532 Potential Dangers

Learn to recognize and adjust for the following potentially dangerous places, conditions, or situations:

  1. Intersections. Professional drivers are responsible for being prepared to avoid accidents that might occur due to the actions of other drivers when approaching, entering, and crossing intersections.
  2. Tailgating. Allow a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. For good driving conditions, a 4-second gap for every 10 miles per hour is recommended for large trucks. For other conditions, extend this gap accordingly. Be aware of vehicles that may be tailgating you. Avoid sudden stops.
  3. Rural Roads. National statistics indicate that more than two-thirds of the annual motor vehicle accidents occur on rural roads even though less than one-half of the annual miles driven are on rural roads.
  4. Passing. Pass only in properly marked areas, and carefully monitor all traffic before passing.
  5. Being Passed. Do not insist on the right-of-way. Yield to passing vehicles either by slowing down or moving to the right if possible.
  6. Inclement Weather. Recognize that driving in rain, snow, fog, and other inclement weather poses special problems. Reduce speed accordingly.
  7. Changing Lanes. Rarely change lanes, and use extreme caution when changing lanes. Signal well in advance (100 feet minimum).
  8. Night Driving. Recognize that driving in the twilight or at night significantly reduces vision. Adjust speed accordingly.
  9. Hazard-Signal Flashers. Use hazard-signal flashers whenever the vehicle is stopped on the traveled portion of a highway or the shoulder of a highway for any cause other than necessary traffic stops. Also use hazard-signal flashers when traveling at speeds that are significantly lower than the posted speed limit.
  10. Fueling. Drivers may not do any of the following:
    1. Fuel a vehicle with the engine running.
    2. Smoke or expose an open flame in the vicinity of a vehicle being fueled.
    3. Fuel a vehicle unless the nozzle of the fuel hose is in continuous contact with the intake pipe of the fuel tank.
    4. Permit, within practical limits, anyone else to engage in the activities listed above in j(1)–j(3).
  11. Braking. Brake well in advance of the anticipated stopping point. Avoid sudden stops.
  12. Parking. Set parking and emergency brakes. If the vehicle is parked on an incline, curb the wheels.
  13. Railroad Crossings. Pay attention at railroad crossings. Come to a complete stop and check before proceeding across an ungated railroad crossing.
  14. Construction Zones. Slow down and be prepared to stop when driving into and through a construction zone. Traffic and signage is not routine, and an unexpected action could require your immediate response.