What Tests do I need to take for a Driver’s License?

Every state has its own set of rules and regulations regarding driving a motorized vehicle on the roads, and it is important in order to be a safe driver that you fully understand these before operating a motor vehicle. Car accidents are the leading cause of teenage deaths in the State of Florida, and one of the main causes of accidental deaths among adults as well. This is one of many reasons that it is important to know how to safely operate a motor vehicle before driving, to protect not only yourself and passengers from other drivers on the road, but so that you avoid being the cause of an accident. Each state has its own drivers manual for not only a standard drivers license used in personal daily life, but specific handbooks for other cases such as commercial driving and motorcycles. This is because each type of vehicle you operate comes with its own set of hazards you need to be aware of, as well as laws regarding driving.

Each test, regardless of the type of license you are applying for consists of multiple choice questions taken directly from the information you learned within your states driver’s handbooks, so that they are sure you fully understand the basics of driving safely before getting behind the wheel. The information on the test is what your state’s department of motor vehicles feels to be the most important aspects of safe driving, although all information located in the handbooks is important to understand. The written skills test is for some the easy part of the driver’s testing process if they are well-prepared and study hard before taking it. It will vary for each state but some general information you can find on this test will be:

  • Common road signs. These can be both regulatory and warning signs, as well as special circumstance signs. It is important that you are able to recognize at least the most commonly found signs on the road and know what to do when you encounter one in order to be a safe driver on the road. These may include stop and yield signs, speed limit signs, school zone and special speed limit signs, construction ahead or water over the bridge warning signs and many more. Study all of the signs listed in your states manual to be sure you pass the test.
  • Traffic laws and signals. You must understand how to properly handle all traffic signals you will come across, as other driver depending on your following laws for safety. For example, you must know the difference between green, yellow and red lights and when you can safely make right and left turns based on signals. In addition you may find in some areas, especially rural, that at night signals “turn off” at certain intersections. You must understand how to proceed at a flashing yellow and flashing red light to avoid an accident. Traffic laws such as yielding to emergency vehicles and school buses, which have the “right of way” in common situations and obeying speed limits posts are equally important.
  • Special circumstances that have been causing a particularly high amount of accidents are also addressed and equally essential to know. Road rage, distracted or sleepy driving, drugs and alcohol and driving and bad weather have their own special sections in the handbooks due to their high levels of accident producing consequences.

Several of the multiple choice questions on this test will also be in the form of situational questions. You will be given a situation and a series of options as to the proper way to handle the scenario should you be faced with it in real life. Be sure when you are studying to relate materials to everyday life so you are prepared to answer these questions correctly.

Special Written Tests

Certain types of driver’s licenses will require special or additional testing. This is most seen with those seeking a Commercial Driver’s license or CDL. This license is used for commercial driving to transport both goods and materials within state or across country or for the use of carrying passengers such as a school bus. All general commercial license applicants take the same main test but depending on which type of transportation you intend to do you may have to take additional tests for endorsements to your CDL. There is more variation between state laws in this type of driving than in a standard license so it is important to understand your particular states laws.

Operating a vehicle with a detached motor, such as a motorcycle will also have its own sets of rules and safety concerns, therefore special tests are made specifically for this type of driving.

The road Skills Tests

In general, first time drivers, CDL and motorcycle license applicants are required to take the road skills test after passing a written test. This portion is the most dreaded aspect of obtaining a drivers license for many but it is also the most essential to assure you are a safe driver. It is important to be sure you are fully prepared to take this test by allowing yourself plenty of practice before scheduling your final test. This test will check your basic abilities to operate your motorized vehicle and will include:

  • Control of your Vehicle. You will be testes to assure you can properly handle the vehicle including speed and steering control and use of safety devices such as seatbelts and mirrors. Your ability to perform proper stops and turns, use of the turn signals and ability to smoothly accelerate will be evaluated.
  • Knowledge of traffic laws. It is one thing to write down laws on paper, it is another to actually perform and obey laws while on the road. Therefore the roads test will also evaluate your ability to remember proper procedures and your knowledge of signs and signals.
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