Sample Course Material

Excerpt from
Chapter 4  


DMV technicians have the ability to refer a driver to re-testing for the lack of necessary motor skills, driving knowledge or vision to safely operate a motor vehicle. A driver referred for review may be given a driver test and /or asked to have a doctor assess and evaluate their medical condition. Just last year alone, roughly 30,000 drivers had their licenses suspended or revoked for mental and physical conditions. Roughly 1/2 of those evaluated had their driving privileges limited due to conditions such as loss of consciousness, Alzheimers, inadequate physical skills or simple lack of knowledge. As has been widely reported, America's population is aging, placing more and more seniors on our roads.

Should we do away with "by mail" renewals of driver's licenses? Do our skills erode as we age? Should the DMV have the ability to limit our privileges based strictly on a one-time mental lapse or a bad period of driving or are they saving lives in the process? What do you think?

B. Recognition of Emotional / Physical Factors - Fighting fatigue while behind the wheel is never advisable. Driving while irritated, upset or shaken, will substantially alter one's judgment when behind the wheel. The angry driver is the aggressive offensive driver, and as a result the dangerous driver. Stressful conditions involving personal or business life will affect safe driving and should be recognized as negative influences on driving habits. The driver should evaluate their state of mind before attempting the operation of a motor vehicle and should not drive when heightened stress, anger, emotions or fatigue are realized. When emotions are exaggerated or heightened, limiting driving activities can help decrease potential collisions and injuries.

C. Effects - The safe operation of a motor vehicle requires a person to be focused while behind the wheel, uncluttered by thoughts of aggravation and distress. The driver with a wandering mind caused by any one of the aforementioned effects has a decreased awareness of the road, a slower reaction time, and an overall lack of safe driving habits. This driver is more apt to make unsafe lane changes, speed, and take chances on the road. The ability to anticipate and determine upcoming hazards and conditions is also adversely effected.

D. Accident Potential — It is statistically proven that the emotionally distressed or fatigued driver is more apt to be involved in a traffic collision than is someone who is rested and clear-headed. A tired or disturbed driver or one with a cluttered mind has a decreased ability to avoid an automobile crash. Keep distractions within the vehicle to a minimum (i.e., children, pets, car phones, etc.) and never drive when drowsy or tired. Remember to concentrate on the road, not other matters.

E. Drivers' Attitude Towards State Driving Laws — Motor vehicle operators often look upon traffic laws with disdain. People stress the negative aspects of laws rather than the positive. Traffic laws are in place to save lives. Drivers must understand that these laws are for their benefit. Without laws, anarchy would reign supreme and the least of our troubles would be driving. Drivers, on average, violate traffic laws over 400 times before they are actually cited. The occasional citation they do receive, in addition to their participation in a traffic safety program, usually reminds the driver that safer driving habits are needed.

F. Road Rage — "Road Rage", or aggressive driving behavior, is a rapidly increasing problem affecting America's drivers. This behavior is sometimes provoked by the action of drivers when they tailgate, cut off others on the road, or use rude hand gestures. In most cases, however, road rage stems from the pre-existing attitude or mood of the drivers prior to getting behind the wheel. People often get into a vehicle when they are stressed or angry, and then take out their problems on others with aggressive driving behavior. Drivers ignore the law, become discourteous, and have a basic disregard for others, often causing collisions or even fatalities. The preferred and suggested option for those dealing with a situation of road rage is to avoid the problem situation altogether and leave the scene as quickly as possible. Do not allow another's anger and ignorance effect you. The safest thing is to use your own good sense and protect your life. Many road rage killings result from a vehicle being used as a weapon or drivers using guns against others on the road!

Don't become a statistic...Don't let road rage get to you!

Traffic disputes where one driver assaults or kills another have risen 59% since 1990.

1. Traffic disputes where one driver kills another have ______ since 1990.
2. Most cases of road rage stems from a pre-existing attitude or mood of the driver prior to them getting behind the wheel.
3. Traffic disputes where one driver assaults or kills another has risen 69% since 1990.

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