Can You Pass a Basic Driving Test?

By: John Miller
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Every day, millions of people hop into their vehicles and zoom off down the highway, but many of them have forgotten the basic rules of driving. Could you pass a basic driver's exam?

What should you do when another car begins to pass you?

Make the passing experience safer for everyone. Slow down a little and simply stay in your lane. Or you can swerve all over the place and cause an accident, your choice.

When should you use your turn signals?

Ah, the turn signal, that underutilized tool of the modern vehicle. Turn signals are necessary for all sorts of driving tasks, such as when you enter or exit a freeway.

What happens as you increase your speed on a wet road?

As you increase your speed on a wet road, you also increase the possibility of hydroplaning. In hydroplaning, a layer of water builds up between the tires and the road, reducing your ability to control the vehicle.

If a sudden dust storm blows across the road, what actions should you take?

It's not uncommon for blowing dust or snow to suddenly cause limited visibility on roadways. Slow down and turn on your emergency flashers.

True or false, in most states, is it illegal to pass cars on the right?

It's true, in most states, it's illegal to pass slower vehicles on the right. When in doubt, you're best to use the left lane for passing.

What's a legal action when you see a school bus parked with its red flashers?

School buses and red flashers should be an immediate sign that you need to stop, even if you don't see any children. Never pass a bus that has its red flashers turned on.

What are "blind spots"?

Blind spots are the areas of reduced visibility around your vehicle, often created by parts of the car itself. Blind spots obscure other vehicles and pedestrians, so monitor these areas closely as you drive.

What should you do before changing lanes on the interstate?

If you're changing lanes on a multi-lane highway, you'll want to check your mirrors and blind spots to make sure that there are no vehicles already occupying that space or approaching you at high speed.

What's a legal action for a non-disabled driver who approaches a parking spot reserved for disabled people?

Handicapped spots are for disabled drivers only. It's not legal for non-disabled people to even stand in these spots.

Which of the following vehicles must always stop at railroad crossings?

School buses must always stop at railroad crossings. Why? Because no one needs that kind of carnage, that's why.

What is "blind" passing?

Blind passing is a huge no-no. If you pass on a curve or on the crest of a hill, you can't see oncoming traffic, a fact that can have deadly consequences.

What's the most effective way to reduce your chances of getting hurt or killed while driving?

The seat belt is an amazingly effective safety device. Use it every time you get into a car and your chances of getting hurt in a wreck will drop substantially.

A No Parking sign means that you can perform which action?

No Parking means, well, no parking. But you can stop long enough to let passengers in or out of your vehicle.

If you want to pass a slower vehicle on a two-lane highway, what must you do?

Passing on a two-lane highway requires you to use the lane reserved for oncoming traffic. As such, you should never, ever pass in a No Passing zone, or someone may wind up getting hurt.

In most cases, when you're passing a vehicle that's going the same direction, what should you do?

In almost every case, you should use the left lane to pass vehicles that are traveling in the same direction. Passing on the right is generally allowed only in very limited circumstances.

What's a legitimate reason for stopping even when there's a No Stopping sign?

In most cases, it's legal to stop in a No Stopping zone so long as you're not conflicting with traffic in any way. You may draw the ire of other drivers if you violate this rule.

What is a form of "defensive driving"?

Defensive driving means that you're driving very carefully, such as when you allow for extra cushion between your car and the car in front of you. Defensive driving saves lives.

What may happen if you refuse to take a drug or chemical test during a traffic stop?

Sure, you can refuse that chemical test after you're pulled over. But if you do, you might find your driver's license taken away.

If you're following another vehicle, you should give yourself a safety cushion of at least _____.

If you're following another vehicle, follow the two-second rule (sometimes called the three-second rule), meaning that you're trailing the leading vehicle by at least two seconds. This gives you a margin of safety at most speeds.

If you're under age 21, it's illegal for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to exceed ______ while driving.

In the U.S., it's illegal for you to drink under the age of 21. That means you can't have any alcohol in your system whatsoever while you're driving ... or anytime, for that matter.

If you are frequently passing other cars on a two-lane highway, you're increasing your odds of ______.

Sure, it's fun to pass other cars on the highway and it feels like you're making better time, too. But statistically, you're also increasing your chances of an accident.

If two vehicles on different highways arrive at an intersection at the same time, which car has the right of way?

If two vehicles on different highways arrive at an intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right-of-way. Skirting this rule can quickly turn an intersection into an accident scene.

What's true if you're parallel parking on a level street?

Parallel parking is challenging for many drivers, especially when you realize that your wheels have to be within 18 inches of the curb. Any farther away from the curb and your car would be, you know, parked in the street.

When is it legal to perform a U-turn in a residential area?

It's perfectly legal to perform a U-turn on a residential street. But first, make sure there are no cars approaching from either direction.

When is it legal to drive off of the roadway in order to pass another car?

Roadways are for vehicles. It's never legal to leave the roadway to pass other vehicles. That's a recipe for an accident ... or a ticket.

What's a possible effect when you combine alcohol with another drug while driving?

Alcohol is proven to affect your driving ability. Adding yet another substance into the mix can greatly increase your chances of an accident.

True or false, is it more dangerous to drive at night than during the day?

It's true, night driving is more dangerous than daytime driving. Why? Because no matter how sharp your vision might be, you can't see as well at night.

If you're at an intersection when an emergency vehicle (with lights flashing) approaches from behind, what should you do?

If you're at an intersection when an emergency vehicle approaches from behind, proceed through the intersection, pull to the right and then stop.

If a left-turning vehicle meets a vehicle going straight at an UNMARKED intersection, which vehicle has the right-of-way?

At an unmarked intersection (no traffic lights or signs) the vehicle that's going straight has the right-of-way. This prioritization reduces the chances of an accident.

After you pass another car, you shouldn't return to the right lane until you can see ______.

Put a bit of space between your vehicle and the one that you're passing. Don't return to the right lane until you can see the other car's bumper in your rearview mirror.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes