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Section 2: Driving Safely

This Section Covers:

  • Vehicle Inspection
  • Basic Control of Your Vehicle
  • Shifting Gears
  • Seeing
  • Communicating
  • Space Management
  • Controlling Your Speed
  • Seeing Hazards
  • Distracted Driving
  • Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage
  • Night Driving & Driver Fatigue
  • Driving in Fog
  • Winter Driving
  • Hot Weather Driving
  • Railroad-highway Crossings
  • Mountain Driving
  • Driving Emergencies
  • Antilock Braking Systems
  • Skid Control and Recovery
  • Accident Procedures
  • Fires
  • Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Driving
  • Hazardous Materials Rules

This section contains knowledge and safe driving information that all commercial drivers should know. You must pass a test on this information to get a CDL. This section does not have specific information on air brakes, combination vehicles, doubles, or passenger vehicles. When preparing for the Vehicle Inspection Test, you must review the material in Section 11 in addition to the information in this section. This section does have basic information on hazardous materials (HazMat) that all drivers should know. If you need a HazMat endorsement, you should study Section 9.

2.1 – Vehicle Inspection

2.1.1 – Why Inspect

A Vehicle inspection will help you find problems that could cause a crash or breakdown. Safety is the most important reason you inspect your vehicle, safety for yourself and for other road users.

A vehicle defect found during an inspection could save you problems later. You could have a breakdown on the road that will cost time and dollars, or even worse, a crash caused by the defect.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge the vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it "out of service" until it is fixed.

2.1.2 – Types of Vehicle Inspection

Note: Each pre-trip inspection test is a time-limited test. The maximum time allowed to complete the test is thirty minutes.

During a trip you should:

  • Watch gauges for signs of trouble.
  • Use your senses to check for problems (look, listen, smell, feel).
  • Check critical items when you stop:
    • Tires, wheels and rims.
    • Brakes.
    • Lights and reflectors.
    • Brake and electrical connections to trailer.
    • Trailer coupling devices.
    • Cargo securement devices.

After-trip Inspection and Report

You should do an after-trip inspection at the end of the trip, the day, or the tour of duty on each vehicle you operated. It may include filling out a vehicle condition report listing any problems you find. The inspection report helps a motor carrier know when the vehicle needs repairs.

Multiple-Choice Questions:

Question #40 (1 of 4)

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Which of the below are critical items to check during a pre-trip inspection?

  • These are all examples of critical items to check
  • Brake and electrical connections to trailer
  • Tires, wheels and rims
  • Lights and reflectors

Check critical items when you stop:

  • Tires, wheels and rims.
  • Brakes.
  • Lights and reflectors.
  • Brake and electrical connections to trailer.
  • Trailer coupling devices.
  • Cargo securement devices.
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Question #36 (2 of 4)

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What is the most important reason you inspect a vehicle?

  • Save money on repairs
  • To fulfill the regulations
  • For safety
  • To know your vehicle better
Safety is the most important reason you inspect your vehicle, safety for yourself and for other road users.
A Vehicle inspection will help you find problems that could cause a crash or breakdown.
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Question #38 (3 of 4)

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What will state or Federal inspectors do if they judge the vehicle to be unsafe?

  • They will require you to transfer the load to another truck
  • They will tow it to the nearest holding lot
  • They will put it "out of service" until it is fixed.
  • They will require the driver to take a 30 minute safety course before driving again
Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicle. If they judge the vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it "out of service" until it is fixed.
Being placed "out of service" can happen if inspectors decide the vehicle is unsafe. They can also place a driver out of service if they deem the driver unfit to drive or if the driver can not drive legally.
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Question #42 (4 of 4)

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What should you do at the end of the trip, the day, or the tour of duty on each vehicle you operated?

  • Do an inventory of the cargo
  • Do an after-trip inspection
  • Log the time spent at each shipper or consignee
  • Calculate the straight-line distance (as the crow flies) travelled that day
You should do an after-trip inspection at the end of the trip, the day, or the tour of duty on each vehicle you operated. It may include filling out a vehicle condition report listing any problems you find. The inspection report helps a motor carrier know when the vehicle needs repairs.
It's critical to do an after-trip inspection. You may have time to fix problems before it's time to leave on the next trip, saving time and money.
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