Driving is the controlled operation and movement of a motor vehicle, including cars, motorcycles, trucks, and buses. Permission to drive on public highways is granted based on a set of conditions being met and drivers are required to follow the established road and traffic laws in the location they are driving. The word driving, has etymology dating back to the 15th century and has developed as what driving has encompassed has changed from working animals in the 15th to automobiles in 1888. Driving skills have also developed since the 15th century with physical, mental and safety skills being required to drive. This evolution of the skills required to drive have been accompanied by the introduction of driving laws which relate to not only the driver but the driveability of a car.
The origin of the term driver, as recorded from the 15th century, refers to the occupation of driving working animals, especially pack horses or draft horses. The verb ' to drive ' in origin means "to force to move, to impel by physical force". It is first recorded of electric railway drivers in 1889 and of a motor-car driver in 1896. Early alternatives were motorneer,motor-man, motor-driver or motorist. French favors "conducteur" (the English equivalent, " conductor ", being used —from the 1830s— not of the driver but of the person in charge of passengers and collecting fares), while German influenced areas adopted Fahrer (used of coach-drivers in the 18th century, but shortened about 1900 from the compound Kraftwagen Fahrer), and the verbs führen, lenken, steuern —all with a meaning "steer, guide, navigate"— translating to conduire.
The world's first long-distance road trip by automobile was in August 1888 when Bertha Benz, wife of Benz Patent-Motorwagen inventor Karl Benz, drove 66 mi (106 km) Mannheim to Pforzheim, Germany, and returned, in the third experimental Benz motor car, which had a maximum speed of 10 mph (16 km/h), with her two teenage sons Richard and Eugen but without the consent and knowledge of her husband. She had said she wanted to visit her mother, but also intended to generate publicity for her husband's invention, which had only been taken on short test drives before.
In 1899, F. O. Stanley and his wife, Flora, drove their Stanley Steamer automobile, sometimes called a locomobile, to the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire in the United States to generate publicity for their automobile. 7.6-mile (12.2 km) journey took over two hours (not counting time to add more water); the descent was accomplished by putting the engine in low gear and much braking.The
Driving in traffic is more than just knowing how to operate the mechanisms which control the vehicle; it requires knowing how to apply the rules of the road (which ensures safe and efficient sharing with other users). An effective driver also has an intuitive understanding of the basics of vehicle handling and can drive responsibly.
Although direct operation of a bicycle and a mounted animal are commonly referred to as riding, such operators are legally considered drivers and are required to obey the rules of the road. Driving over a long distance is referred to as a road trip.
In some countries, a basic both practical and theoretical knowledge of the rules of the road is assessed with a driving test(s) and those who pass are issued with a driving license.
A driver must have physical skills to be able to control direction, acceleration, and deceleration. For motor vehicles, the detailed tasks include:
Avoiding or successfully handling an emergency driving situation can involve the following skills:
Distractions can compromise a driver's mental skills. One study on the subject of mobile phones and driving safety concluded that, after controlling for driving difficulty and time on task, drivers talking on a phone exhibited greater impairment than drivers who were suffering from alcohol intoxication.In the US "During daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving according to the publication on the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Another survey indicated that music could adversely affect a driver's concentration."
Seizure disorders and Alzheimer's disease are among the leading medical causes of mental impairment among drivers in the United States and Europe.Whether or not physicians should be allowed, or even required, to report such conditions to state authorities, remains highly controversial.
Safety issues in driving include:
Driveability of a vehicle means the smooth delivery of power, as demanded by the driver. Typical causes of driveability degradation are rough idling, misfiring, surging, hesitation, or insufficient power.
A driver is subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which he or she is driving.
Geneva convention requires drivers to be 18 years old.
Vienna convention requires additional skills for drivers.
The rules of the road, driver licensing and vehicle registration schemes vary considerably between jurisdictions, as do laws imposing criminal responsibility for negligent driving, vehicle safety inspections and compulsory insurance. Most countries also have differing laws against driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Aggressive driving and road rage have become problems for drivers in some areas.
Some countries require annual renewal of the driver's license. This may require getting through another driving test or vision screening test to get recertified.Also, some countries use a points system for the driver's license. Both techniques (annual renewal with tests, points system) may or may not improve road safety compared to when the driver is not continuously or annually evaluated.
Car ownership does not require a driver's license at all. As such, even with a withdrawn driver's license, former drivers are still legally allowed to possess a car and thus have access to it. In the USA, between 1993 and 1997 13,8% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes had no driver's license.
In some countries (such as the UK), the car itself needs have a certificate that proves the vehicle is safe and roadworthy. Also, it needs to have a minimum of third party insurance.
Motorists are almost universally required to take lessons with an approved instructor and to pass a driving test before being granted a license. Almost all countries allow all adults with good vision and health to apply to take a driving test and, if successful, to drive on public roads.
In many countries, even after passing one's driving test, new motorists are initially subject to special restrictions. For example, in Australia, novice drivers are required to carry "P" ("provisional") plates;,in New Zealand it is called restricted (R) both are subject to alcohol limits and other restrictions for the first two years of driving. Many U.S. states now issue graduated drivers' licenses to novice minors. Typically, newly licensed minors may not drive or operate a motorized vehicle at night or with a passenger other than family members. The duration of the restriction varies from six months to until the driver is 18 years old. This is due to the mental aptitude of a young or inexperienced driver not being fully developed.
A few countries banned women driving in the past. In Oman, women were not allowed to drive until 1970.In Saudi Arabia, women were not issued driving licenses until 2018. Saudi women had periodically staged driving protests against these restrictions and in September 2017, the Saudi government agreed to lift the ban, which went into effect in June 2018.
Drunk driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle with the operator's ability to do so impaired as a result of alcohol consumption, or with a blood alcohol level in excess of the legal limit. For drivers 21 years or older, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is illegal. For drivers under 21 years old, the legal limit is lower, with state limits ranging from 0.00 to 0.02. Lower BAC limits apply when operating boats, airplanes, or commercial vehicles. Among other names, the criminal offense of drunk driving may be called driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI), operating [a] vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OVI), or operating while impaired (OWI).
Driving under the influence (DUI) is the crime or offense of driving, operating, or being in control of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs, to a level that renders the driver incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely.
The standard Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations, ANSI/ASSE Z15.1, defines defensive driving skills as "driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others." This definition is taken from the National Safety Council's Defensive Driving Course. It is a form of training for motor vehicle drivers that goes beyond mastery of the rules of the road and the basic mechanics of driving. Its aim is to reduce the risk of collision by anticipating dangerous situations, despite adverse conditions or the mistakes of others. This can be achieved through adherence to a variety of general guidelines, such as following the assured clear distance ahead and two second rules, as well as the practice of specific driving techniques. Some motorists describe defensive driving as "driving as if everyone else on the road were drunk."
A driving test is a procedure designed to test a person's ability to drive a motor vehicle. It exists in various forms worldwide, and is often a requirement to obtain a driver's license. A driving test generally consists of one or two parts: the practical test, called a road test, used to assess a person's driving ability under normal operating conditions, and/or a written or oral test to confirm a person's knowledge of driving and relevant rules and laws.
A commercial driver's license (CDL) is a driver's license required to operate large, heavy, or placarded hazardous material vehicles in commerce.
IAM RoadSmart formerly called the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is a charity based in the United Kingdom and serving nine countries, whose objective is to improve car driving and motorcycle riding standards, and so enhance road safety, by using the British police's system of car and motorcycle control commonly known as "the System". The System was devised in 1937 by racing driver Mark Everard Pepys, 6th Earl of Cottenham, to reduce accidents in police pursuits.
Graduated driver licensing systems (GDLS) are designed to provide new drivers of motor vehicles with driving experience and skills gradually over time in low-risk environments. There are typically three steps or stages through which new drivers pass. They begin by acquiring a learner's permit, progress to a restricted, probationary or provisional license, followed by receipt of a full driver's license. Graduated drivers' licensing generally restricts nighttime, expressway, and unsupervised driving during initial stages, but lifts these restrictions with time and further testing of the individual, eventually concluding with the individual attaining a full driver's license.
Driver's education, driver education, driving education, driver's ed, or driving tuition or driving lessons is a formal class or program that prepares a new driver to obtain a learner's permit or driver's license. The formal class program may also prepare existing license holders for an overseas license conversion or medical assessment driving test or refresher course. It may take place in a classroom, in a vehicle, online, or a combination of the above. Topics of instruction include traffic code or laws and vehicle operation. Typically, instruction will warn of dangerous conditions in driving such as road conditions, driver impairments, and hazardous weather. Instructional videos may also be shown, demonstrating proper driving strategies and the consequences for not observing the rules.
A driver's permit, learner's permit, learner's license or provisional license, is a restricted license that is given to a person who is learning to drive, but has not yet satisfied the prerequisite to obtain a driver's license. Having a driver's permit for a certain length of time is usually one of the requirements for applying for a full driver's license. To get a learner's permit, one must typically pass a written permit test, take a basic competency test in the vehicle, or both.
Mobile phone use while driving is common but it is widely considered dangerous due to its potential for causing distracted driving and crashes. Due to the number of crashes that are related to conducting calls on a phone and texting while driving, some jurisdictions have made the use of calling on a phone while driving illegal. Many jurisdictions have enacted laws to ban handheld mobile phone use. Nevertheless, many jurisdictions allow use of a hands-free device. Driving while using a hands-free device is not safer than using a handheld phone to conduct calls, as concluded by case-crossover studies, epidemiological, simulation, and meta-analysis. In some cases restrictions are directed only at minors, those who are newly qualified license holders, or to drivers in school zones. In addition to voice calling, activities such as texting while driving, web browsing, playing video games, or phone use in general can also increase the risk of a crash.
The advanced driving test is a special exam for motorists who can drive to a skill level substantially above average, and candidates who pass are called advanced drivers. It is available from several societies, including the Institute of Advanced Motorists, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the Driving Instructors' Association DIAmond Advanced Test and the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) Blue Riband. There is no single "advanced test", so standards are different depending on the provider. It does not affect the driver's own licence. The test is mostly UK based; and is available for several types of vehicle depending on the provider.
Driving in the United States is a frequent occurrence, with the majority of Americans using private automobiles as their primary form of transportation to their workplace. Each state has the authority to set its own traffic laws and issue driving licenses, although these laws are largely the same and licenses from other states are respected throughout the country. Americans drive on the right side of the road. There are numerous regulations on driving behavior, including speed limits, passing regulations, and seat belt requirements. Driving while intoxicated with alcohol is illegal in all jurisdictions within the U.S.
The Russian Empire was one of the first countries to create a driving licence. Russia's first licences were issued in 1900 by Saint Petersburg authorities, and Russia joined an international convention in 1909. However, due to relatively small number of cars, the attempts to create a standardised Russian licence were rather sporadic and limited to major urban areas. No comprehensive system of driver licensing was present until 1936, when the Soviet government organised and standardised traffic and driving regulations, with the state-wide system regulated by specialised police authorities.
A driver license is required in Singapore before a person is allowed to drive a motor vehicle of any description on a road in the country. Like many other countries in the world, an individual must possess a valid driving licence before being permitted to drive on the road, and driving licence holders are subject to all traffic rules.
A traffic collision, also called a motor vehicle collision, car accident, or car crash, occurs when a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other stationary obstruction, such as a tree, pole or building. Traffic collisions often result in injury, disability, death, and property damage as well as financial costs to both society and the individuals involved. Road transport is the most dangerous situation people deal with on a daily basis, but casualty figures from such incidents attract less media attention than other, less frequent types of tragedy.
The laws of driving under the influence vary between countries. One difference is the acceptable limit of blood alcohol content before a person is charged with a crime.
Statistics show that per mile driven older drivers are over-represented in fatal accidents. Due to their physical frailty they are more likely to be injured in an accident and more likely to die of that injury. When frailty is accounted for and older drivers are compared to younger persons driving the same amount the over-representation disappears. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a senior citizen is more likely than a younger driver to be at fault in an accident in which they are involved. The most common violations include failure to obey traffic signals, unsafe turns and passing, and failure to yield the right of way.
A driver's license is an official document, often plastic and the size of a credit card, permitting a specific individual to operate one or more types of motorized vehicles, such as a motorcycle, car, truck, or bus on a public road.
The death of Elaine Herzberg was the first recorded case of a pedestrian fatality involving a self-driving (autonomous) car, after a collision that occurred late in the evening of March 18, 2018. Herzberg was pushing a bicycle across a four-lane road in Tempe, Arizona, United States, when she was struck by an Uber test vehicle, which was operating in self-drive mode with a human safety backup driver sitting in the driving seat. Herzberg was taken to the local hospital where she died of her injuries.
Vehicle weight is a measurement of wheeled motor vehicles; either an actual measured weight of the vehicle under defined conditions or a gross weight rating for its weight carrying capacity.
That was the day that F. O. Stanley and his wife, Flora, decided it would be good publicity for their steam-powered Stanley Locomobile if it were the first car to be driven up the 7.6-mile Mount Washington Carriage Road.