Driving Test

Texting while driving is a growing problem for young drivers.

iStockPhoto.com

How responsible are you behind the wheel? Test your driving IQ by answering these questions. Then scroll down to read the answers.

  1. Carly is driving to the mall when her cell phone starts beeping. It’s her friend Sophie, texting her about their dinner plans. What should Carly do?

    1. Wait until she arrives at the mall to reply to Sophie’s text. Dinner is hours away, and Sophie will understand if it takes Carly a little while to respond.

    2. Pick up her cell phone and reply immediately. If Carly doesn’t respond right away, Sophie might think that Carly is blowing her off.


  2. Aidan is giving three of his friends a ride to the beach. They are cracking jokes, blasting music, and getting pretty rowdy. What should Aidan do?

    1. Stay focused and keep his eyes on the road. As the driver, Aidan is responsible for getting them to their destination safely. He can mess around with his friends once they’re at the beach.

    2. Join in the fun! Aidan can goof around with his friends and still drive safely.


  3. Maria is picking up her friend Ellie, who lives one block away. It’s a quick trip, so Maria is not sure if she needs to wear her seat belt. What should she do?

    1. Skip putting on the seat belt. It will take Maria only a minute or two to get to Ellie’s house. What could go wrong?

    2. Buckle up! Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere.


  4. Charlie’s band has its first big gig this weekend. Today’s the final rehearsal, and Charlie’s running late. What should he do?

    1. Rush to get there on time. Charlie shouldn’t let his friends down. The band needs all the practice it can get.

    2. Call his friends to let them know he’ll be a little late. The band can start warming up without him.


  5. It’s pouring rain, and the roads are starting to flood. Matt is dying to buy a new skateboard, and the store closes in half an hour. What should Matt do?

    1. Wait until tomorrow when the weather will have cleared up, and the roads will be dry. The skateboards will still be there.

    2. Jump in the car and rush to the store to get a new board. After all, it’s just rain. It’s not like it’s snowing!


ANSWERS

  1. A. Carly should wait until she gets to the mall to answer Sophie’s text. Texting while driving is a growing problem for young drivers. It is especially dangerous because it forces drivers to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, and their minds off the task of driving. Texting while driving is now illegal in 34 states. “Every single time someone takes their focus off the road—even if just for a moment—they put their lives and the lives of others in danger,” says U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. “There’s no call or e-mail so important that it can’t wait.”
     

  2. A. Aidan should focus on driving. Driving with friends in the car increases a teen’s risk of having an accident. In fact, the more passengers, the higher the risk. Because friends can be a real distraction to young drivers, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) recommends that teens not drive passengers under the age of 21 for the first six months after they earn their licenses. “It’s more difficult to manage the task of driving when there are a lot of other things going on,” says Ruth Shults, a senior epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Social activity in the car can divert the attention of the driver.”
     

  3. B. Maria should buckle up. Wearing seat belts saves lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wearing seat belts cuts accident-related deaths almost in half. Unfortunately, teens are less likely to wear seat belts than older drivers—a decision that sometimes costs them their lives. Two thirds of teens killed in accidents were not wearing seat belts. “The simplest way to prevent car-crash deaths is to buckle up every time, no matter how short the ride is,” Shults says. “There is nothing teens can do that is more likely to save lives.”
     

  4. B. Charlie should tell his friends that he’ll be late and drive carefully to his rehearsal. Speeding is a factor in nearly one out of three fatal motor vehicle accidents. Despite this alarming statistic, teens are more likely than other drivers to speed and engage in other risky behaviors like tailgating. Driving over the speed limit increases the chances that a teen will lose control of the car. A recent report released by CHOP found that more than half of teen drivers killed in car accidents were speeding.
     

  5. A. Matt should wait to buy his skateboard until it is safer to travel on the roads. Driving is a complex skill that takes years to master. It is not surprising, then, that most accidents occur during a teen’s first year of driving. “Because of their inexperience, young drivers are slower to recognize potential hazards on the road and to handle a vehicle in an emergency situation,” Shults says. “When they do react, they often overreact.” Even the most experienced drivers may have difficulty operating a vehicle in bad weather or heavy traffic.

To get full access to "For Teachers" section, please

or

Sign Up NOW!