CDL Practice Tests For Safe Driving Page 6

Safe Driving Practice Questions

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When coming down a long, steep downgrade, what should be your primary method of controlling your speed?
  • The emergency brake
  • The braking effect of the engine
  • Swerving gently side-to-side
  • The foot brakes
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From The CDL Manual

You must use the braking effect of the engine as the principal way of controlling your speed. The braking effect of the engine is greatest when it is near the governed RPMs and the transmission is in the lower gears. Save your brakes so you will be able to slow or stop as required by road traffic conditions.

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Good general shifting techniques for going down a long downgrade include:
  • Use the same gear going down a hill that you would need to climb the hill
  • Shift the transmission to a low gear before starting down the grade.
  • Know what techniques are right for your vehicle beforehand
  • All of these things should be practiced
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From The CDL Manual

Select the Right Gear Before Starting Down Grade—

Shift the transmission to a low gear before starting down the grade. Do not try to downshift after your speed has already built up. You will not be able to shift into a lower gear. You may not even be able to get back into any gear and all engine braking effect will be lost. Forcing an automatic transmission into a lower gear at high speed could damage the transmission and also lead to loss of all engine braking effect.

A good rule for older trucks is to use the same gear going down a hill that you would need to climb the hill. However, newer trucks have low-friction parts and streamlined shapes for fuel economy. They also may have more powerful engines. This means they can go up hills in higher gears and have less friction and air drag to hold them back going down hills. For that reason, drivers of modern trucks may have to use lower gears going down a hill than would be required to go up the hill. Know what is right for your vehicle.

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When using the brakes on a steep downgrade, which of the following applies?
  • Pump brakes continuously
  • Come to a complete stop several times to allow brakes to cool
  • Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite slowdown.
  • Keep brakes applied through the entire downgrade
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From The CDL Manual

Proper Braking Technique —

The use of brakes on a long and/or steep downgrade is only a supplement to the braking effect of the engine. Once the vehicle is in the proper low gear, the following is a proper braking technique:

  • 1. Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite slowdown.
  • 2. When your speed has been reduced to approximately 5 mph below your “safe” speed, release the brakes. (This brake application should last for about 3 seconds.)
  • 3. When your speed has increased to your “safe” speed, repeat steps 1 and 2.
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Specific hazards to watch for when traveling through work zones include:
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Narrow or closed lanes
  • Construction vehicles and workers getting in the way
  • These are all possible obstacles to be aware of
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From The CDL Manual

Work zones:

When people are working on the road it is a hazard. There may be narrower lanes, sharp turns or uneven surfaces. Other drivers are often distracted and drive unsafely. Workers and construction vehicles may get in the way. Drive slowly and carefully near work zones. Use your four-way flashers or brake lights to warn drivers behind you.

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Sharp pavement drop-offs:
  • Can cause the vehicle to hit roadside objects
  • Only matter in the mountains
  • Can help slow down the vehicle
  • Don't affect driving in any way
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From The CDL Manual

Drop-offs:

Sometimes the pavement drops off sharply near the edge of the road. Driving too close to the edge can tilt your vehicle toward the side of the road. This can cause the top of your vehicle to hit roadside objects (signs, tree limbs, etc.). It also can be hard to steer as you cross the drop-off, whether going off the road or coming back on.

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Why should drivers avoid foreign objects in the road?
  • Boxes or bags could contain hidden solid objects
  • They could cause damage to tires, rims, and lines and hoses
  • They could get caught between dual tires and cause severe damage
  • These are all reasons to stay alert for objects in the road
Click here to look up the answer

From The CDL Manual

Foreign objects:

Things that have fallen on the road can be hazards. They can be a danger to your tires and wheel rims, damage electrical and brake lines, or become caught between dual tires and cause severe damage. Some obstacles that can appear to be harmless can be very dangerous. For example, cardboard boxes may be empty, but they also may contain solid or heavy material capable of causing damage. The same is true of paper and cloth sacks. Remain alert for objects of all sorts, so you avoid them without making sudden, unsafe moves.

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All of the following are concerns for driving on offramps or onramps except:
  • Braking and turning at the same time can be a dangerous practice.
  • Exits that go downhill and turn at the same time can be especially dangerous.
  • Drivers should stop and get out to look at the onramp or offramp before entering it
  • Offramps and onramps often have speed limit signs posted. Remember, these speeds may be safe for automobiles but may not be safe for larger vehicles or heavily loaded vehicles.
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From The CDL Manual

Offramps/onramps:

Freeway and turnpike exits can be particularly dangerous for commercial vehicles. Offramps and onramps often have speed limit signs posted. Remember, these speeds may be safe for automobiles but may not be safe for larger vehicles or heavily loaded vehicles. Exits that go downhill and turn at the same time can be especially dangerous. The downgrade makes it difficult to reduce speed. Braking and turning at the same time can be a dangerous practice. Make sure you are going slow enough before you get on the curved part of an offramp or onramp.

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If you cannot see the driver of a vehicle, then:
  • They are hiding from you
  • You should flash your lights at them
  • He or she cannot see you and may do something unexpected
  • You are safe to ignore the other vehicle
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From The CDL Manual

Blocked Vision —

People who cannot see others are a very dangerous hazard. Be alert for drivers whose vision is blocked. Vans, loaded station wagons and cars with the rear window blocked are examples. Rental trucks should be watched carefully. Their drivers are often not used to the limited vision they have to the sides and rear of the truck. In winter, vehicles with frosted, ice-covered or snow-covered windows are hazards. Vehicles may be partly hidden by blind intersections or alleys.

If you only can see the rear or front end of a vehicle but not the driver, then he/she cannot see you. Be alert because he/she may back out or enter into your lane. Always be prepared to stop.

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Specific examples of vehicles which drivers should pay close attention to as possible hazards include:
  • Parked vehicles
  • All of these things deserve a drivers extra attention as potential hazards
  • Delivery trucks
  • Disabled vehicles
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From The CDL Manual

Drivers Who Are Hazards -

In order to protect yourself and others, you must know when other drivers may do something hazardous. Some clues to this type of hazard are discussed below:

Delivery trucks –

Packages or vehicle doors often block the driver’s vision. Drivers of step vans, postal vehicles and local delivery vehicles often are in a hurry and may suddenly step out of their vehicle or drive into the traffic lane.

Parked vehicles –

Parked vehicles can become hazards when passengers start to get out. Or they may suddenly start up and drive into your path. Watch for movement inside the vehicle or movement of the vehicle itself that shows people are inside. Watch for brake lights or backup lights, exhaust and other clues that a driver is about to move.

Disabled vehicles –

Drivers changing a tire or fixing an engine often do not pay attention to the dangers of roadway traffic. They often are careless. Jacked-up wheels or raised hoods are hazard clues.

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When you see a pedestrian or bicyclist along the road you should:
  • Sound the air horn for 100 yards
  • Swerve wide into the other lane
  • Flash your lights rapidly at them to get their attention
  • Pay very close attention, as they may not see you, hear you, or be paying attention to traffic
Click here to look up the answer

From The CDL Manual

Pedestrians and bicyclists –

Walkers, joggers and bicyclists may be on the road with their backs to the traffic, so they cannot see you. They also may be wearing electronic devices so they cannot hear you either. On rainy days, pedestrians may not see you because of hats or umbrellas. They may be hurrying to get out of the rain and may not pay attention to the traffic.

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