Alabama Course of Study: Driver and Traffic Safety Education
GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK 2
POSITION STATEMENTS 4
OPTIONAL PHASES 6
PROGRAMMATIC RESPONSIBILITIES 8
DIRECTIONS FOR INTERPRETING THE MINIMUM REQUIRED CONTENT 9
APPENDIX A. Web Sites for Driver and Traffic Safety Education 14
APPENDIX B. Alabama High School Graduation Requirements 15
APPENDIX C. Guidelines and Suggestions
for Local Time Requirements and Homework 17
The people of Alabama, like other Americans, spend much of their time moving from place to place in motorized vehicles. Frequent highway use is necessary due to societal, business, and industrial needs. To accommodate these needs, measures must be taken to promote safe and pleasurable driving conditions. Toward this end, the state of Alabama has adopted a three-pronged approach to enhance safe driving conditions and to promote highway safety: 1) the building of better roadways, 2) the monitoring of highway use by motorists, and 3) the formal training of beginning or youthful drivers.
The Alabama Course of Study: Driver and Traffic Safety Education addresses the third approach by providing the minimum required content to be taught in the Driver and Traffic Safety Education course. The broad goals and content standards within this document may be expanded by local education agencies to reflect local philosophies, strategies, and resources. While the document reflects and incorporates current research in driver and traffic safety education, changes in national and state laws, together with the advent of new equipment and technology, may necessitate the inclusion of additional content standards.
This document focuses on the required classroom and behind-the-wheel phases of instruction of the Driver and Traffic Safety Education course. Information regarding simulation and multi-vehicle driving ranges is addressed in the section that describes optional phases.
The Alabama Legislature passed the Boating Safety Reform Act (Act No. 94-652) in 1994. Section 35 of that act requires the Alabama Department of Education to include an instructional segment devoted to boating safety in the Driver and Traffic Safety Education curriculum beginning with the 1994-95 school year. The act also specifies that the boating safety curriculum be approved in writing by both the Alabama Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources and by the Alabama State Superintendent of Education.
Driver and Traffic Safety Education State Course of Study Task Force
^ Superintendent, Bessemer City Board of Education, 2006-2007 Driver and Traffic Safety Education Task Force Chairperson
Cynthia Lynn Chapman, Teacher, Robert E. Lee High School, Montgomery County Board
^ Teacher, Shelby County High School, Shelby County Board of Education
G. McKenzie Gillam, Ph.D., Professor, Jacksonville State University
Laura S. Landers, Teacher, Handley High School, Roanoke City Board of Education
^ Teacher, Southside High School, Dallas County Board of Education
Peter Lynn Smith, Teacher, Murphy High School, Mobile County Board of Education
State Department of Education personnel who managed the development process were:
Ruth C. Ash, Ed.D., Deputy State Superintendent of Education;
^ Assistant State Superintendent of Education;
Anita Buckley Commander, Ed.D., Director, Classroom Improvement;
Cynthia C. Brown, Coordinator, Curriculum, Classroom Improvement; and
Sarah F. Mason, Ed.D., Executive Secretary, State Courses of Study Committee, Curriculum, Classroom Improvement.
The State Department of Education program specialist who assisted the Task Force in developing the document was:
^ , Driver and Traffic Safety Education Specialist, Transportation.
The State Department of Education process specialists who assisted the Task Force in developing the document were:
Michael Bassett, Coordinator, Driver Education, Transportation; and
^ Science Education Specialist, Curriculum, Classroom Improvement.
Other process specialists were:
Jackie R. Hammock, (retired) Driver and Traffic Safety Education Specialist, Alabama Department of Education and
^ (retired) Driver and Traffic Safety Education Specialist, Alabama Department of Education.
Rosetta H. Ball, clerical support staff, Curriculum, Classroom Improvement, assisted with the preparation of the document.
Mary Nell Shaw, Graphic Arts Specialist, Communication; and
Charles V. Creel, Graphic Arts Specialist, Communication, assisted in the development of the graphic design.
^ (retired) Education Specialist, Alabama Department of Education, edited and proofread the document.
Cindy L. Sewell, former State Courses of Study Committee Specialist, assisted in managing the development process.
Alabama Course of Study: Driver and Traffic Safety Education
The Alabama Course of Study: Driver and Traffic Safety Education describes the basic components of a sound Driver and Traffic Safety Education program. This document contains the minimum required content for a one-semester or one-term 70 clock hour course. Content standards within this document define what students should know and be able to do as a result of instruction.
Driver and Traffic Safety Education is offered as an elective course primarily for tenth-grade students who are fifteen years of age or older and who are eligible to obtain an Alabama Learner License. Some students may not take the Driver and Traffic Safety Education course during their sophomore year due to scheduling difficulties. In such cases, students are encouraged to schedule the course during the final two years of high school.
The goal of the Driver and Traffic Safety Education program—to learn the fundamentals of safe and responsible driving within a variety of environments—is broad but achievable. This goal is attained through the required minimum 30 hours of classroom instruction. Actual hands-on or performance-based driving experience in a vehicle under the supervision of a certified driver education teacher is also required. Optional phases of the program—simulation and multi-vehicle driving range experiences—may also be included in the course. It is recommended that students complete at least one of these phases, if not both, before progressing to the behind-the-wheel phase of driving instruction.
Ideally, students complete the classroom phase before beginning the on-street driving phase. The classroom phase includes, but is not limited to, content regarding highway license requirements, traffic laws, responsible ownership, driving procedures and maneuvers, factors related to youthful drivers, physical and mental impairments, other highway users, driving environments, and boating safety. Upon completion of the classroom phase, student drivers understand their responsibilities for occupants of their vehicles as well as responsibilities regarding other users of the highway transportation system.
Safe and responsible driving as depicted across the top of the caution light on the conceptual framework graphic on page 3 is the overall goal of the Driver and Traffic Safety Education curriculum. This curriculum is divided into two distinct phases of instruction. These two phases are the Classroom Instruction phase and the Behind-the-Wheel Instruction phase as shown on the two lights centered beneath the goal of safe and responsible driving. The need for safe and responsible driving throughout Alabama is represented by the map of Alabama that serves as the background for the framework.
The goal of the Classroom Instruction phase is for students to learn the fundamentals of safety and responsibility within the driving environment. This phase addresses the nine major areas of instruction necessary for student achievement of this goal. These areas are represented on nine of the ten traffic signs surrounding the caution light. The areas are highway license requirements, traffic laws, responsible ownership, driving procedures and maneuvers, factors related to youthful drivers, physical and mental impairments, other highway users, driving environments, and boating safety. The first eight of the nine areas are interrelated, but need not be taught in any particular order. However, it is important for students to develop an understanding of how these areas interrelate in order to be adequately prepared to understand the complex highway transportation system and to be aware of the physical, mental, and social tasks involved in driving. The ninth curricular area, boating safety, relates to Alabama’s Boating Safety Reform Act of 1994. Although similar areas of safety are discussed, the unique language of boating safety needs to be addressed separately.
The Behind-the-Wheel Instruction phase is performance-based as it gives beginning drivers actual driving experience under the supervision of a certified driver education teacher during actual on-street, behind-the-wheel driving in an automobile with dual controls. The nine areas mastered in the classroom instruction phase are applied during the actual on-street, behind-the-wheel phase of this course. This area is represented on one of the traffic sign shapes surrounding the caution light on the conceptual framework graphic.
Varying conditions exist throughout the state with individual students, facilities, and circumstances that necessitate different time frames for fulfilling the competencies required for compliance with this performance-based program. No specific number of hours are required for students to complete the behind-the-wheel phase of driving; however, for overall planning and scheduling purposes, it is recommended that approximately six hours per student be allowed to complete this phase of instruction.
Statistics from the latest Alabama Accident Summary reveal that over one-half of all drivers in Alabama will be killed or injured in an automobile crash at some point in their driving career. More than 1,100 persons die in motor vehicle crashes each year in Alabama. Of all drivers involved in fatal crashes, over one-third are between the ages of 15 and 25. Due to the fact that many youthful drivers are involved in traffic mishaps, the Driver and Traffic Safety Education State Course of Study Task Force recommends that beginning drivers be required to complete the Driver and Traffic Safety Education course. This course emphasizes the development and improvement of driving skills enabling drivers to become more capable of handling situations that arise in today’s complex driving environment. The Driver and Traffic Safety Education course helps students develop the appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for survival in the highway transportation system.
This Task Force supports the 1999 opinion of the Attorney General of Alabama that states that students enrolled in a Driver and Traffic Safety Education course approved by the State Superintendent of Education may legally drive on the streets and highways of Alabama without a learner license if the student is driving a driver education automobile with a certified driver education teacher during the regular school day. Students enrolled in the Driver and Traffic Safety Education course without a valid learner license should meet minimum health standards to operate a motor vehicle as outlined on the Alabama Driver License application form.
To ensure adequate driving time, safety, and quality instruction, consideration should be given to proper scheduling of driver education students. Optimally, enrollment should average no more than 15 students in each class per semester in a 6- or 7-period day, while enrollment in a block schedule should average no more that 12 students per class. These figures reflect programs using performance-based testing.
The use of current technology to access additional driver and traffic safety information helps students expand and reinforce safe-driving knowledge and skills. Teachers may take advantage of the most current information regarding Driver and Traffic Safety Education by accessing the numerous Web sites listed in Appendix A. of this document.
Over 75 percent of all persons killed in traffic crashes in Alabama did not use mandatory restraint devices. Students must be provided with instruction that heightens their awareness of the life-saving benefits regarding the use of safety belts. In addition, all occupants in the driver education vehicle must be required to demonstrate compliance with mandatory restraint device laws.
Students may take advantage of the Third-Party Testing program in school systems where the program is available. The Third-Party Testing program was implemented in response to
Act No. 2000-241 that allows driver education teachers to be a designated third-party testing agent of the Alabama Department of Public Safety to administer the driver portion of the licensing exam. The Alabama Department of Education offers an eight-hour certification class taught at various sites throughout the state whereby certified driver education teachers are able to become authorized to administer the driver license skills test. The Alabama Department of Education continually monitors the Third-Party Testing programs for accuracy and reliability.
Simulation and the multi-vehicle driving range are the two optional phases of behind-the-wheel instruction. When simulation and the multi-vehicle driving range phases are integrated with classroom and behind-the-wheel driving instruction, they comprise a four-phase program. Simulation and use of a multi-vehicle driving range are optional phases and, as such, are not considered part of the minimum program. Schools offering these optional phases are encouraged to continue their use, and other schools are encouraged to add these phases to their programs.
Simulation is designed to assist the student driver in acquiring the necessary procedural, perceptual, judgmental, and decision-making skills for safe driving. Driving situations are simulated through the use of films that focus on the development of a particular skill. Simulators are designed to give the appearance of the driver’s side of a regular automobile complete with instrument panel, control devices, and occupant restraints. A variety of films designed to check driver response to various traffic situations are included in instruction. The films are coded and “read” by a central control panel that provides instant feedback to the student and the instructor. Upon identification of each student’s driving strengths and weaknesses, teachers are better able to help students improve their driving performance.
Simulation is useful for evaluating the needs of students with special driving problems. For mentally or physically challenged students, the simulation unit can be extremely valuable in providing safe and controlled driving practice.
Simulation experience improves students’ ability to identify and predict actions of other highway users, to make sound decisions, and to execute decisions effectively. It offers students experience with a wider range of traffic situations. As students develop advanced driving skills, more complex learning situations are encountered. Generally, four hours in simulated driving time is equivalent to one hour of on-street driving time.
The multi-vehicle driving range is an off-street area where several cars are used to provide driving experiences supervised by the teacher. Students practice basic maneuvers to be used in regular traffic situations without the dangers normally associated with on-street driving. They increase their skills for maneuvering a car by driving around strategically placed cones designed to simulate normal traffic situations and problems.
Range procedures emphasize the importance of making correct decisions quickly and focus on developing the defensive driving skills of search, identify, predict, decide, and execute that are needed for safe on-street driving. Generally, two hours of range driving time is equivalent to one hour of on-street driving time.
The multi-vehicle driving range phase has both advantages and disadvantages; however, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. The multi-vehicle driving range provides a protected environment for student practice with fewer vehicles. This setting helps reduce the stress beginning drivers feel when they transition from classroom simulation to on-street driving. In addition, student drivers have the advantage of practicing driving skills repeatedly in an individualized instructional setting. The biggest disadvantage involves the initial cost to set up the driving range. Land acquisition, pavement, fencing, and an increased number of vehicles are some factors to be considered when budgeting for the driving range. Another disadvantage is that the average range speed is much slower than on-street driving, which may give student drivers a false impression of how well they operate a vehicle.
Obtaining the Driver Education Vehicle
Arrangements for obtaining automobiles for behind-the-wheel instruction should be made well in advance so that no driving time is lost. A vehicle may be obtained through a variety of ways, including buying, leasing, or securing the vehicle through a dealer loan program.
A minimum amount of insurance coverage is required for an approved program. Additional information regarding requirements may be obtained from the Alabama Department of Education.
Maintaining the Driver Education Vehicle
Proper maintenance of the vehicle should be followed according to local school board policy and dealer requirements.
Alabama Act 93-368 requires verification of secondary school graduation or current school attendance with limited exclusions for students to obtain a driver license. The school is responsible for providing students with the necessary form for verification of current attendance information.
1. Content standards are statements that define what students should know and be able to do at the conclusion of a course or grade. Content standards in this document contain minimum required content. The order in which standards are listed within a course or grade is not intended to convey a sequence for instruction. Each content standard completes the phrase
Demonstrate defensive driving skills using the Smith System and the SIPDE
(Content Standard 21)
2. Bullets denote content that is related to the standards and required for instruction. Bulleted content is listed under a standard and identifies additional minimum required content.
Describe Alabama’s basic speed law.
(Content Standard 2)
3. Examples clarify certain components of content standards or bullets. They are illustrative
but not exhaustive.
Explain how nature affects the ability to properly control a vehicle.
Examples: sudden gust of wind causing vehicle to swerve, fog causing
(Content Standard 18)
Highway License Requirements
1. Explain requirements for obtaining an Alabama Learner License and an Alabama Driver License, including any restrictions.
2. Describe Alabama’s basic speed law.
3. List situations that require drivers to bring vehicles to a complete stop.
Examples: approaching a school bus displaying red flashing lights and stop signal arm, exiting private property or parking lots, turning right on red, approaching a flagman directing traffic
4. Name situations that require drivers to yield right-of-way.
Examples: approaching and entering intersections, making left turns, entering highways, approaching railroad grade crossings, encountering emergency vehicles
5. Describe traffic signs and pavement markings that regulate various passing situations.
6. Identify traffic signs, traffic signals, and pavement markings as basic types of traffic controls.
7. Interpret Alabama’s Safety Belt and Child Restraint laws.
8. Explain requirements mandated by the Alabama Department of Public Safety regarding motor vehicle registration and the Mandatory Liability Insurance Act.
Example: storing vehicle tag receipt and proof of vehicle liability insurance in the driving compartment
9. Identify responsibilities of owning and operating a vehicle, including factors involved in purchasing a vehicle, purchasing insurance, and maintaining a vehicle.
Examples: purchasing vehicle—fuel economy, financing
purchasing vehicle insurance—costs, types of coverage
vehicle maintenance—checking fluid levels, tire pressure, tire tread depth, and condition of belts
10. Describe proper procedures for pre-starting, starting, and stopping a vehicle.
11. Explain basic maneuvers of driving, including steering, braking, passing, lane changing, merging, parking, signaling, and turning.
Examples: steering—hand-over-hand, push-pull-feed
braking—antilock brakes versus conventional brakes
parking—uphill with or without a curb, downhill with or without a curb, angle, perpendicular, parallel
turning—right, left, three-point
12. Explain defensive driving techniques, including the Smith System and the search, identify, predict, decide, and execute (SIPDE) process.
Factors Related to Youthful Drivers
13. Analyze data regarding inexperienced drivers and traffic collisions.
Example: using cellular telephones while driving
Physical and Mental Impairments
14. Explain how alcohol and other drugs affect driving ability.
Examples: emotional—anger causing aggressive driving or road rage, extreme sadness causing lack of attention to driving
physical—suffering from illness, injury, fatigue
15. Describe driver responsibilities toward other highway users, including pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and drivers of commercial vehicles and buses.
Examples: recognizing locations where other highway users may appear, recognizing rights of other highway users, anticipating actions of other highway users, locating “no zone” areas of large vehicles, analyzing stopping distances for large vehicles
16. Identify dangerous driving situations that may occur on rural roads and urban streets.
Examples: rural roads—unfenced animals, slow-moving farm equipment, off-road vehicles
urban streets—parked cars, pedestrians, one-way thoroughfares
Examples: emergencies—tire failure, engine overheating, engine failure, objects in roadway, hydroplaning
collisions—head-on, side-impact, rear-end
Examples: driver responsibilities, witness responsibilities
Examples: increasing following distance, using headlights, cleaning windshield often, reducing speed
17. Describe appropriate behavior to be used when detained by a law enforcement officer.
Examples: keeping hands in full sight, remaining in vehicle, avoiding sudden movements, displaying proper demeanor
18. Explain how nature affects the ability to properly control a vehicle.
Examples: sudden gust of wind causing vehicle to swerve, fog causing reduced visibility
19. Describe Alabama’s boating laws, basic vessel operation, required boating equipment, and possible hazards involved in safe and responsible boating.
20. Demonstrate proficiency in basic vehicle control in a variety of environments.
Examples: demonstrating proper procedures for right and left turns, turnabouts, angle and perpendicular parking, parking and starting on a hill; safely negotiating controlled and uncontrolled intersections, lane changes, passing, merging
21. Demonstrate defensive driving skills using the Smith System and the SIPDE process.
Web Sites for Driver and Traffic Safety Education
Information on Alabama boating rules and regulations.
Alabama Department of Education
Information on driver and traffic safety education.
Information on public safety in Alabama.
Alabama Department of Transportation
Information on Alabama’s current highway transportation system.
Information on antilock brakes.
Buckle Up America
Information on safety belts and laws.
Information on traffic safety curriculum materials.
Department of Motor Vehicles
Information on each state’s department of motor vehicles.
Information on new and used vehicles, safety tests, and road tests.
Ford Motor Company
Information on traffic safety curriculum materials.
Information on traffic safety curriculum materials.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Information on traffic safety data.
Information on traffic safety and energy-saving programs.
Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Information on each state’s data regarding alcohol-related accidents, updates on drinking and driving opinion polls, legislation dealing with drunk driving, and issues such as alcohol advertising.
Information on driver and traffic safety issues.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Information on vehicle safety.
Information on drug and alcohol policies across the nation.
Information on highway-rail grade crossing safety for drivers and pedestrians.
Information on driver and traffic safety across the nation.
Alabama High School Graduation Requirements
(Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-1-02(8)(a) (b) and (c))
The Alabama courses of study shall be followed in determining minimum required content in each discipline. Students seeking the Alabama High School Diploma with Advanced Academic Endorsement shall complete advanced level work in the core curriculum. Students seeking the Alternate Adult High School Diploma shall complete the prescribed credits for the Alabama High School Diploma and pass the test of General Education Development (GED).
* All four required credits in Social Studies shall comply with the current Alabama Course of Study.
** May be waived if competencies outlined in the computer applications course are demonstrated to qualified staff in the local school system. The designated one-half credit shall then be added to the electives credits, making a total of six electives credits for the Alabama High School Diploma and the Alternate Adult High School Diploma or four electives credits for the Alabama High School Diploma with Advanced Academic Endorsement.
*** Students earning the diploma with the advanced academic endorsement shall successfully complete two credits in the same foreign language.
Pass the required statewide assessment for graduation.
Alabama High School Graduation Requirements (continued)
(Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-1-.02(8)(g)1.)
Course and assessment requirements specified below must be satisfied in order to earn the Alabama Occupational Diploma.
Effective for students with disabilities as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students must earn the course credits outlined in Alabama Administrative Code r. 290-3-1-.02(8)(g)1.
* All AOD courses shall comply with the current curriculum guides designated for AOD implementation.
Local Education Agencies may add additional credits or requirements.
Take the required statewide assessment for graduation at least once (during the spring of the eleventh-grade year).
Guidelines and Suggestions for
Local Time Requirements and Homework
Total Instructional Time
The total instructional time of each school day in all schools and at all grade levels shall be not less than 6 hours or 360 minutes, exclusive of lunch periods, recess, or time used for changing classes (^ 1975, §16-1-1).
Suggested Time Allotments for Grades 1 - 6
The allocations below are based on considerations of a balanced educational program for Grades
1-6. Local school systems are encouraged to develop a general plan for scheduling that supports interdisciplinary instruction. Remedial and/or enrichment activities should be a part of the time schedule for the specific subject area.
Subject Area Grades 1-3 Grades 4-6
Language Arts 150 minutes daily 120 minutes daily
Mathematics 60 minutes daily 60 minutes daily
Science 30 minutes daily 45 minutes daily
Social Studies 30 minutes daily 45 minutes daily
Physical Education 30 minutes daily* 30 minutes daily*
Health 60 minutes weekly 60 minutes weekly
Technology Education 60 minutes weekly 60 minutes weekly
Character Education 10 minutes daily** 10 minutes daily**
*Established by the State Department of Education in accordance with ^ , 1975, §16-40-1
**Established by the State Department of Education in accordance with Code of Alabama, 1975, §16-6B-2(h)
In accordance with Alabama Administrative Code r. 290-5-1-.01(5) Minimum Standards for Organizing Kindergarten Programs in Alabama Schools, the daily time schedule of the kindergartens shall be the same as the schedule of the elementary schools in the systems of which they are a part since kindergartens in Alabama operate as full-day programs. There are no established time guidelines for individual subject areas for the kindergarten classroom. The emphasis is on large blocks of time that allow children the opportunity to explore all areas of the curriculum in an unhurried manner.
It is suggested that the full-day kindergarten program be organized utilizing large blocks of time for large group, small groups, center time, lunch, outdoor activities, snacks, transitions, routines, and afternoon review. Individual exploration, small-group interest activities, interaction with peers and teachers, manipulation of concrete materials, and involvement in many other real-world experiences are needed to provide a balance in the kindergarten classroom.
A minimum of 140 clock hours of instruction is required for one unit of credit and a minimum of 70 clock hours of instruction is required for one-half unit of credit.
In those schools where Grades 7 and 8 are housed with other elementary grades, the school may choose the time requirements listed for Grades 4-6 or those listed for Grades 7-12.
For all grades, not less than 10 minutes instruction per day shall focus upon the students’ development of the following character traits: courage, patriotism, citizenship, honesty, fairness, respect for others, kindness, cooperation, self-respect, self-control, courtesy, compassion, tolerance, diligence, generosity, punctuality, cleanliness, cheerfulness, school pride, respect of the environment, patience, creativity, sportsmanship, loyalty, and perseverance.
Homework is an important component of every student’s instructional program. Students, teachers, and parents should have a clear understanding of the objectives to be accomplished through homework and the role it plays in meeting curriculum requirements. Homework reflects practices that have been taught in the classroom and provides reinforcement and/or remediation for students. It should be student-managed, and the amount should be age-appropriate, encouraging learning through problem solving and practice.
At every grade level, homework should be meaning-centered and mirror classroom activities and experiences. Independent and collaborative projects that foster creativity, problem-solving abilities, and student responsibility are appropriate. Parental support and supervision reinforce the quality of practice or product as well as skill development.
Each local board of education shall establish a policy on homework consistent with the State Board of Education resolution adopted February 23, 1984. (Action Item #F-2)
Alabama Accident Summary. Montgomery, Alabama: Alabama Department of Public Safety, 2005.
Alabama Course of Study: Driver and Traffic Safety Education (Bulletin 1999, No. 18). Montgomery, Alabama: Alabama Department of Education, 1999.
Alabama Driver Manual. Montgomery, Alabama: Alabama Department of Public Safety, 1998.
A Basic Curriculum Guide for Teachers of Driver Education. Montgomery, Alabama: Alabama Department of Education, 2002.
“Motor Vehicle Code, Title 32,” Code of Alabama 1975. Charlottesville, Virginia: The Michie Company, 1996.
^ Ability and opportunity to operate a motor vehicle.
Advisory speed limit. Suggested maximum speed for intersections, curves, hills, and turning.
Aggressive driving. Driving with disregard for traffic laws and driving erratically as a normal pattern of behavior.
^ Braking system designed to keep a car’s wheels from locking when a driver brakes abruptly.
Basic speed law. Speed below the absolute limit that is safe for existing road, weather, or traffic conditions.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Percentage of alcohol found in the bloodstream as measured by chemical tests of blood, breath, or urine.
^ License ruled to be void by the Director of Public Safety upon determining that the person is not entitled to the license due to failure to provide required or correct information on a driver license application or due to having committed any fraud in making an application.
^ Highway that vehicles can enter or exit only at designated points.
“Death zone.” Area around a stopped school bus.
Defensive driving. Art of protecting oneself and others from dangerous and unexpected changes in the driving environment.
^ Time and space gap between vehicles traveling in the same lane of traffic.
Graduated Driver License. Program requiring young drivers to progress through a series of licensing stages with various restrictions.
Hand-over-hand steering. Steering method of turning in which the driver’s hands cross when turning the steering wheel.
Hydroplaning. Condition in which the tires of a moving vehicle ride on the surface of water causing loss of steering and braking control.
^ Alabama law stating that when a driver is granted a license, the driver agrees to take a chemical test for intoxication if arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or to give up the license.
Intersection. Place where two or more streets cross.
Learner License. Restricted license for the purpose of learning to operate a motor vehicle safely and effectively while accompanied by any duly licensed driver over 21 years of age.
^ Insurance coverage that pays for bodily and property damage to others in a collision caused by the insured.
Limited access highway. Highway that has fixed points of entry and exit.
Merge. Moving into the flow of traffic.
“No zone.” Area to the sides and rear of a vehicle that a driver cannot see in the rearview mirrors.
^ Belt or shoulder harness anchored to the vehicle frame to prevent occupant from being thrown against parts of the interior of the vehicle or being thrown out of the vehicle in the event of a collision.
Personal watercraft. Type of small boat powered by a waterjet engine.
^ Maximum or minimum posted speed at which one may drive under normal conditions.
Push-pull-feed steering. Steering method in which the driver’s hands do not cross when turning the steering wheel.
Railroad grade crossing. Intersection of one or more railroad tracks with roadways.
^ Cancellation by the state of a legal permit to drive a vehicle.
Right-of-way. Right of a vehicle or pedestrian to go first when there is a conflict.
Road rage. Deliberate, violent behavior by a driver in response to a real or imagined traffic grievance.
^ Organized defensive driving system of seeing, thinking, and responding that includes the steps of searching, identifying, predicting, deciding, and executing.
Smith System. Organized method designed to help drivers develop good defensive driving techniques by using the five rules for safe driving.
^ Legal speed limits established by law unless otherwise posted.
Suspended license. A license withdrawn by the state for a given period of time.
Synergy. Multiplied effect of combining two or more drugs, including combinations of alcohol, prescription drugs, and nonprescription drugs.
Traffic control devices. Signs, signals, and markings used in the highway transportation system.
• T- turn or side-street turnabout. Two-point turn made by first backing into a driveway or alley. It can also be made by heading into an alley or driveway and then backing into the street.
• U-turn. Turnabout carried out by a full
U-shaped left turn.
• Y or three-point turnabout. Turn made by turning left as sharply as possible until the front wheel approaches the opposite curb, backing the car, straightening it, and then proceeding forward.
Vehicle registration. Required licensing procedure for motor vehicles.
Yielding. Allowing another vehicle or other roadway user to proceed first.
Zero tolerance. Allowance of no alcohol content in the blood (anything from 0.00 to 0.02 percent BAC).