Written Drivers Tests 101: Why Testing is so Important

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by Joshua on August 25, 2013

Less than two decades prior to recent it was a fairly simple procedure to obtain your driver’s license in just about any state within the US that the new driver resided. The procedure was fairly simple. A new driver meeting the state minimum age could show Identification and a piece of mail with their state address, answer a short quiz and be on the roads in no-time. Over the past two decades the process in many states has become drawn out and seemingly complicated with the introduction of the Graduated License Program and increased required documentation for the application process.

Many states have added multiple affidavits and release forms and extra requirements for new drivers to the processes, making it difficult for many to receive a license without needing a step-by-step guide Dmvcheatsheets.com. Those wishing to receive a first time license are finding they must take written tests multiple times through the licensing procedures. The changes in the processes are in response to the growing number of accidents on major roadways, including a significant increase to fatalities caused by motor vehicles.

Statistics released by several authorities on this matter over the last several years have produced some alarming numbers:

  • In 2010, the leading cause of death among both males and females in the US between age 13 and 19 was motor vehicle accidents.
  • 55% of accidents caused by teenage drivers occurred on weekend nights between the hours of 10 pm and 5am.
  • Over 1.6 million accidents on today’s roadways are caused by texting and driving.
  • One death every 48 minutes in the US is caused by drinking and driving.

How Written Tests Can Assist

The overall purpose for written testing is to give the DMV a way in which to evaluate the new driver’s ability to understand and follow common traffic laws essential for safe driving. The test is given a specific minimum passing score that the particular state has determined to show the drivers basic ability to properly operate a motor vehicle. Combined with a road skills test, this system is designed to pass only those drivers that can prove they have control over the vehicle and know the state driving laws.

Written tests in many state DMV’s have seen changes, often making the test longer with higher passing score requirements. Currently the average state score to pass is 80% with some states holding lower requirements and a few increasing the average. In addition, each state has done its part to help stop the rising number of road accidents using its written tests in unique ways.

Computerized written tests allow the DMV to give instant scores and feedback to the new driver, in hopes they can learn from their mistakes. During a computerized test, the new potential driver receives an instant score on each individual test answer and incorrect scores will provide the user with the correct answer as well as feedback. Some states have increase standards for passing to include not only an overall passing score, but also a required number of correct answers for traffic law and signs questions.

The graduated license program was designed to evaluate a teen drivers abilities multiple times during the license process. In most cases, the minor will be required to take the written test while applying for a learners permit as well as again at each stage of licensing. This means the teen is taking the written tests" Dmvcheatsheets.com":http://www.dmvcheatsheets.com/articles/helping-your-teen-prepare-to-pass-the-drivers-tests at least three times through out the course of receiving a full privilege license. Test questions are randomly generated each new test so the teen driver is not repeating the same written test twice, giving the DMV an even better gauge on their driving abilities.

What Information on the Written Test can assist with Improved Driving?

The average written test will consist of similar questions in several areas of safe driving. New drivers may find randomly mixed test questions from some of the following categories, each useful in the ongoing learning process of driving a motor vehicle:

  • Road Signs- failure to properly obey a road sign is one of the leading causes of both major accidents in the US. This includes the deaths of many pedestrians when a new driver fails to properly yield or come to a stop. A new driver that fails to yield the right of way to a school bus or ignores a school zone sign can often end in tragedy. In addition, accidents involving the deaths of construction workers have become such a serious problem that many states have double the ticket fines and added jail time to any driver caught disobeying speed limit and other instructions within a construction zone.
  • Traffic Laws-The DMV will not pass a driver that cannot show proper understanding of the states traffic laws. This includes an ability to read and follow speed limit signs and how to properly perform a turn at an intersection. The driver must know when they can and cannot perform such maneuvers as turning, changing lanes and actions to be taken when approaching the point of no return at a traffic light.
  • Special concerns- DMV written tests have been modified to address new road concerns such as texting and driving and the use of electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. In many states it is now illegal to operate a cell phone while driving. In addition, specific test questions in states with high drinking and driving accident rates are also essential for the learning process.
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