are signs on a white square or rectangular with black and/or red letters or
symbols. These signs provide information about rules for traffic direction, lane use,
turning, parking, and other special instructions. Some of the signs have a red circle
with a red slash over a particular symbol. These regulation signs indicate a driver is
prohibited from executing a particular maneuver such as a turn toward a particular
direction or no u-turn.
Common types of regulation signs are:
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Work Area Signs – These signs are typically diamond shaped, orange with black letters
or symbols, and warn a driver that workers may be along side or on the roadway. These
warnings include reduced speed, detours, slow moving construction equipment, and
poor or suddenly changing road surfaces. In work areas, traffic may be controlled by
a person with a sign or flag, known as a flagger.
Some commonly used work area signs are shown below:
Used at locations along
a roadway where a
flagger may be stationed
to control traffic.
Warning to drivers of an
approaching alternate
route of travel through
a construction zone.
Work is underway
along the driver’s route
of travel. Be prepared
for road obstructions
or restrictions.
Warning of two-way
traffic along a single
lane roadway.
Mowing equipment
may be in operation
on or next to the
highway.
Warning to drivers
that fines associated
with violations are
doubled if the violation
occurs within a
construction zone.
Used to warn drivers
of work along
multi-lane roadways
and only one lane is
open to traffic
Construction work
may have caused a
difference in the
elevation of parallel
traffic lanes.
Lane Control Signs – These signs indicate where a driver can go and where a driver
can turn and often use an arrow as a symbol. The signs are along the road or positioned
over the roadway. It is not unusual for these indicators to be painted onto the roadway.
Passing Signs – These signs indicate where it is safe to pass another vehicle and where
a driver may not pass. The signs indicate where a driver can pass, or the beginning
and ending of a passing zone, or where the driver may not pass. Where passing is
permitted, a driver may do so only if it is safe.
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Pavement Markings
Lines and symbols marked
on the roadway divide lanes,
indicate to a driver when it is
safe to pass other vehicles or change lanes, which lanes to use for turns, where a driver must stop
for signs or traffic signals, and define pedestrian walkways.
Fog Line and Lane Lines – A solid white line along the side of the roadway is a point of
reference for the driver to indicate where the outer edge of the road is located. Lines
separating lanes of traffic moving in the same direction are white. Lines separating lanes
of traffic moving in opposite directions are yellow.
White Lane Markings – A dashed white line between lanes of traffic indicates a driver
may cross the line to change lanes, but only if it is safe. A solid white line between lanes
of traffic means that a driver should stay within the lane.
Crosswalks and Stop Lines – When required to stop because of a sign or signal, a driver
must stop before the vehicle reaches the stop line, or if there is one, a crosswalk. Crosswalks
define the area where pedestrians are to cross the roadway. A driver must yield to
pedestrians in or about to enter a crosswalk. Not all crosswalks are marked. Be alert for
pedestrians when crossing intersections that do not have defined crosswalks.
Yellow Lane Markings – A broken yellow
line between opposing lanes of traffic
indicate a driver may cross to pass if there is
no opposing traffic. If there is a solid and
broken line between opposing lanes, a driver
may pass if there is no opposing traffic. Two
solid lines between opposing lanes of traffic
indicate neither lanes of traffic may pass. A
driver may cross a solid yellow line to turn
into a driveway if there is no opposing traffic
approaching the planned turn site.
Shared Center Lane - Shared
center lanes are reserved for
making left turns and can be
used by vehicles traveling in
either direction. Marked on
the pavement, left turn arrows
for traffic in one direction
alternate with left turn arrows
for traffic approaching from
the opposing direction.
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These lanes are marked on each side by solid yellow and dashed yellow lines. In
Arkansas it is permissible for a vehicle making a left turn from an intersecting street or
driveway to utilize a center left turn lane as part of the maneuver to gain access or merge
into traffic lanes, except that it is not permissible to use the center left turn lane as an
acceleration lane.
Unmarked Lanes – When there are no signs or markings to control the use of lanes, there
are rules that indicate which lane is to be used. These rules cover general driving, passing,
and turning.
General Driving – Never back a vehicle in any travel lane. It is illegal and unsafe to do
so. If a turn or exit is missed, do not back up; proceed to a safe turn around area.
Never stop in travel lanes for any reason (e.g. confusion, breakdown, letting out a
passenger). Keep moving until you can safely pull off the road.
On a road with three or more lanes traveling in the same direction, remain in the right
lane except to pass. If there is considerable merging traffic, then use the center travel lane.
Unless directed to do so by a police officer never drive on the shoulder of the road.
Passing – On multi-lane roads, the left-most lane is intended to be used to pass slower
vehicles. Never pass on the shoulder, whether it is paved or not. Other drivers will never
expect you to be there and may pull off the road without looking.
Turning – Where there are
no signs or lane markings to
control turning, a driver
should turn from the lane
that is closest to the direction
of travel and turn into the
lane closest to the lane from
which the turn is initiated.
When making turns, go from
one lane to the other as
directly as possible without
crossing lane
lines
or
interfering with traffic. Once
a turn has been completed, a
change of lanes can begin.
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Right turns – On right turns, avoid a swinging wide turn to the left before initiating
the turn. Swinging wide turns may cause the driver behind you to think you are
changing lanes or going to turn left and may try to pass you on the right. If you swing
wide as you complete the turn, drivers who are in the far lane will not expect to see
you there.
Left Turns – When making a left turn, avoid cutting the corner so sharply that you
run into another vehicle approaching from the left. However, you must leave room for
oncoming vehicles to turn left in front of you.
Right-Of-Way
Where vehicles or pedestrians are likely to converge, and there are no signs or signals to
regulate traffic, there are rules that indicate which vehicle must yield the right-of-way. These
rules indicate which vehicle goes first and which vehicle must wait in different traffic
situations.
The law indicates which vehicle must yield the right-of-way; it does not give anyone the
right-of-way. A driver must do everything possible to prevent striking a pedestrian or another
vehicle, regardless of the circumstances.
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Intersections
The following right-of-way rules apply at intersections:
• Drivers must yield where necessary to avoid striking pedestrians who are legally
crossing the road.
• Drivers crossing a sidewalk when entering or exiting a driveway, alley, or
parking lot must yield to pedestrians. It is illegal to drive on a sidewalk except
to cross it.
• Pedestrians using a guide dog or carrying a white cane have absolute
right-of-way. Do not use your horn as it could confuse or frighten a blind
pedestrian.
• Drivers turning left must yield to oncoming cars traveling straight-ahead.
• Drivers entering a traffic circle or rotary must yield to drivers already in the circle.
• At an intersection where there is no stop sign or traffic signal, drivers must yield
to vehicles approaching from the right.
• At a 4-way stop, the driver reaching the intersection first gets to go first (after
coming to a complete stop).
• Drivers entering a road from a driveway, alley or roadside must yield to vehicles
already on the main road.
•• Drivers may not enter an intersection unless they can get through it without
having to stop. You should wait until traffic clears, so that you are not blocking
the intersection.
Passing
Drivers passing a vehicle traveling in the same direction must yield to that vehicle, even
if the vehicle is slowing or coming to a stop, because the vehicle may be about to turn left
or may be approaching a hazard the overtaking driver does not see.
Emergency Vehicles
A driver must yield the right of way to a police vehicle, fire department vehicle,
ambulance, or other emergency vehicle using a siren or air horn, and a red or blue
flashing light. Drivers should pull over to the right edge of the road, or as near to the
right as possible, when you see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching from any
direction. Follow any instructions given over the emergency vehicle’s loudspeaker. If
you are in an intersection, drive through the intersection before pulling over.
Arkansas law requires that any motor vehicle operator on a multilane highway must
move whenever safely possible to the farthest lane away from the law enforcement vehicle that
is stopped and has emergency lighting turned-on. This law is designed to help protect
police officers and individuals who may be the subject of a traffic stop from being injured
by traffic moving dangerously close to the edge of the highway where the traffic stop is
occurring. Violators of this law may be fined and have their driver license suspended.
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School Buses
When approaching a school
bus that is stopped and red
warning lights on the bus are
activated,
all
approaching
vehicles are required to also stop.
Regardless of where the driver
may be in relation to the bus,
whether its in the same lane of
traffic, opposing lane or at an
intersection, traffic must come to
a complete stop until the school
bus turns-off the warning lights
and begins to move. Drivers are
not required to stop if the school
bus is approaching along an
opposite lane of travel separated
by a median twenty feet or more
in width.
It is a felony to negligently cause the death of a person while passing a stopped
school bus that is loading or unloading school children.
Always exercise extreme caution at a school bus stop, even as the bus may be leaving
the stop, children may still be crossing the street or roadway.
Parking
Drivers are responsible for making certain their vehicle does not become a hazard
after it has been parked. Whenever a driver parks a car it should be in a place that is
(1) far enough from the street or highway to avoid interfering with traffic and (2) visible
to cars approaching from either direction.
• If possible, always park in a designated area.
• Always set the parking brake. Leave the vehicle in gear if it has a manual
transmission or in “park” if it has an automatic transmission.
• Check traffic before you open the door. If possible, get out of the vehicle on
the curb side if you can. If you have to use the street side, check traffic before
exiting. Shut the door as soon as you can after getting out.
• Never leave the ignition keys in a parked car. Lock the doors whenever you
leave your vehicle.
• If you must park on a roadway, park your vehicle as far away from traffic as
possible. If there is a curb, park as close to the curb as possible.
• When parking on a hill, turn the wheels sharply away from traffic to prevent
the car from possible rolling into traffic.
No-Parking Zones
There are many areas where parking is restricted. Check any signs that may prohibit or
limit parking. Some parking restrictions are indicated by colored curb markings. Do not park:
22
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
In an intersection
On a crosswalk or sidewalk
In a construction area if your vehicle would block traffic
Within twenty feet of a crosswalk at an intersection
Within thirty feet of a traffic signal, stop sign, or yield sign
Within thirty feet of a pedestrian safety zone
Within fifteen feet of a fire hydrant
Within fifty feet of a railroad crossing
More than eighteen inches from the curb
Within twenty feet of a fire station driveway on the same side of the street, or
within seventy-five feet of a fire station driveway on the opposite side of the
street where proper signs are posted
Blocking a driveway, alley, private road, or area of the curb removed or
lowered for access to the sidewalk
On a bridge or overpass, or in a tunnel or underpass
Along a lane of opposing traffic
In a space marked for the handicapped, unless you have an authorized
handicapped license plate, tag, or sticker issued by the Arkansas Department of
Finance and Administration
Along the street or highway next to another parked vehicle (double parking)
On railroad tracks
Wherever a sign indicates you may not park
Other parking restrictions are indicated by curbs painted:
• Red indicating fire zone
• Yellow indicating a loading zone or other restriction
AR Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities April 2007
Handicap parking is referred to politically and legislatively as “Accessible Parking.” These
parking spaces are not special places for convenience, but in fact, create equal access for
persons with a mobility disability or other disabilities as defined under state laws.
Accessible parking spaces are created to enable individuals with disabilities to accomplish
the same task as other individuals are able to accomplish. Many people have the
misconception that accessible spaces are designed for a matter of convenience. This is a
misconception; accessible parking spaces create equal access; thus allowing the individual
with the disability the same opportunity as all people.
To park in an accessible parking space a person must either have the appropriate license
plate with the international symbol or the hangtag, referred to legislatively as the “Special
Certificate.” The assigned special license plate is granted to the registered owner of said
vehicle; whereby the Special Certificate is registered to the individual with the disability
and is transferable to other vehicles as long as the owner of the special certificate is in the
said vehicle. When an individual with a disability obtains the special certificate or special
license plate, a photo identification card must be purchased for $5.00; this card will
correspond with the issued special certificate number or a person with a disability may
choose to have the special certificate number endorsed on the back of their driver’s license
23
or state I.D. card for verification of ownership. Further, in both instances the individual
with the disability must:
a) Be present in the vehicle when parking in an accessible parking space.
b) The special certificate is to be displayed hanging from the rearview mirror or
the dashboard.
c) The registered owner of the special certificate or vehicle with appropriate
license plate must exit the vehicle when utilizing a designated space.
d) The issued or endorsed photo identification card must be present on the
person at all times when utilizing an accessible parking space.
Anyone illegally utilizing another individual’s special certificate is committing fraud,
and is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor according to 27-15-305 of the Arkansas Code.
Penalties include, but are not limited to, for the first offense is $100.00 to $500.00. The
second offense is $250.00 up to $1,000.00, plus six months suspended driver’s license, and
the offender is liable for all towing, impoundment, attorney fees, court costs, and other
related fees. When moving out of state or after the death of the person whom the special
certificate or plate was issued, the items must be returned to the Department of Motor
Vehicles, Special Division within 30 days of occurrence.
SAFE DRIVING TIPS
No driver manual can teach you how to operate a vehicle or be a safe driver. Driving
requires skill only gained through instruction and practice.
Operating the Motor Vehicle
Starting the Vehicle Engine – Check the vehicle owner’s manual for the best starting
procedures for your particular vehicle. The procedures differ depending on whether or
not the vehicle has electronic ignition and the type of transmission. Make sure the parking
brake is set before starting the vehicle.
If the vehicle has a manual transmission, it must not be in gear, and in some vehicles,
you must depress the clutch. For a vehicle that has an automatic transmission, you must
put the shift selector in “park,” otherwise the vehicle will not start.
Acceleration – Accelerate speed of the vehicle smoothly and gradually. Trying to start
too fast can cause the drive wheels to spin, particularly on slippery surfaces, and cause the
vehicle to slide. With a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission, practice using the
clutch and accelerator so that the engine does not over accelerate or stall when shifting
between gears.
Steering the Vehicle – Use a proper grip on the steering wheel. Hands should be placed
on opposite sides of the steering wheel. This position is comfortable and allows you to
make turns without taking your hands off the wheel.
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Scan the road ahead, not just at the road in front of your vehicle. Look for traffic
situations where you will need to change direction before it’s too late. This way, you
have time to steer smoothly and safely.
When executing a sharp turn, such as around corners of an intersection, use the
“hand-over-hand” technique to control the vehicle steering wheel. Do not turn the
wheel with the palm of your hand. When you complete a turn, return the steering
wheel to the appropriate position relative to the direction the vehicle should be moving.
Monitoring Vehicle Speed – Check the speedometer often. You may be going much
faster that you think. This is especially true when you leave high speed roads and move
to roadways with a slower posted speed.
Obey speed limit signs. Limits on speed are set for your safety.
Stopping – Be alert so that you know when you will have to stop well before it is
necessary. Stopping suddenly is dangerous and usually points to a driver who is not
paying attention. When you brake quickly, you could skid and lose control of your
vehicle. You also make it harder for drivers behind you to avoid hitting you.
Try to avoid stops by scanning the road ahead. By slowing or changing lanes, you
may not have to stop at all, and if you do, it can be a more gradual and safer stop.
Remaining Alert and Avoiding Distractions
Most of what you do in driving depends on what you see. To be a good driver, you
need to see well. The single biggest contributor to accidents is failing to see what is
about to happen. You must look down the road, to the sides and behind your vehicle,
and be alert for unexpected events. At night and at other times when it’s hard to see,
you must use your headlights. In many crashes with motorcycles, bicycles, and
pedestrians, drivers reported they did not see the other vehicle.
Drivers must be alert to what is going on around them. Many accidents occur
because drivers do not pay enough attention. Don’t take your eyes off the road for
25
more than a few seconds at any one time. For example, if you need to look at a map,
pull safely off the road before looking at the map.
If you have a cellular phone or CB radio, avoid using it when the vehicle is in motion.
Even with “hands free” equipment, conversing on a phone or radio takes your attention
away from driving and can cause you to be less likely to notice hazardous situations.
Do not “rubberneck” (slow your vehicle or become distracted) at crash scenes or at
locations along the highway where a law enforcement officer may have a vehicle pulled
off the road. Rubbernecking could cause you to become involved in a crash. If you take
your eyes off the road to look at something, you could run into a vehicle ahead that
has slowed or stopped. Rubbernecking also can increase congestion. When you pass
these roadside activities, keep your eyes on the road.
To be a good driver, you must know what is happening around your vehicle. You
must look ahead, to the sides, and behind the vehicle. Scanning helps you to see
problems ahead, vehicles and people that may be in the road by the time you reach
them, signs warning of problems ahead, and signs giving you directions.
Looking Ahead – In order
to avoid last-minute braking
or the need to turn, you
should look down the road
at least one city block in the
city or one quarter mile on
highways and
interstates.
That will be about fifteen
seconds ahead of your
vehicle.
By looking well
ahead and being ready to
stop or change lanes, you
can drive more safely, save
on fuel, help keep traffic
moving at a steady pace,
and allow yourself time to
better see around your
vehicle and along the side of
the road.
Here is how to figure if you are
looking fifteen seconds ahead:
1. Find a stationary object such as a sign or telephone pole near the road about as far
ahead as you are looking.
2. Start counting: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, etc., until you
reach the object.
3. The number of seconds you have counted is the number of seconds ahead that you were
looking.
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By scanning the road ahead, you can save fuel. Every time you have to stop quickly,
it takes time and fuel to get your car back up to speed. Making driving changes before
the last second gives drivers behind you more time to react. By anticipating driving
changes, you can drive more safely and that helps drivers behind you drive more safely.
Looking to the Sides – As other vehicles or pedestrians may cross or enter your path
at any time, you should look to the sides to make sure no one is coming. This is
especially true at intersections and railroad crossings.
Intersections – Intersections are places where traffic merges or crosses. These areas
include: cross streets, side streets, driveways, and shopping center or parking lot
entrances. Before entering an intersection, look both left and right for approaching
vehicles and/or crossing pedestrians. If stopped, look both left and right before you start
moving. Look across the intersection before you begin to move, making sure the path
is clear through the intersection.
Before turning left across traffic, look for a safe gap in the oncoming traffic. Look
to the street you are turning into to make sure that no vehicles or pedestrians are in
your path that may leave you stranded in the path of oncoming traffic. Look a second
time in the direction of oncoming traffic before finally making your turn.
Before turning right, make sure that there is no traffic approaching from your left
and no oncoming traffic turning left into your path. Do not begin your turn without
checking for pedestrians crossing where you will be turning. You may turn right on red,
unless prohibited, after stopping.
Never assume an intersection or cross-walk is clear. There are drivers who may
become distracted or pedestrians who are not paying attention to the traffic controls
who will cross your path at the same time you may be entering the intersection. Always
stop to look left, then right, even if other traffic is suppose to stop for a stop sign or
red light. This rule is particularly important in the first seconds after a traffic light has
switched to green. It is then that pedestrians may try to quickly cross your path or
another vehicle may try to “beat the light” in a deadly attempt to get through before
opposing traffic enters the intersection.
Make sure you can clearly see crossing traffic before entering an intersection. If
stopped at an intersection and your view of a cross street is blocked, edge forward
slowly until you can see. By moving forward slowly, crossing drivers can see the front
of your vehicle before you can see the approaching vehicle.
Whenever there is activity along side the road, there is a good chance someone will
cross or enter the road. Therefore, it is very important to look to the sides when you
are near shopping centers and parking lots, construction areas, busy sidewalks,
playgrounds, and school yards.
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Railroad Crossings – As you approach any railroad crossing, look up and down the
track to make sure a train is not approaching. Do not assume that a train is not coming
even if you have never seen one at a particular crossing before. That is one of the
leading causes of accidents at railroad crossings.
At crossings with more than one track, wait until a passing train has cleared the area
before starting to cross. Another train could be coming, one that might have been
hidden by the one that just passed.
Looking Behind – Along with watching traffic ahead of your route, you must check
traffic behind you. It is necessary to check your rearview and side view mirrors more
often when traffic is heavy. This is the only way you will know if another vehicle is
following too closely or coming up too fast and it will give you time to do something
about it. It is very important to look behind for vehicles when you change lanes, slow,
back up, or are driving along a steep incline.
Changing Lanes – Whenever changing lanes, you must check to be certain no vehicles
are in the lane you want to enter. This means you must check for traffic to the side and
behind your vehicle before changing lanes. Changing lanes includes changing from
one lane to another, merging onto a roadway from an entrance ramp, and entering the
roadway from the curb or shoulder. When changing lanes, you should:
• Look in your rear-view and side mirrors. Make sure there are no vehicles in
the lane you want to enter. Make sure that nobody is about to pass you.
• Look over your shoulder in the direction you plan to move. Be sure no one
is near the rear corners of your vehicle. These areas are called “blind spots”
because you cannot see the area through your mirrors. You have to turn
your head and look.
• Check quickly. Don’t take your eyes off the road ahead for more than an
instant. Traffic ahead could stop suddenly while you’re checking traffic to the
sides, rear, or over your shoulder. Also, use your mirrors to check traffic
while you are preparing to change lanes, merge, or pull onto the roadway.
Check over your shoulder just before you change lanes for traffic in your
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blind spot. You must keep track of what traffic is doing in front of you and
in the lane you are entering.
• Be certain to check the other parallel lanes of travel, another driver
may be planning to move into the same lane you want to enter.
• Remember that there are other road users such as motorcycles, bicycles, and
pedestrians that are more difficult to see than cars and trucks. Be especially
alert when you are entering the roadway from the curb or driveway.
Slowing – You must check behind your vehicle whenever you slow. This is very
important when you slow quickly or at points where a following driver would not
expect you to slow, such as private driveways or parking lots.
Backing – As a driver it is difficult to get a clear view of all areas behind your vehicle.
Try to do as little backing as possible. In a shopping center, try to find a parking space
you can drive through, so that you can drive forward when you leave. Here are some
hints that will help you back your vehicle safely:
• Check behind your vehicle before you get in. Children or small objects
cannot be seen from the driver’s seat.
• Place your right arm on the back of the seat and turn around so that you
can look directly through the rear window. Do not depend on your rearview
or side mirrors as you cannot see directly behind your vehicle.
• Back slowly; your vehicle is much harder to steer while you are backing.
• Whenever possible use a person outside the vehicle to help you back.
Moving Along Steep Inclines – Check traffic through your mirrors when you are going
down hills or mountains. Vehicles often build up speed moving down a steep grade.
Be alert for large trucks and buses that may be going too fast.
See and Be Seen
Accidents often happen because one driver does not see another driver, or when one
driver does something the other driver does not expect. It is important that drivers let
other road users know they are there, and what they plan to do.
Some drivers do not always pay attention to what is going on around them. It is
important that other road users know that you are there.
External Vehicle Lights – Along with helping you to see at night, headlights help other
people see you. If needed, flick your headlights to alert other road users you are there.
Remember to turn on your headlights whenever you have trouble seeing others. If you
have trouble seeing them, they are having trouble seeing you.
• On rainy, snowy, or foggy days, it is sometimes hard for other drivers to see
your vehicle. In these conditions, headlights make your vehicle easier to
see. Remember, if you turn on your wipers, turn on your headlights. This
is the law on Arkansas streets and roadways.
29
• Turn on your headlights a 1/2 hour after sunset, a 1/2 hour before sunrise
or anytime you cannot see a person or object clearly within 500 feet.
• If lights are necessary while driving, use your headlights. Parking lights are
for parked cars only, and it is illegal in Arkansas to drive with parking
lights only.
• When driving away from a rising or setting sun, turn on your headlights.
Drivers coming toward you may have trouble seeing your vehicle. Your
headlights will help them see you.
Here are some other driving tips that can help you see and be seen:
• Use your high beams whenever there are no oncoming vehicles. High beams
let you see twice as far as low beams. It is important to use high beams on
unfamiliar roads, in construction areas, or where there may be people along
the side of the road.
• Dim your high beams whenever you come within 500 feet of an oncoming
car. Also, use your low beams when following another vehicle closer than
200 feet.
• Use the low beams in fog, or when it is snowing or raining. Light from high
beams will reflect back, causing glare, and make it more difficult to see
ahead. Some vehicles have fog lights that may be better suited under these
conditions.
• Never drive at any time with only your parking lights turned on. Parking
lights are for parking only.
• If a vehicle comes toward you with high beams on, flash your headlights
quickly a couple of times. If the driver fails to dim the lights, look toward
the right side of the road. This will keep you from being blinded by the
other vehicle’s headlights. You should also be able to see enough of the
edge of the road to remain on course. Do not try to “get back” at other
driver by keeping your headlights turned to the high-beam setting. If you do,
both of you may be blinded.
Warning Horn – Your horn can get the attention of another driver. Use it whenever
it will help prevent an accident. If there is no immediate danger, a light tap on the
horn should be all you need.
Sound
•
•
•
your vehicle horn when:
A person on foot or on a bike appears to be moving into your lane of travel.
You are passing a driver who starts to turn into your lane.
There is a driver who is not paying attention or who may have trouble seeing
you.
• Approaching a location where you cannot see what is ahead, such as a steep
hill, a sharp curve, or exiting a narrow alley.
If there is danger, do not be afraid to sound a sharp blast on your horn. Do this:
• When a child or older person is about to walk, run, or ride into the street.
• When another car is in danger of hitting you.
30
• When you have lost control of your vehicle and are moving toward
someone.
There are several occasions when you should not use your horn:
•
•
•
•
To encourage someone to drive faster or get out of the way
To apprise other drivers of an error
To greet a friend
Near blind pedestrians
Emergency Signals – If your vehicle breaks down on the highway, make sure that
other drivers can see it. All too often highway crashes occur because a driver did not
see a stalled vehicle until it was too late to stop.
If available, use a two-way radio or telephone to notify authorities that your vehicle
or another has broken down. Many roadways have signs that indicate which CB
channel to use or telephone number to call in an emergency. If you are having vehicle
trouble and have to stop:
• If at all possible, get your vehicle off the road away from traffic.
• Use your emergency flashers to warn other drivers of the presence of a
vehicle traffic hazard requiring unusual care in approaching, overtaking
or passing.
• If you cannot get your vehicle off the roadway, try to stop where other
drivers have a clear view of your vehicle. Do not stop just over a hill or just
around a curve.
• Try to warn other road users that your vehicle is there. Place emergency
flares behind the vehicle. This allows other drivers to change lanes
if necessary.
• If you do not have emergency flares or other warning devices, stand by the
side of the road, where you are safe and wave traffic away or around your
vehicle. Using a white cloth, if one is available.
• Never stand in the roadway. Don’t even try to change a tire if it means you
have to be in a traffic lane.
31
• Lift the hood, or tie a white cloth to the antenna, side mirror, or door handle
to signal an emergency.
Blind Spots – Drive your vehicle where others can see you. Don’t drive in another
vehicle’s blind spot.
• Avoid driving on either side and slightly to the rear of another vehicle. Either
speed up or drop back so the other driver can see your vehicle more easily.
• When passing another car, get through the other driver’s blind spot as
quickly as you can.
• Never stay alongside a large vehicle such as a truck or bus. These vehicles
have large blind spots and it is hard for drivers to see you.
Let Other Drivers Know Your Intentions
You must warn other drivers you are going to change direction or slow. This will give
them time to react, if needed, or at least not to be surprised by what you do.
Signaling to Change Directions – It gives other drivers time to react to your moves. You
should use your turn signals before you change lanes, turn right or left, merge into
traffic, or park.
• Get into the habit of signaling every time you change direction. Signal even
when you do not see anyone else around. It is easy to miss someone who
needs to know what you are doing.
• Signal as early as possible. Try to signal at least 100 feet before you make
a change.
• Be careful that you do not signal too early. If there are streets, driveways, or
entrances between you and where you want to turn, wait until you have
passed to signal.
• If another vehicle is about to enter the street between you and where you plan
to turn, wait until you have passed it to signal your turn. If you signal earlier,
other drivers may think you plan to turn where they are and proceed into
your path.
• After you have made a turn or lane change, make sure your turn signal is off.
Signaling to Slow – Your brake lights let people know that you are slowing down.
Always slow as early as it is safe to do so. If you are going to stop or slow at a place
where another driver does not expect it, tap your brake pedal three or four times quickly
to let those behind you know you are about to slow. Signal when you slow:
• To turn off a roadway that does not have a dedicated exit or deceleration
lane.
• To park or turn just before an intersection. Following traffic expects you to
continue to the intersection.
• To reduce speed in traffic for a hazard in the road that a driver behind you
cannot see.
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Adjusting the Vehicle Speed
The faster your vehicle is going, the more distance it will take to turn, slow, or stop.
For example, stopping at 60 mph does not take twice the distance it takes at 30 mph,
as one might think, but over three times the distance. Driving safely means adjusting
your speed to road and traffic conditions and how well you can see, and obeying speed
limits.
Adjusting to Road Conditions – There are various road conditions which make it
necessary to drive slowly. You must slow before a curve, when the roadway is slippery,
and when there is standing water on the road.
The only contact your vehicle has with the road is through the tires and it is
important to always know the condition of the tires on your vehicle. Tires that may
have some degree of deteriorating tread combined with wet or icy road conditions are
both good reasons to reduce the speed below the posted speed limit.
Many drivers do not pay enough attention to the condition of their vehicle tires or
to the condition of the roadway. It is important that the tires be in good condition and
properly inflated. See the vehicle owner’s manual for correct air pressures.
You do not have as much traction on gravel and dirt roads as you do on concrete
and asphalt roads. When driving on gravel or dirt, you must slow. It will take you
much longer to stop and it is easier to skid when turning.
Curves – A vehicle can travel much faster in a straight line than it can in a curve. If
you go too fast, then the tires will not be able to grip the road, and the vehicle will skid.
Always slow before you enter the curve so you don’t have to brake in the curve. Braking
in a curve can cause the vehicle to skid.
Slippery Roads – Decrease your speed at the first sign of rain, snow, or sleet. These
weather elements make the roadway slippery. When the road is slippery, the vehicle’s
tires do not grip as well as on a dry road. How slowly should you go? On a wet road
you should reduce your speed about 10 mph. On packed snow you should cut your
speed in half. Use snow tires or chains when the road is covered with snow. On ice,
you must slow to a crawl. It is very dangerous to drive on ice.
If at all possible, do not drive when the roads are icy. In some areas where there is
a lot of icy weather, special studded tires are allowed. Because these tires can cause
road damage, in Arkansas such tires are only allowed to be used during the period
from November 15 of each year until April 15 of the following year. It is illegal to use
metal studded tires with studs protruding more than one-sixteenth inch from the
surface of the rubber tread.
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Here are some clues to help you spot slippery conditions before it’s too late:
• On cold and wet days, ice may linger in shady spots along the roadway.
These areas are the first to freeze and the last to thaw.
• Overpasses and bridges can become some of the first sections of roadway
to develop icy conditions. It is not unusual for bridges and overpasses to be
ice covered and the stretches of roadway leading up to and away from the
bridge or overpass to be clear. Unlike the highway that may get natural heat
from the ground below it, the design of bridges and overpasses leaves little
to insulate the roadbed and allows cold air underneath the structure to
speed-up the process of developing ice along the roadbed surface.
• When highway ice is initially forming, it can be wet. This makes it more
slippery than at temperatures well below freezing.
• If it starts to rain on a hot day, pavement can be very slippery for the first
few minutes. Heat causes oil in the asphalt to come to the surface. It makes
the road more slippery until the oil is washed off.
Water Over the Roadway – When it is raining or the road is wet, most tires have good
traction up to about 35 mph. However, as you move faster, your tires will start to ride
up on the water, much like water skis. This is called “hydroplaning.” In a heavy rain,
your tires can lose all traction with the road at around 50 mph. Bald or badly worn tires
will lose traction at much lower speed. The best way to keep from hydroplaning is to
drive slower in the rain, or when the road is wet.
If it feels like your tires have lost traction with the surface of the road you should:
• Ease your foot off the gas pedal.
• Keep the steering wheel straight. Only try to turn if it’s an emergency. If you
must turn, do it slowly, or you will cause your vehicle to skid.
• Do not try to stop or turn until your tires are gripping the road again.
Adjusting to the Flow of Traffic
Vehicles moving in the same direction at the same speed cannot hit one another.
Crashes involving two or more vehicles often happen when drivers go faster or slower
than other vehicles using the same roadway.
Keeping Pace – If you are going faster than other traffic, you will have to keep passing.
Each time you pass another vehicle there is a chance of a collision. The vehicle you are
passing may change lanes suddenly, or on a two-lane road, an oncoming car may
appear suddenly. Slow down, and keep pace with other traffic. Speeding does not save
more than a few minutes an hour.
Going much slower than other vehicles traveling in the same direction can be just
as bad as speeding. It tends to make traffic behind you collect into a single slow moving
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pocket of vehicles. If vehicles are accumulating behind you, pull over and allow them
to pass. You may consider driving faster or using another road.
Merging With Traffic – When you merge with traffic, try to enter at the same speed
that traffic is moving. High-speed roadways generally have ramps to give you time to
build up speed. Use the ramp to reach the speed of the other vehicles before you pull
onto the road. Do not drive to the end of the ramp and stop. This will not leave you
enough room to get up to the speed of traffic. Also, drivers behind you will not expect
you to stop. If they are watching traffic on the main road, you may be hit from the rear.
If you have to wait for space to enter the roadway, slow down on the ramp so you have
some room to speed up before you have to merge.
Exiting Traffic – Keep up with the speed of traffic as long as you are on the main road.
If the road you are traveling has exit ramps, do not slow down until you have moved
onto the exit ramp. When you turn from a high speed, two-lane roadway, try not to
slow down too early if you have traffic following you. Tap your brakes and reduce
your speed quickly but safely. Use your turn signals to let other drivers know your
intentions.
Slow Moving Traffic – Some vehicles are not designed to maneuver at highway speeds
or may experience mechanical problems that force the driver to slow the vehicle. As you
may approach this type of traffic, give yourself time to change lanes or slow safely.
Slowing suddenly can cause a traffic accident.
• Watch for large trucks and small, underpowered cars on steep grades or
when these vehicles are entering traffic. The slower vehicles can lose speed
on long or steep hills and it takes longer for these vehicles to get up to speed
when entering traffic.
• Farm tractors, animal-drawn vehicles, and roadway maintenance vehicles
usually travel 25 mph or less. These vehicles should have a slow-moving
vehicle sign (an orange triangle) visible from the rear.
Trouble Spots – Be prepared for situations that limit your maneuvering options. In
locations where people and their vehicles are parked; the space you have to maneuver
will be limited. You need to reduce your speed to have time to react in crowded spaces.
Here are some of the places where you may need to slow:
• Shopping centers, parking lots, and downtown areas. These are busy areas
with vehicles and people stopping and starting, and moving in different
directions.
• Rush hours often have heavy traffic and drivers that always seem to be in a
hurry.
• Narrow bridges and tunnels. Vehicles approaching each other are closer
together.
• At toll plazas vehicles are changing lanes and preparing to stop and then
speeding up again leaving the plaza. The number of lanes could change
both before and after the plaza.
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• Schools, playgrounds, residential streets. These areas often have children
present. Always be alert for children crossing the street, or running or riding
into the street without looking.
Visibility and Reaction
If a hazard is in your path and you need to stop, you need time and distance. It takes
much longer and further to stop than many people think. If you have good tires and
brakes and dry pavement:
• At 50 mph, it can take about 400 feet to react to something you see and bring
your vehicle to a stop. That is about the length of a city block.
• At 30 mph, it can take about 200 feet to stop. That is almost half a city block.
If you cannot see 400 feet ahead, you may not be driving safely at 50 mph. If you
cannot see 200 feet ahead, you may not be driving safely at 30 mph. By the time you see
an object in your path, it might be too late to stop.
Here are some considerations that limit how well you can see and hints about how to
be a safer driver.
Darkness – It is harder to see at night. You must be closer to an object to see it at night
than during the day. You must be able to stop within the distance you can see ahead with
your headlights. Your headlights let you see about 400 feet ahead. You should drive at a
speed that allows you to stop within this distance, or about 50 mph.
Rain, Fog or Snow – In a very heavy rain, snowstorm or thick fog, you may not be able
to see much more than 200 feet ahead. When you cannot see any further than that, you
cannot safely drive faster than 30 mph. In a very heavy downpour, you may not be able
to see well enough to drive. If this happens, pull off the road in a safe place and wait until
the weather clears.
Hills and Curves – You may not know what is on the other side of a hill or just around
a curve, even if you have driven the route before. If a car is stalled on the road just over a
hill or around a curve, you must be able to stop. Whenever you come to a hill or curve
where you cannot see over or around, adjust your speed so you can stop if necessary.
Parked Vehicles – Vehicles parked along the side of the road may block your view.
People may be ready to get out of a car or walk out from between parked vehicles. Give
parked vehicles as much room as safely possible.
Sight-Distance Rule – Drive at a speed
at which you can always safely stop. To
determine if you are driving too fast for
conditions, use the “Four Second Sight
Distance Rule.” Pick out a stationary
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object as far ahead as you can clearly see (e.g. a sign or a utility pole). Start counting
“one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, four-one-thousand.” If
you reach the object before you finish saying “four-one-thousand,” you need to slow,
you are going too fast. You must not drive faster than the distance you can see
otherwise you could injure or kill yourself or others.
You also can use the “Four Second Sight Distance Rule” at night to make sure you
are not driving so fast that you would over run the safe distance provided by your
headlights.
Speed Limits – You must comply with speed limits. Speed limits are based on the
design of the road, the type of vehicles that use it, and where the roads are located.
Determining or setting a speed takes into account things you cannot see, such as side
roads and driveways where people may pull out suddenly and the amount of traffic
that uses the road.
Remember, speed limits are posted for ideal conditions. If the road is wet or icy, if
you cannot see well, or if traffic is heavy, then you must slow down. Even if you are
driving under the posted speed limit, you can get a ticket for traveling too fast under
these conditions.
Distance and Reaction
You must always share the road with others. The more distance you keep between
yourself and everyone else, the more time you have to react to a hazard. This space is
like a safety cushion. The more distance you have, the safer it can be. This section
describes how to make sure you have enough space.
Following Distance – Rear-end crashes are very common. They are caused by drivers
following too closely to be able to stop before hitting the vehicle ahead when it stops
suddenly. There is an easy way to tell if you are following too closely. It is call the
“two-second rule,” and it works at any speed.
• When the rear of the vehicle ahead passes a sign, pole or any other
stationary point, count the seconds it takes you to reach the same point.
• Count “one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two.”
• You are following too closely if you pass the mark before you finish counting.
• If so, drop back and then count again at another spot to check the new distance.
Repeat the process until you are following no closer than “two seconds.”
There are situations where you need more space in front of your vehicle. In these
situations, you may need a four second following distance to be safe.
Slippery Roads – As you need more distance to stop your vehicle on slippery roads,
you must leave more space in front of you. If the vehicle ahead suddenly stops, you
will need the extra distance to stop safely.
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The Driver Behind You Wants To Pass – Slow down to allow room in front of your
vehicle. Slowing also will allow the pass to be completed sooner.
Following Motorcycles – If the motorcycle should fall, you need extra distance to avoid
the rider. The chances of a fall are greatest on wet or icy roads, gravel roads, or metal
surfaces such as bridges, gratings, and streetcar or railroad tracks.
Following Drivers Who Cannot See Your Vehicle – The drivers of trucks, buses, vans, or
vehicles pulling campers or trailers may not be able to see you when you are directly
behind them. They could stop suddenly without knowing you are behind them. These
large vehicles also block your view of the road ahead. Reducing your speed and falling
back allows you more room to see ahead.
Towing – The extra weight increases your stopping distance.
Poor Visibility – When it is hard for you to see ahead because of darkness or bad
weather, you need to increase your following distance.
Being Followed Too Closely – If you are being followed closely, you should allow extra
room. You will then be able to stop without being hit from behind.
Following Emergency Vehicles – Police vehicles, ambulances, and fire trucks need more
room to operate.
Approaching Railroad Crossings – Leave extra room for vehicles required to come to a
stop at railroad crossings, including transit buses, school buses, or vehicles carrying
hazardous materials.
Stopping On An Incline – Leave extra space when stopped on a hill. The vehicle ahead
may roll back when it is started.
The Safety Cushion
Traffic to the Rear
It is not always easy to maintain a safe distance behind your vehicle. However, you
can help keep the driver at a safe distance by keeping a steady speed, and signaling in
advance when you have to slow or stop, such as when:
• Stopping to pick up or let off passengers - Try to find a safe place away from
traffic to stop.
• Parallel Parking - If you want to parallel park and there is traffic coming
behind you, activate your turn signal, pull next to the space, allow following
vehicles to pass before you park.
• Driving Slowly - When you have to drive so slowly that other vehicles must
slow, pull to the side of the road when safe to do so, and let the vehicles
pass. There are “turnout” areas on some two lane roads you may use.
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• Being Tailgated - Occasionally, you may find yourself being followed closely
or “tailgated” by another driver. If you are being followed too closely and
there is a right lane, move over to the right. If there is no right lane, wait
until the path ahead is clear then reduce speed slowly. This will encourage
the tailgater to drive around you. Never slow down quickly to discourage a
tailgater, which may increase the risk of being hit from behind.
Traffic to the Side
You need space on both sides of your vehicle to have room to turn or change lanes.
• Avoid driving next to other vehicles on multi-lane roads. Another driver
may crowd your lane or try to change lanes and pull into your lane. Move
ahead or drop behind the other vehicle.
• Keep as much space as you can between your vehicle and oncoming
vehicles. On a two lane road, this means not crowding the center line. In
general, it is safest to drive in the center of your lane.
• Make room for vehicles entering on a roadway that has two or more lanes.
If there is no other vehicle next to you, move over one lane.
• Keep extra space between your vehicle and parked cars. Someone could step
out from a parked vehicle, or from between vehicles, or a parked vehicle
could pull out.
• Give extra space
to pedestrians or
bicycles, especially
children. They can
move into
your
path quickly and
without warning.
Do not share a lane
with a pedestrian
or bicyclist. Wait
until it is safe to pass in the adjoining lane.
• “Split the difference rule.” Split the difference between two hazards. For
example, steer a middle course between oncoming and parked vehicles.
However, if one is more dangerous than the other, leave a little more space
on the danger side. In the example, if the oncoming vehicle is a tractor
trailer, leave a little more room on the side that the truck will pass.
• When possible, take potential hazards one at a time. For example, if you
are passing a bicycle and an oncoming vehicle is approaching, slow down
and let the vehicle pass first so that you can give extra room to the bicycle.
Merging
Anytime you want to merge with other traffic, you need a gap of about four
seconds. If you move into the middle of a four second gap, both your vehicle and the
vehicle that is now behind you have a two second following distance. You need a four
second gap whenever you change lanes, enter a roadway, or your lane merges with
another travel lane.
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• Do not try to merge into a gap that is too small. A small gap can quickly
become even smaller. Enter a gap that gives you a big enough cushion of safety.
• If you want to cross several lanes, take one at a time. Like going up or down
stairs one step at a time; it is safest and easiest to merge one lane at a time.
Intersecting Traffic
When you cross traffic, you need a large enough gap to get all the way across the road.
When you enter traffic, you need enough space to first turn and then to get up to speed.
• When you cross traffic, you need enough space to clear a potential hazard.
Stopping halfway across is only safe when there is a median divider large
enough to hold your car. Do not stop in a divider where part of your vehicle
is sticking into traffic.
• If you are turning left, make sure there are no vehicles or pedestrians blocking
your path. You do not want to be caught waiting for a path to clear while being
stuck across a lane that has an oncoming vehicle moving in your direction.
• Even if you have the green light, do not start across the intersection if there are cars
blocking your path. If you are caught in the intersection when the light changes
to red, you will block other traffic. You can be ticketed for blocking the intersection.
• Do not turn just because an approaching vehicle has a turn signal on. The
driver may plan to turn beyond you, or may have forgotten to turn the signal
off from a prior turn. This is particularly true of motorcycles, since their signals
often do not cancel automatically. Wait until the other driver actually starts to
turn and then start your turn if it is safe.
Passing Distance
Whenever signs or road markings permit you to pass, you will have to judge whether
you have enough room to pass safely. Do not count on having enough time to pass several
cars at once. Be safe. As a general rule, only pass one vehicle at a time.
Oncoming Vehicles – At a speed of 55 mph, you need about ten seconds to pass. That
means you need a ten second gap in oncoming traffic and sight-distance to pass. You
must judge whether you have enough space to pass safely.
At 55 mph you will travel over 800 feet in ten seconds. So will an oncoming vehicle.
That means you need over 1600 feet or about one-third of a mile to pass safely. It is hard
to judge the speed of oncoming vehicles at such distances. A vehicle that is far enough
away generally appears to be stationary. In fact, if you can really see it coming closer, it may
be too close for you to pass. If you are not sure, wait to pass until you are sure that there
is enough space.
Hills and Curves – You have to be able to see at least one-third of a mile or about
ten seconds ahead. Anytime your view is blocked by a curve or a hill, you should
assume that there is an oncoming vehicle just out of sight. Therefore you should treat
a curve or a hill as you do an oncoming vehicle. This means you should not pass if
you are within one-third of a mile of a hill or curve.
Intersections – It is dangerous to pass where a vehicle is likely to enter or cross the road.
Such places include intersections, railroad crossings, and shopping center entrances.
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While you are passing, your view of people, vehicles or a train can be blocked by the
vehicle you are passing. Also drivers turning right into the approaching lane will not expect
to find you approaching within their lane. They may not even look your way before turning.
Lane Obstructions – Before
you pass, look ahead for road
conditions and traffic that may
cause other vehicles to move
into your lane. Do not pass
unless you have enough space
to return to the driving lane.
And do not count upon other
drivers to make room for you.
You might lose your space for passing because of:
• People or bicyclists near the road
• A narrow bridge or other situation that causes reduced lane width
• A patch of ice, pothole, or object on the road
Before you return to the driving lane, be sure to leave enough room between your
vehicle and the vehicle you have passed. When you can see both headlights of the
vehicle you just passed in your rear-view mirror, it is safe to return to the driving lane.
Beware – Unusual Traffic Circumstances
There are certain drivers and other road users you should give extra room. Here are
some of them.
Individuals Who Cannot See You – Anyone who cannot see your vehicle may enter your
path without knowing you are there. Those who could have trouble seeing you include:
• Drivers at intersections or driveways who may have a blocked view by
buildings, trees or other cars
• Drivers backing into the roadway, or backing into or pulling out of parking spaces
• Drivers whose windows are covered with snow, or ice or steamed covered
• Pedestrians with umbrellas in front of their faces or hats pulled below
their brow
Individuals Who are Distracted – Even when others can see you, allow extra room or be
extra cautious if you think they may be distracted. People who may be distracted include:
•
•
•
•
Delivery persons
Construction workers
Children
Drivers who are not paying attention to their driving
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Individuals Who May Be Disoriented or Confused – People who are confused may cause
an unsafe situation. People who may be confused include:
•
•
•
•
Tourists, or others who do not seem to know where they are going
Drivers who slow down for what seems to be no reason
Drivers looking for street signs or house numbers
Drivers having medical problems
Consideration of Other Drivers – If a driver makes a mistake, do not make it worse. For
example, if a driver attempts to pass you when there is not enough room, slow down and let
the vehicle return to the drive lane safely. If another driver needs to suddenly change lanes,
slow and let the vehicle merge. These gestures will keep traffic moving smoothly and safely.
Approaching a Law Enforcement Vehicle with Emergency Lights Turned-on – Arkansas law
requires that any motor vehicle operator on a multilane highway must move whenever
safely possible to the farthest lane away from a law enforcement vehicle that is stopped
and has emergency lighting turned-on. This law is designed to help protect police officers
and individuals who may be the subject of a traffic stop from being injured by traffic
moving dangerously close to the edge of the highway where the traffic stop is occurring.
Violators of this law may be fined and have their driver license suspended.
TRACTOR TRAILER RIGS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
It may sound obvious, but tractor-trailer rigs are not large cars. To reduce the chance of
a crash with a large tractor-trailer, motorists must be familiar with a truck’s capabilities and
common maneuvers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), 72 percent of the fatal crashes involving two or more vehicles, in which one of
the vehicles is a tractor- trailer, the cause is usually attributed to a car.
Braking
Tractor-trailers take longer to stop than a car traveling at the same speed. The average
passenger car traveling at 55 miles per hour can stop in about 130 to 140 feet, which
is about half the length of a football field. A fully loaded tractor-trailer traveling at the
same speed may take more than 400 feet, more than the length of a football field, to
come to a complete stop.
Turning
With any turning vehicle, the rear wheels follow a shorter path than the front wheels.
The longer the vehicle, the greater the difference. That’s why the drivers of
tractor-trailers must often swing out to the left as the first step in making a right turn.
When following a tractor-trailer, watch the turn signals before trying to pass. If a left
turn is eminent, wait a moment to check and see which way the driver is signaling to
turn before passing on the right.
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Avoiding the Tractor-Trailer “No Zone”
It is important that your vehicle can be seen whenever you are driving. Many motorists
falsely assume that truckers can see the road better because they sit higher than the driver
of a car. While tractor-trailer drivers do enjoy a better forward view from the cabs of their
trucks and have bigger mirrors, they still have serious blind spots into which a car can
disappear from view; up to 20 feet in front of the cab, on either side of the tractor-trailer
(particularly alongside the cab), and up to 200 feet in the rear of the truck.
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Motorists remaining in the blind spots on the sides and in the rear of a truck hamper
the trucker’s ability to take evasive action to avoid a dangerous situation, and the
possibility of a crash is increased. An excellent rule for motorists sharing the road with
a tractor-trailer is, “if you can’t see the truck driver in the tractor side mirror, the driver
can’t see you.”
Maneuverability
Trucks are designed to carry many products and are not designed to be as
maneuverable as cars. Trucks have longer stopping and acceleration distances, take
wider areas to turn, and weigh much more than cars.
The following is a list of some of the most common mistakes motorists must avoid
when driving around trucks:
• Cutting off a truck in traffic or on the highway to reach an exit or turn or cutting
into the open space in front of a truck removes the truck driver’s cushion of
safety. Trying to beat a truck to a single-lane construction zone, for instance,
represents a particularly dangerous situation. Take a moment to slow down
and exit behind the truck, it will only take you a few extra seconds.
• Don’t linger alongside a truck when passing. Always pass a tractor-trailer
completely and always on the left side. If you linger when passing a truck, your
position makes it impossible for the truck driver to take evasive action if an
obstacle appears in the road ahead.
• When following behind a truck, if you can’t see the truck driver’s rear view
mirrors, there is no way the truck driver can see you. Tailgating a truck or car
is dangerous because you take away your own cushion of safety if the vehicle
in front of you stops short. Also if the vehicle you are following hits something
in the road, you will have no time to react before it hits the front of your car.
• Never underestimate the size and speed of an approaching tractor-trailer.
Because of its size, a tractor-trailer often appears to be traveling at a slower
speed than it is. A large number of car-truck collisions take place at
intersections because the driver of the car does not realize how close the truck
is or how quickly it is approaching.
SHARING THE ROAD WITH BICYCLES
Bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities on the streets that drivers do, and
in most cases, they must share the lane. Bicycles are required to travel on the right
hand side of the road with other traffic. Bicyclists are not allowed to travel facing traffic,
since this is far less safe. They must ride as near to the right hand side of the road as
practical, while avoiding road hazards that could cause them to swerve into traffic.
When you’re sharing the road with bicycles, you should always expect the rider to
make sudden moves. Trash, minor oil slicks, a pothole or crack in the concrete, a
barking dog, a parked car or a car door opening, and other surprises can force a bicycle
rider to swerve suddenly in front of you.
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Similarly, when cyclists are traveling past parked cars, they tend to move away from
the cars, toward the center of the lane. This is to avoid injuring, or being injured by,
persons getting out of those cars. In such cases, the bicyclist is operating the bicycle
properly. If possible, give the cyclist the entire lane. When road conditions prevent this,
pass the cyclist with extreme caution. Cyclists who are not on the extreme right hand
side of the lane are not being careless, but are in fact attempting to account for traffic
conditions and/or preparing to make a left turn.
Bicycles are hard to see. The riders are exposed and easily injured in a collision.
Oncoming bicycle traffic is often overlooked or its speed misjudged.
Safety Tips for Motor Vehicle Drivers:
• The most common causes of collisions are drivers turning left in front of an
oncoming bicycle or turning right, across the path of the bicycle.
• Drivers often fail to pick the bicyclist out of the traffic scene, or inaccurately judge
the speed of the cyclists making a left turn.
• Drivers overtaking a bicyclist, then making a right turn in front of the cyclist is
also a cause of many accidents. Look once, then again, make sure you see the
cyclist and know his speed before you turn.
• Merge with bicycle traffic when preparing for a right turn. Don’t turn directly
across the path of a bicyclist.
• Watch for bicycle riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling,
especially if the rider is a child.
• Most bicyclists maintain eye contact with drivers of vehicles around them,
particularly when the cyclist or vehicle is making a turn. Before turning, a
driver should attempt to gain and maintain eye contact with the bicyclist to
ensure a safer turn.
• Allow plenty of room when passing a bicycle rider.
• A driver should never attempt passing between a bicyclist and oncoming
vehicles on a two-lane road. Slow down and allow vehicles to pass. Then move
to the left to allow plenty of room to pass the rider safely. Leave at least three feet
of space between your car and a cyclist when passing.
• Never pass a bicycle if the street is too narrow or you would force the bicyclist too
close to parked vehicles. Wait until there is enough room to let you pass safely.
• If you are about to pass a bicycle on a narrow road and you think the rider
doesn’t know you’re coming, tap your horn gently and briefly as a signal
that you’re going to pass. Don’t blast your horn or otherwise startle or try
to intimidate the rider.
Residential Areas Are Danger Zones
Bicyclists may ride in the middle of the street and disregard stop signs and traffic signals.
Be careful in all neighborhood areas where children and teenagers might be riding.
• Children riding bicycles create special problems for drivers. Children are not
capable of proper judgment in determining traffic conditions and drivers should
be alert to the possibility of erratic movement and sudden changes in direction
when children and bicycles are present.
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• Watch out for bikes coming out from driveways or from behind parked cars or
other obstructions.
• Bicyclists riding at night present visibility problems for drivers. At night, watch
the side of the road for bicyclists. Bicyclists are required to have proper
illumination, a front light and rear reflector, but drivers should be aware that
bicyclists are not easily seen. Lights from approaching traffic may make them
even harder to see at night.
• If you see a bicyclist with a red or orange pennant flag on an antennae attached
to the bike, slow down; this is a common symbol to indicate the rider has
impaired hearing.
Lane Positions for Bicycles
Bicycle riders are required to ride as far right in the lane as possible only when a car
and a bicycle, side by side, can safely share the lane. Even then, there are certain times when
a bicycle can take the full lane. A bicyclist should be allowed full use of the lane when:
• The rider is overtaking and passing another vehicle going in the same direction.
• If the lane is marked and signed for bicycle use only, drivers must NEVER
use that lane as a turning lane, passing lane or for parking.
• The bicyclist is getting in place for a left turn at an intersection or turning
left into a private road or driveway.
• There are unsafe conditions in the roadway such as parked cars, moving
vehicles or machinery, fixed obstacles, pedestrians, animals, potholes or
debris.
• The lane is too narrow for both a car and a bicycle to safely share the lane.
In this case, it is safest to let the bicycle take the full lane.
DRIVING FITNESS
Driving safely is not always easy. In fact, it is one of the most complex things that
people do. It also is one of the few things we do regularly that can injure and kill us.
It is worth the extra effort to be a careful driver.
To be a safe driver takes a lot of skill and judgment. This task is even more difficult
when you are just learning to drive. Driving can easily take all the ability you have. If
anything happens so you are not up to your ability, you may not be a safe driver. Your
ability to be a safe driver depends on being able to see clearly, not being tired, and
not driving consuming alcohol or illegal drugs. In other words, be in “shape” to drive.
Vision
Good vision is a must for safe driving. Your driving decisions are based on what you
see. If you cannot see clearly, you will have trouble identifying traffic and road
conditions, spotting potential trouble, and reacting in a timely manner.
Vision is so important that Arkansas requires that you pass a vision test before you
get a driver license. This test measures that you have at least twenty-fifty (20/50) vision
in at least one eye, with or without corrective lenses.
46
Other important aspects of vision are:
Peripheral Vision – Take advantage of peripheral vision, the field of vision from the
corner of your eye. This lets you spot vehicles and other potential trouble on either side
of you while you look ahead. Because you cannot focus on things to the side, you also
must use your side mirrors and glance to the side if necessary.
Judging Distance And Speed – Even if you can see clearly, you still may not be able to
judge distances or speed very well. Many people have problems judging distances and
speeds. It takes a lot of practice to be able to judge both. It is especially important in
knowing how far you are from other vehicles and judging safe gaps when merging and
when passing on two lane roads.
Night Vision – Many people who can see clearly in the daytime have trouble seeing
at night. All people have more trouble seeing at night than in the daytime. Some drivers
have problems with glare while driving at night, especially with the glare of oncoming
headlights. If you have problems seeing at night, don’t drive more than necessary, and
when you do, be very careful.
Because it is so important to safe driving to see well, you should have your eyes
checked every two years by an eye specialist. You may never know you have poor vision
unless your eyes are tested.
If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses for driving, remember to:
• If you are prescribed corrective lenses, always wear them when you drive. If
your driver license says you must wear corrective lenses and you are not
and you happen to be stopped, you could get a ticket.
• Try to keep an extra pair of glasses in your vehicle. This can be helpful if you
do not wear glasses all the time. It is easy to misplace them.
• Avoid using dark glasses or tinted contact lenses at night, even if it is to help
with glare. The problem is these types of lenses cut down too much light,
light that you need to see clearly.
Hearing
Hearing can be helpful to safe driving. The sound of horns, sirens, or screeching tires
can warn you of danger. Hearing problems, like bad eyesight, can come on so slowly
that you do not notice it. Drivers who know they are deaf or have hearing problems
can adjust and be safe drivers. They learn to rely more on their vision and stay alert.
Studies have shown that the driving records of hearing impaired drivers are just as
good as those of drivers with good hearing.
Fatigue
When you are tired, you cannot drive as safely as when you are rested and you do
not see as well nor are you as alert as when you are rested. It takes you more time to
make decisions and you do not always make good decisions. You can be more irritable
and can get upset more easily. Lastly, when you are tired, you could fall asleep behind
the wheel and crash.
47
There are things you can do to keep from getting tired on a long trip:
• Try to get a good night’s sleep before you leave.
• Do not leave on a trip if you are tired. Plan your trips so you can leave when
you are rested.
• Do not take any medicine that might make you drowsy.
• Eat light meals prior to departure. Large, full meals tend to cause drowsiness.
• Take breaks. Stop regularly or as needed to walk around, breath fresh air, and
refresh yourself with coffee, soda, or juice. The few minutes spent on a rest
break can save your life. Plan for plenty of time to complete your trip safely.
• Avoid long trips during hours your body is accustomed to resting.
• Never drive if you are sleepy. It is better to stop and sleep for a few hours
than take a chance you can stay awake.
Drinking and Driving
Alcohol is involved in approximately thirty-eight percent of the traffic crashes in
which someone is killed. If you drink alcohol, even a little, your chances of being in
a crash are much greater than if you did not drink any alcohol.
There is no alcohol concentration at which it is considered safe to operate a vehicle.
Experienced drivers are affected by alcohol even if they have been driving for many
years. New drivers are often more affected by alcohol than experienced drivers, because
new drivers are still in the learning process.
Because drinking alcohol and then driving is so dangerous, the penalties are very
severe. People who drive after drinking risk being fined more than for other violations
of other types. These drivers also experience higher insurance rates, loss of license, and
even jail sentences.
Alcohol Impairment
Alcohol reduces all of the important skills you need to drive safely. After you drink
alcohol, it goes from your stomach into the small intestine where most of it is absorbed
into the blood, which then transports the alcohol to all parts of the body. Alcohol in
the blood stream reaches the brain in fifteen to forty minutes. Once in the brain the
alcohol first affects those areas of your brain that control judgment and skill. Good
judgment is important to driving and this is one reason why drinking alcohol and
driving is so dangerous. Judgment also helps you to decide when to stop drinking.
When people consume alcohol they are unable to judge when they have had too much
to drink until it is too late. Generally by the time you begin to feel the effects of the
alcohol the judgment is already affected severely.
Alcohol slows your reflexes and reaction time, reduces your ability to see clearly,
and makes you less alert. As the amount of alcohol in your body increases, your
judgment worsens and your skill decreases. You will have trouble judging distances,
speeds and the movement of other vehicles. Even more dangerous, you will have
trouble controlling your vehicle.
48
Body Metabolism
If you drink alcohol, do not drive. Depending upon body weight even one drink of
alcohol may affect your ability to operate a vehicle properly. Two or more drinks may
cause impairment and you could be arrested.
A single alcohol drink is considered
1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor (one shot
glass) straight or with a mixer, a 5 ounce
glass of wine or a 12 ounce container of
beer. Specialty drinks can have more
alcohol and one drink may equal several
normal drinks.
On the average it takes about one
hour for the body to get rid of each drink.
So, even if you have spread out your
drinks to no more than one per hour, you
should stop drinking at least one hour
before you drive.
1.5 ounce
80 proof
liquor
6 ounce
glass of
table wine
12 ounce
can of beer
There is no way to sober up quickly. Coffee, fresh air, exercise, sleep, or cold showers
will not help. Time is the only thing that will allow the alcohol to get out of your system.
There are ways of dealing with social drinking situations. Arrange to go with two or
more persons, where one of you will not drink alcohol. You can rotate among the group
being a “designated driver.” If it is available, you might use public transportation or a cab.
If you drink alcohol, there are ways to control the effects. The best is to space out your
drinking. Generally, if you drink one drink per hour, alcohol will not build up in your
system enough so that you would be impaired; however, depending upon body weight
and other conditions, this may not always be true. Another way is to take food before and
during the time you are drinking. Food in the stomach slows down the rate that alcohol
gets into your blood stream. Starchy foods like potato chips, pretzels, bread, and crackers
are best. But remember, food only slows the rate that it takes for alcohol to get into the
blood. It will not prevent you from getting intoxicated or being impaired.
Alcohol and the Law
If you are arrested for drinking and driving, the penalties are severe. You can be arrested
for driving while intoxicated with an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more in the breath
(grams/210 liters) or blood (grams/100 milliliters, the same as 0.08%). In Arkansas, you
can also be arrested for alcohol impairment at any level above 0.04%. Breath Alcohol
Concentration (BrAC) is the alcohol in your breath and Blood Alcohol Concentration
(BAC) is the concentration of alcohol in the blood. Blood alcohol concentration can be
determined by a blood or urine test. The law enforcement officer chooses which test
(breath, blood, or urine) to request. If a law enforcement officer instructs you to take an
alcohol test you are compelled by law to do so. You can lose your driver license if you
refuse to take an alcohol test.
49
If you are found guilty of an alcohol violation and it is your first conviction, you will
be fined from $150 to $1000, in addition to court costs. You could also be sentenced to
one year in jail, and your license will be suspended for 120 days. For second and
subsequent convictions the penalties are much worse, including being sent to prison.
Arkansas law does not allow anyone under the age of twenty-one to buy or consume
alcohol. You can be arrested for Underage Driving Under The Influence if your alcohol
concentration is 0.02% breath or blood alcohol concentration. If you are found guilty
after having been afforded the proper test or tests you could have your license revoked until
you reach twenty-one years of age and could be fined $2000. In addition, any person
under twenty-one years of age convicted of purchasing or being in possession of alcohol
will have their driving privileges suspended, revoked or disqualified.
Other Types of Drugs and Driving
There are many other drugs in addition to alcohol that can affect a person’s ability to
drive safely. These drugs can have affects like those of alcohol, or even worse. This is true
of many prescription drugs or even many of the drugs you can buy without a prescription.
Drugs taken for headaches, colds, hay fever or other allergies or to calm nerves can make
a person drowsy and affect their driving skills. Pep pills, “uppers,” and diet pills can make
a driver feel more alert for a short time. Later, however, these drugs cause a person to be
nervous, dizzy, not able to concentrate, and they can affect your vision. Other prescription
drugs can affect your reflexes, judgment, vision, and alertness in ways similar to alcohol.
Other drugs cannot increase the concentration in your system and do not constitute a
defense against impairment.
If you are driving, before you take a drug, check the label for warnings about its effect.
If you are not sure if it is safe to take the drug and drive, ask your doctor or pharmacist
about any side effects.
Never drink alcohol while you are taking medication or other drugs. These drugs
may multiply the effects of alcohol, or have additional effects of their own. These effects
not only reduce your ability to be a safe driver, but the effects could cause serious health
problems or even death. Illegal drugs are not good for your health and affect your ability
to be a safe driver. For example, studies have shown that people who use marijuana make
more mistakes, have more trouble adjusting to glare, and get arrested for traffic violations
more than other drivers.
Health
Many health problems can affect your driving – a bad cold, infection, or a virus.
Even little problems like a stiff neck, a cough, or a sore leg can affect your driving. If
you are not feeling well and need to go somewhere; let someone else drive.
Epilepsy – Epilepsy is usually not dangerous if it is under medical control. In Arkansas
you may drive if you are under the care of a doctor and have not had a seizure for
one year.
50
Diabetes – Diabetics who take insulin should not drive when there is any chance of
going into shock. Such a situation could result from skipping a meal or snack, or from
taking the wrong amount of insulin. It also might be a good idea to have someone else
drive for you during times when your doctor is adjusting your insulin dosage. If you
have diabetes, you should also have your eyes checked regularly for possible night
blindness and other vision problems.
Heart Condition – Some people with certain forms of heart disease, high blood
pressure, or circulation problems may be in danger of blackout, fainting, or a heart
attack and should not get behind the wheel. If you are being treated by a doctor for a
heart condition, ask if the condition could affect your driving ability.
Emotional Distress – Emotions can have a great effect on your driving safely. You may
not be able to drive well if you are overly worried, excited, afraid, angry, or just “down.”
• If you are angry or excited, give yourself time to cool off. If necessary, take
a short walk, but stay off the road until you have calmed down.
• If you are worried or “down” about something, try to keep your mind on
your driving. Some find listening to the radio helps.
• If you are impatient, give yourself extra time for your driving trip. Leave a
few minutes early. If you have plenty of time, you may not tend to speed,
do other things that can get you a traffic ticket or cause a crash.
EMERGENCIES
All drivers sooner or later will find themselves in an emergency situation. As careful
as you are, there are situations that could cause you a problem. If you are prepared, you
may be able to prevent any serious outcomes.
Vehicle Emergencies
There is always a chance of a vehicle problem while driving. You should follow the
recommended maintenance schedule listed in the vehicle owner’s manual. Following
these preventive measures greatly reduces the chance your vehicle will have a problem.
The following notes some possible vehicle failures and what you can do if they happen.
Brake Failure
If your brakes stop working:
• Pump the brake pedal several times. This will often build up enough brake
pressure to allow you to stop.
• If that does not work, use the parking brake. Pull on the parking brake
handle slowly or slowly press the emergency brake pedal so you will not lock
the rear wheels and cause a skid. Be ready to release the brake if the vehicle
does start to skid.
• If that does not work, start shifting to lower gears and look for a safe place
to slow to a stop. Make sure the car is off the roadway. Do not drive the
vehicle without brakes.
51
Blowouts
If a tire suddenly goes flat:
• Hold the steering wheel tightly, and keep the vehicle going straight.
• Slow gradually. Take your foot off the gas pedal and use the brakes lightly.
• Do not stop on the road if at all possible. Pull off the road in a safe place.
Engine Failure
If the engine dies while you are driving:
• Keep a strong grip on the steering wheel. Be aware that the steering may be
difficult to turn, but you can turn it.
• Pull off the roadway. The brakes will still work but you may have to push
very hard on the brake pedal.
Headlight Failure
If your headlights suddenly go out:
• Try the headlight switch a few times.
• If that does not work, put on the emergency flashers, turn signals, or fog
lights, if you have them.
• Pull off the road as soon as possible.
Faulty Accelerator
The motor keeps running faster and faster:
•
•
•
•
Keep your eyes on the road.
Quickly shift to neutral.
Pull off the road when safe to do so.
Turn off the engine.
Avoiding Collisions
When it looks like a collision may happen, many drivers panic and fail to act. In
some cases they do act, but do something that does not help to reduce the chance of
the collision. There almost always is something you can do to avoid the crash, or reduce
the results of the crash. In avoiding a collision, drivers have three options: (1) Stop,
(2) Turn, and (3) Speed Up.
Stopping
Many newer vehicles have ABS (Antilock Braking System). Be sure to read the vehicle
owner’s manual on how to use the ABS. The ABS system will allow you to stop without
skidding. In general, if you need to stop quickly.
52
With ABS – If you have an antilock braking system and you need to stop quickly:
• Press on the brake pedal as hard as you can and keep pressing on it.
• You might feel the brake pedal pushing back when the ABS is working. Do
not let up on the brake pedal. The ABS system will only work with the brake
pedal pushed down.
Without ABS – If you must stop quickly and you do not have an antilock braking system:
• You can cause the vehicle to go into a skid if you brake too hard.
• Apply the brakes as hard as you can without locking the brake.
• If the brakes lock up, you will feel the vehicle start to skid. Quickly let up
on the brake pedal.
• As soon as the vehicle stops skidding, push down on the brake pedal again.
Keep doing this until the vehicle has stopped.
Turning
In most cases, a driver can turn the vehicle quicker than it can be stopped. You
should consider turning in order to avoid a collision.
Make sure
to have your
turned away
Some drivers
you have a good grip with both hands on the steering wheel. It is best
hands at about the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions. Once you have
or changed lanes, you must be ready to keep the vehicle under control.
steer away from one collision only to end up in another.
With ABS – One aspect of having ABS is that you can turn your vehicle while braking
without skidding. This is very helpful if you must turn, stop or slow down.
Without ABS – If you do not have ABS, you must use a different procedure to
turn quickly. You also step on the brake pedal, but you let up and turn the steering
wheel. Braking will slow the vehicle some, and it puts more weight on the front tires
and this allows for a quicker turn. Do not lock up the front wheels while braking or
turn so sharply that the vehicle can only plow ahead.
Generally it is better to run off the road than crash head-on into another vehicle.
Accelerating
Sometimes it is best or necessary to speed up to avoid a collision. This may happen
when another vehicle is about to hit you from the side or from behind and there is
room to the front of you to get out of danger. Be sure to slow down once the danger
has passed.
Skids
Any road that is safe under normal conditions can be dangerous when it is wet or
has snow or ice on it. High speeds under normal conditions also increase the possibility
of a skid if you must turn or stop suddenly.
53
Skids
are
caused
when the tires can
no longer grip the
road. You cannot
control a
vehicle
when it is skidding,
so it is best not to
cause your vehicle to
skid in the first place.
In the vast majority of cases, skids were caused by drivers traveling too fast for
conditions.
If your vehicle begins to skid:
• Stay off the Brake – Until the vehicle slows, your brakes will not work and
could cause you to skid more.
• Steer – Turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the vehicle to go.
As soon as the vehicle begins to straighten out, turn the steering wheel back
the other way. If you do not do so, your vehicle may swing around in the
other direction and you could start a new skid.
• Continue to Steer – Continue to correct your steering, left and right, until the
vehicle is again moving down the road under your control.
Protect Yourself
You may not always be able to avoid a collision. Try everything you can to keep from
getting hit. If nothing works, try to lessen any injuries that could result from the crash.
The most important thing you can do is to use your lap and shoulder belts. Other than
your safety belts, there are a couple of other evasive measures that could help prevent
more serious injuries.
Rear Impact
If your vehicle is hit from the rear, your body will be thrown toward the rear of
your vehicle. Press yourself against the back of your seat and put your head against the
head restraint. Be ready to apply your brakes so that you will not be pushed into
another vehicle.
54
Side Impact
If your vehicle is hit from the side, your body will be thrown toward the side that
is hit. Your lap and shoulder belts are needed to help keep you behind the wheel. Get
ready to steer or brake to prevent your vehicle from hitting another object.
Front Impact
If your vehicle is about to be hit from the front it is important to try to have a “glancing
blow” rather than being struck head on. This means that if a collision is going to happen,
try to turn the vehicle. At worst, you hit with a glancing blow. If your vehicle has an air
bag, it will inflate. It will also deflate after the crash, so be ready to prevent your vehicle
from hitting another object. You must wear your lap and shoulder belts to keep you behind
the wheel, and to protect you if your vehicle has a second crash.
Traffic Crashes
Do not stop at a crash unless you are involved or emergency help has not yet arrived.
Keep your attention on your driving and keep moving, watching for people who might
be in or near the road. Do not drive to the scene of an accident, fire, or other disaster
just to look. You may block the way for police, firefighters, ambulances, tow trucks, and
other rescue vehicles.
No matter how good a driver you are, there may be a time when you are involved in
a crash. If you are involved in a crash, you must stop. If you are involved in a crash with
a parked vehicle, you must try to locate the owner. If any person is injured or killed, or
property damage exceeds $1000, a driver must notify police immediately. If there is injury
or death resulting from a crash it is a crime for a driver to leave a crash scene before police
have talked to the drivers and received all the information they need about the crash.
You may want to carry a basic emergency kit that has flares and first aid supplies in
your vehicle.
Crash Scenes
• Stop your vehicle at or near the accident site. If your vehicle can move, get
it off the road so it does not block traffic.
• Do not stand or walk in traffic lanes. You could be struck by another vehicle.
• Turn off the ignition of wrecked vehicles. Do not smoke near wrecked
vehicles. Fuel could have spilled.
• If there are electrical wires down, do not go near the wires.
• Make sure that other traffic will not be involved in the crash. Use flares or
other warning devices to alert traffic of the accident, but again, be aware of
any spilled fuel or fuel leaks.
55
Assisting the Injured
• Help anyone who is immobile or unconscious. Check for breathing, then
check for bleeding.
• Call for help. Make sure police are notified with a precise location of the
crash scene and provide to the dispatchers any cautionary information such
as gas spills, fire or downed electric lines. Follow-up with the same
information given to rescue and emergency medical personnel.
• Do not move the injured unless they are trapped inside a burning vehicle
or other immediate form of danger.
• If there is bleeding, supply direct pressure to the wound. Even severe
bleeding can almost always be stopped or slowed by using direct pressure
to a wound.
• Do not give the injured anything to drink, even water, until medical
personnel are on the scene.
• To prevent an injured person from going into shock, cover the individual
with a blanket or warm clothing such as a coat or jacket.
Keep a Record of Crash Information
• Get the names and addresses of all the people involved in the accident and
any witnesses. Also make sure to get the names and addresses of any injured
persons.
• Exchange information with other drivers involved in the crash. (Name,
address, driver license number, vehicle information (license plate, make,
model and year of vehicle), and insurance company and policy number if
available).
• Record any damage to the vehicles involved in the crash.
• Provide information to the police or other emergency officials if requested.
• Should the crash involve a parked car, try to find the owner. If you cannot,
leave a note in a place where it can be seen with information on how the
owner can reach you and the date and time of the accident.
• You must report the accident to the Office of Driver Services division of the
Department of Finance and Administration if there is an injury, a death, or
property damage in excess of $1000 to one person’s property. Accident forms
are available at Office of Driver Services offices or from most insurance
agents. You must file the report within 30 days of the accident. If you are
injured and unable to complete the report, someone may file on your behalf.
56
SKILLS TEST GUIDELINES
The final stage of obtaining a driver license in Arkansas is to successfully complete
a skills test. This will be accomplished by the applicant driving the individual’s vehicle
accompanied by an Arkansas State Police Driver Examiner, or, in the case of a
motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, while being observed operating the class cycle for
which the person is trying to obtain a license.
Following are guidelines for the skills test:
• The driver examiner will check the vehicle registration and insurance papers
to be certain the documents are current and proper.
• The driver examiner will check the vehicle to be sure it is in safe, legal
mechanical condition.
A skills test will not be given if:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The vehicle interior is excessively dirty.
All lights do not work.
The windshield is cracked so badly that the view is obstructed.
The muffler and exhaust system are not operating properly.
The horn does not work.
The speedometer does not work.
The tires are worn so badly as to be unsafe.
The windows are excessively tinted.
The examiner recognizes serious mechanical defects, such as defective brakes.
The vehicle is not properly licensed, and the license must be properly displayed.
The applicant is unfamiliar with the vehicle systems and control mechanisms.
The skills test will measure an applicant’s ability to properly and legally operate the
vehicle. The driver examiner will observe the applicant to determine if the applicant:
• Is familiar with all controls
• Maintains proper control of the vehicle
• Obeys all traffic laws, such as speed limits, stop signs and signals, the seat belt
law, use of headlights and windshield wipers, proper lane use, and others
• Keeps a proper lookout for other vehicles and pedestrians
• Properly adjusts to special driver situations, such as construction zones and
school zones
A violation of any law may result in a failing grade on the skills test.
An applicant may be given a failing grade if the examiner observes driving practices
which create a hazard to the applicant or other users of the streets or highways.
57
ARKANSAS
Following the successful completion of driver testing, Arkansas license applicants will
be asked whether they wish to register as an organ or tissue donor. The words “Organ
Donor” will be printed on the front of the Arkansas driver license for those individuals
who choose to participate as a registered organ donor.
Arkansas driver license holders, identified as organ donors, will be listed in a state
registry. The donor driver license and registry assist emergency services and medical
personnel identify the individuals who have chosen to offer upon death, their body’s
organs to help another person have a second chance at life (i.e. the transplant of heart,
kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, corneas, bone, skin, heart valves or tissue).
It will be important, should you choose to participate in the donor program to speak
with your family about the decision so that your wishes can be carried-out upon your
death. Please review some of the facts you should know about organ and tissue
donations:
Thousands of people are on waiting lists to receive organ transplants.
Approximately 17 patients on average die each day while waiting on a
suitable organ donation (one person every 85 minutes).
The decision to become an organ or tissue donor will not influence the
quality of emergency care or medical treatment an organ donor might receive.
Organ donations may only occur after every effort has been made to save the
donor’s life.
Organ and tissue donations do not change the way the body may appear.
Organ and tissue donors are treated with respect and dignity. Organ harvesting
occurs through a sterile surgical process under the strict guidance of a
physician.
The families of organ and tissue donors are not expected to pay for any
medical bills associated with the organ harvesting process.
Organ and tissue donations are considered gifts and family survivors of a
donor receive no compensation.
While many religious orders or denominations may not oppose the
principals of human organ and tissue donations, specific questions relating to
this matter should be directed to your family pastor, cleric or religious leaders.
*Source material from Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency
The Arkansas Organ Donor Registry is managed by the Arkansas Regional Organ
Recovery Agency (
). For more information about organ and tissue donation,
contact
by calling (501) 907-9150 or (866) 660-5433, or log onto the
web site at www.arora.org
It's dang rous enough out there
tor police onicers. Please
moveover.
It's a law in Arkansas, and in a growing number of states,
requiring drivers on multilane highways to move when
possible into the farthest lane as they approach any law
enforcement officer's vehicle or any emergency
vehicle with amber, red, blue, or white flashing
lights activated and to remain in the farthest lane until
past the law enforcement vehicle and any other vehicles
"iinlnnl o by the officer. Violation of the law could cost you a
ne, a day in court, or worse, the life of someone trying to
protec '."".'!'. r.. :->c. t
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