Quiz: Could You Pass the Texas State Driving Test?: HowStuffWorks
Could You Pass the Texas State Driving Test?
By: Nikki Weed
7 Min Quiz
Image: Davel5957 / E+ / Getty Images
About This Quiz
Every person with a driver's license has had to take a written knowledge test before being given the privilege of driving legally on the open road. This assures that every person behind the wheel is playing by the same set of rules. Many of us, however, drive daily without really thinking about that test and all of the information we had to learn to pass. Could you honestly pass a written driving test today, if necessary?
The rules of the road aren't taken lightly in the state of Texas. If you receive a ticket, it will remain on your record for a full three years before it drops off. These tickets not only raise your insurance rates, but if you accumulate enough throughout the year you risk your license being suspended. These are all excellent reasons to make sure you know the laws of the road in Texas and abide by them at every given circumstance.
Even if you don't live in the state of Texas, it's not a bad idea to give this entertaining quiz a spin to see how much you remember from taking your first driver's test. Our questions are a lot more entertaining than the boring ones given at the Department Of Motor Vehicles! Show your friends what a great driver you are with your results, or learn a little bit about yourself and how well you know the Texas traffic standards.
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After taking a swig of your third cup of coffee on the way to work one Monday morning, you see an ambulance come up quickly behind you. What do you do?
Whenever you encounter an emergency vehicle with its lights on, it's on a mission. It could be taking a pregnant woman to the hospital or on the way to a crash. By easing out of its way, you allow it safe passage without putting yourself in danger.
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After coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, what should you do next?
Observing traffic in all directions, even if they have a stop sign as well, is very important! Double-checking allows you to make sure everyone else is following the rules of the road and that it's safe for you to travel on.
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Which of these statements about driving on slippery roads is true?
In slippery conditions, it's best to slow down, avoid rapid turning maneuvers and keep a safe distance from other drivers to avoid accidental collisions due to skidding. The use of emergency flashers should be reserved to breakdown situations.
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Accidents can and do happen. When is it unnecessary to call the police?
No matter how big or small the crash, all crashes must be reported. Fender benders, for example, must still be documented and an incident report sent to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. You're allowed 10 days after the incident to file the proper paperwork.
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On a road trip across West Texas, you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a wild weather event. The road ices over and you find yourself in a skid. What's the first thing you should do?
Rapid braking can drastically upset the balance and handling of a car, turning a bad situation into an even worse one. Removing your foot from the gas pedal and turning into the skid will allow you to gain control gradually. Jerky steering and brake maneuvers may send you spinning.
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Texas has some diverse weather! What makes bridges in Texas especially tricky to navigate?
The ground acts as an insulator and keeps roadways warmer than bridges, which are exposed to cold weather elements on all sides. A frozen bridge is nothing to scoff at and can send you spinning in a heartbeat.
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If the right lane is for traveling, what is the left lane for?
Texas doesn't mess around with slow-moving traffic in the left lane or those who decide to "camp" there. When using the left lane to pass a vehicle traveling in the right lane, you should return to the right lane as soon as it is safe. Abuse of the left lane may result in a $200 fine.
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You have a hot date and are running a little late. When is it appropriate to send a quick text message while driving?
One crash out of every five is due to distracted driving such as texting. Even if you feel you're safe at a stoplight, you still need to be paying attention to your surroundings. It only takes a second of distraction to have fatal consequences. Texas doesn't take this lightly.
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You've been at your company Christmas party and have had a few martinis. What's the legal blood alcohol content in the state of Texas?
Just two drinks can put a person over the limit! Simply put, if you feel differently, you will drive differently. Being convicted of an OWI or DUI can not only cost you upward of $10,000, but it could cost somebody else their life.
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Which of these situations would be best for low beams?
Low beams are more powerful than you give them credit for! The low trajectory of the light beam hits the reflective road lines, cuts through the fog and is relatively easy on other drivers' eyes. High beams should be reserved for dark and relatively vacant roadways. Your braking distance should never be outside your headlight beam.
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You are approaching a diamond-shaped yellow traffic sign with "Highway Intersection Ahead" printed in the middle. What do you do?
When traveling down a highway at a high rate of speed, a simple stop sign can easily be missed. You must have a keen eye and quick response time to catch those potential accidents. Stay alert and check both ways.
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Fill in the blank: The person to your *blank* has the right of way at a four-way stop.
Four-way stops can be extremely tricky, especially when some of the other drivers are distracted. It may seem courteous to wave another driver on, but there is no accounting for who else is waving at the same time. This confusion can cause more than one vehicle occupying a space (crash).
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A solid double line in the middle of the road means absolutely no passing. What does it mean if the solid line in the opposite lane turns dotted?
Watching the centerline is incredibly important when it comes down to driving safely. When you see the dotted middle line appear in the opposite lane of traffic, you should be cautious of oncoming traffic trying to pass.
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You're trying to make it to the next screening of the new Star Wars movie and are in a dedicated left-turn lane. You're in a hurry and the light turns from green to yellow. What do you do?
Traffic lights can be tricky, especially when there are designated left-turn arrows involved. Just because you have a yellow arrow doesn't mean that the oncoming traffic does, too. Star Wars can wait!
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It may seem like every season is construction season in Texas, but what should you expect when you see orange construction barrels?
Construction zones can bring anything from lane changes to temporary closures, so it's important to become alert and observant of further instructions. Expect everything and anything while traveling through construction barrels. Your travel lane is someone's workplace, so help them work safely by being alert.
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Which of these statements about tailgating is false?
It's easy to become hypnotized by traffic moving around you and inch closer to the car in front of you, but it is very unwise. Reaction time at such a close distance makes it almost impossible to avoid crashing while initiating emergency maneuvers. Tailgating is also extremely aggravating and can lead to road rage.
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If you are approaching a school zone and there is a yellow light blinking above the posted school speed limit, what does the light indicate?
School zones can be tricky! Some schools will post given times that designate a change in the speed limit, but some utilize the blinking yellow light. Some of these caution lights can be manually pressed, such as when groups of children are crossing together during hours outside posted limitations.
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While driving in a congested downtown area, a pedestrian darts out to cross the road in front of you. The pedestrian is not in a crosswalk. Who has the right of way?
Although the pedestrian has the right of way, it is on the driver to assure the safety of the pedestrian. As a driver, you're in control of a large, deadly object therefore you must be especially alert in areas where pedestrians may surprise you.
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While merging onto a highway or interstate, which of these statements is true?
Merging into fast-moving traffic can be tricky at times! It would be nice if fellow travelers could slow to allow you to safely merge into traffic, but that would cause a dangerous traffic situation. Sudden slowing can result in fender benders and more serious traffic incidents.
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You've just arrived at your first rodeo and have to park facing uphill with a curb on your passenger side. How do you park properly?
How you turn your wheels can make the difference between your car rolling into traffic or out of the way should something happen. Should your vehicle start rolling, the back tire would hit the curb and stop as opposed to rolling into traffic.
High beams are awesome unless a fellow traveler forgets to turn them off while approaching you from the oncoming lane. What should you do if the other driver fails to dim their lights?
You might feel angry and want to respond by flashing your lights, but this may startle a drowsy or intoxicated driver causing them to jerk the wheel. The best practice is to study the right side of your lane (typically the line) and focus on that until you pass.
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What is the "gore point" of a roadway?
The gore area, located between fast-moving traffic and slowing traffic, creates a safety buffer between the two. Instances of the gore area being violated are late exiting and improper merging.
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You're traveling with a friend who would like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage while being your passenger. Where should they sit to keep you out of trouble?
Texas has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to alcoholic beverages in the passenger compartment of any vehicle. This applies not only to when the vehicle is in motion, but when parked as well. Fines for this can be as much as $500.
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When should the posted speed limit be disregarded?
Only in poor weather conditions, when visibility is poor or road conditions are dangerous, can the limits be ignored. Slower is safer in those cases, and the minimum posted speed can be ignored without penalty.
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You're in a rush and need to park quickly. You see an open area in front of a fire hydrant. How far away from the fire hydrant must you park?
In emergencies, fire personnel needs access to fire hydrants without any delay. A parked car impeding their firefighting process could not only mean the loss of property but life as well. If you park illegally near a fire hydrant, chances are you'll receive a citation.
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You've just passed a truck pulling a stinky cattle trailer on a two-lane highway. When is it safe to pull back into your original lane of travel?
Making rapid lane changes is dangerous not only to you but those around you. Jerky steering movements make your vehicle unstable and may cause you to lose control, especially in inclement weather.
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You're leaving work on a Friday and are ready to start your weekend. After putting your vehicle in reverse, where do you look?
Backup cameras are excellent tools, but they cannot replace looking over your right shoulder. By doing a visual over-the-shoulder check, you can see if people are attempting to cross behind you or other vehicles outside the scope of your camera or mirrors.
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What is the safest place to be while traveling next to a semi truck and trailer?
Semis have incredibly large blind spots and have trouble seeing much of the traffic passing them. Stay out of the "no zone" and avoid anywhere you cannot see either the driver's face in your mirrors or the mirrors of the truck.
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After sitting through a few cycles of a known long red light, you finally get the green, but there is still traffic in the intersection. How do you proceed?
Forcing your way into a crowded intersection even when you have the green light is a form of road rage. You are ultimately responsible for the safe operation of your vehicle and if you place it in an already crowded intersection, you're no better than the other drivers.
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You're attempting to cross a set of train tracks and see a train approaching in the distance. You decide to risk it and proceed around the gate. If the train was traveling 50 miles per hour, how long would it take the train to stop to avoid hitting you should your car stall on the tracks?
The average freight train is anywhere between a mile to a mile and a half long, which means that the train will travel more than its entire length before it comes to a stop. It is also very difficult to judge the speed a train is traveling. Sneaking around the downed train gates could cost you your life.
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After a heavy downpour, you see what looks like a puddle across the road in a low-lying area. How should you proceed through the water safely?
Puddles may not seem dangerous, but just six inches of standing water can reach the rocker panels on many sedans. Some flood-prone areas like washes and creek beds can rapidly reach up to two feet of water, which is enough to float a truck or SUV.
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It's easy to lose track of who's traveling around you while driving down the interstate, so what's the best way to check your blind spots before a lane change?
Your rear and side mirrors are incredibly useful tools in backing up and a casual glance at other lanes, but they miss a large chunk of what's around you. By looking over your shoulders to check your blind spot, you can see items that the mirrors might miss like motorcycles or Mini Coopers.
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What aftermarket equipment is allowed on a vehicle?
To reduce confusion on the roadways, it is illegal to install aftermarket equipment that replicates law enforcement vehicles. Installed sirens, red lights or scramblers are considered unsafe and will result in fines or an inability to register your vehicle.
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Your car is equipped with a magic button that make your hazard lights go on. When is it appropriate to use these hazard lights?
It might seem like a hazard to drive in fog, but using your hazards is inappropriate in that case. Use your hazard lights only if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road.
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What is the minimum number of seconds you should keep between the car in front of you and your front bumper at speeds 30 miles per hour or less?
More is better when it comes to following distances, but it can be hard to determine how close you are following another car. An easy solution is to select a landmark and count the seconds between when the car in front of you passes it and when you do. Remember, inclement weather will change safe following distances!
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