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Answer and explanations

How’d you do? Whether or not you passed with flying colors, it’s helpful to know WHY something is the way that it is. Here are the answers for this quiz:

1. At night, you should turn your high beam lights to low beam when…

Correct answer: All of the above

Explanation: High beams can reflect on precipitation in the air and make driving even more difficult. They also can have a blinding effect on other drivers, so it’s best to turn your high beams off whenever you are approaching another driver – both from in front and behind.

2. Areas of the road you cannot see in your mirrors are called _________.

Correct answer: Blind spots

Explanation: These spots are not visible unless you turn your head to look in that direction. Newer cars have detection for blind spots that make them less dangerous.

3. When a vehicle’s tires leave contact with the road and rise on top of water, it is called ___________.

Correct answer: Hydroplaning

Explanation: Hydroplaning is when you lose control of the vehicle because the tires are not gripping the ground. This is most common in the first 30 minutes of rainfall. Though it is not called a “water scoot,” your car is basically scooting on water. Drifting is different in that the tires maintain contact and traction, but the centrifugal motion allows the car to pull to the side, going a different direction than the tires.

4. In Texas, you must have your lights on a half-hour after sunset until….

Correct answer: A half-hour before sunrise.

Explanation: Usually, this time is somewhat bright outside and the streets and other cars are visible even before the sun breaks over the horizon. It’s worth mentioning that keeping your lights on all day can further prevent accidents, but it is not the law, as in this case.

5. It is illegal to park within 15 feet of ___________.

Correct answer: A fire hydrant

Explanation: Fire trucks need to have access to a fire hydrant in an emergency. They cannot use their hose to put out flames without it. If your car is in the way, it is preventing firefighters from doing their jobs in a timely manner. In fires, every second counts. It is not illegal to park near houses or mailboxes, though the postal service may leave you a note to park elsewhere so they can reach the mailbox.

6. Before changing lanes, you should…

Correct answer: Check your mirrors and look over your right shoulder to the rear

Explanation: While you should be looking all around you for other vehicles, physically turning in all these directions is dangerous. Mirrors make it easy to see what’s happening around you. And, of course, there’s your blind spot, where you’ll have to turn around slightly to check.

7. Following too close behind a vehicle is known as ___________.

Correct answer: Tailgating

Explanation: Tailgating is dangerous, but highly common on the road. Be sure to keep your distance with the car in front of you, to give you enough stopping time should that vehicle slam on the brakes.

8. A broken yellow line allows you to…

Correct answer: Cross over into the opposing lane to pass a vehicle, if it is safe

Explanation: Sometimes, cars in front of you may be going under the speed limit and holding up traffic. A broken-yellow line allows you to pass them on the left if no one is coming toward you. This can be dangerous. Be sure you can see far enough ahead of you to make sure you have time to pass.

9. When approaching a flashing yellow light you should…

Correct answer: Slow down and approach with caution

Explanation: A flashing yellow light usually means there is other traffic or pedestrians you may have to slow down for. Even though they shouldn’t cause you to stop, being unwary could cause you to get in an accident.

10. On a roadway with 3+ lanes, which lane offers the smoothest flow of traffic?

Correct answer: The middle lane

Explanation: The right lane is dangerous because people are speeding up and slowing down for getting on and off the freeway. The left lane is the fast lane, and often has people going in and out passing others. The middle is usually more constant and steady.

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