Traffic Deaths Surged in 2015 - Copyright: Driversprep.com

Traffic Deaths Surged in 2015

Preliminary statistics show that traffic deaths increased in 2015. After several years of dropping numbers (2012 being an exception), fatalities surged in 2015. About 35,200 people died on American roads in 2015, up from the 32,675 in 2014. This means an increase of 7.7 percent. The most significant increase came from the north-west region (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho).

Young Drivers Still at High Risk

Fatalities in crashes involving young drivers (15 to 20 years old) increased 10 percent, which is more than the average.

The common use of cellphones while driving may be partially to blame. Despite numerous state campaigns, many young drivers continue to use their phones when driving. It is a habit that can and must be reversed. People should not have to lose their lives because they or someone else chose to drive distracted.

It is very likely that the high number of deaths among young drivers may call for even tougher Graduated Driver Licensing laws in the future.

Teen girl reading text - Courtesy of NHTSA

Another Explanation: Americans Drive More

With fallen gas prices and better economy, Americans drive more. This also explains a part of the increased numbers. Vehicle miles traveled increased by 3.5 percent in 2015. Fatality rates per 100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled went up from 1.08 to 1.12 in 2015.

Human Errors

94 percent of crashes can be tied back to a human choice or error, so we know we need to focus our efforts on improving human behavior while promoting vehicle technology that not only protects people in crashes, but helps prevent crashes in the first place,” says NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind.

Which means that we are likely to see even more campaigns to change human behaviors in areas as drunk driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, speeding, and failure to use safety belts.

How DMV Tests Can Be Affected

This is also likely to affect Driver Handbooks and Written DMV Tests. You should expect increase emphasis on topics like the ones above.

Florida is one state that changed their DMV tests already in 2014. After the change, more than 80 percent of those who took the test flunked. The goal is simply to have better informed and educated drivers on the road.

The Practice Tests at Driversprep.com will be revised and updated during 2016 and 2017, putting more focus on question based on real-life situations and safe driving techniques than can reduce the number of traffic deaths in United States.

Acing the DMV test - Illustration by pratyaksa

You Can Ace the DMV Test – It Is This Simple!

Trying to pass a knowledge test is really stressful to most people. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much time they spend studying, reading the study guide or handbook and taking practice tests, it still remains difficult and frustrating. If you are in this situation, the idea of being able to ace such a test seems very distance.

But trust us – anyone can ace the test. It is all about determination and confidence.

Just imagine walking out of the DMV office with a perfect score, or maybe just one or two missed questions. You can actually do it. Just set your heart on having your learner’s permit on your first try. Then, follow the advice below.

Based on illustration by rangizzz

The Most Important Thing

The most important thing when studying for your instruction permit or full driver’s license is, of course, to become a safe driver. Too many young drivers forget this part. With school tests in fresh memory, they try to take shortcuts and focus solely on passing the exam – instead of really trying to learn.

We get two or three emails a week from users who want copies of the real test. Seeing the real test in advance will surely make you pass, but it will not make you a responsible and safe driver. Earning your driving privilege involves a learning process. The more you know and the more driving practice you have, the less likely you are to be involved in an accident.

Remember, if you are a teen, you are more likely than others to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations. It is simply a lack of experience. Which you can compensate with more and better knowledge.

Focusing on just passing the DMV exam and postponing the learning part until you are on the road and behind the wheel is not a good idea.

The First Major Mistake People Make

The first major mistake in studying for your permit is trying to memorize questions and answers. And why is this a mistake, you might ask? Well, research show that most people can’t really remember pairs of phrases when there is no true understanding behind. Such knowledge stays in memory for a short period of time and is harder to apply in real situations.

Like a soap bubble, it will quickly vanish again. Easy come, easy go.

Soap bubble - commons wikimedia - Alvesgaspar

What You Should Do Instead

Instead, you should look closely at every question on the practice test and give yourself a little more time to come up with the answer on your own. By challenging yourself to retrieve or generate answers, you can improve your understanding.

Then, look closely at all the choices. Understand the difference between should and must. “Should” is normally used to indicate something that is a safe practice. “Must” is used about law rules.

An example:

You should keep a safe following distance of at least 2-4 seconds, but you must signal at least 100 feet before turning.

Look for qualifiers like usually, often, frequently, and generally. They tend to be more open to different scenarios and make a statement true. Absolute words tend to work the opposite way; never, none, always, every, and only may indicate that a statement is false. But evaluate these words carefully. Words like never or always may be used to indicate actions required by law, like you must always come to a full stop at a stop sign.

A good study practice is to turn choices into questions. Ask such questions to yourself. Like, is it true that the use of a cell phone while driving is ALWAYS prohibited? It isn’t.

You should also ask yourself whether the choice you’re considering completely addresses the question. If the choice is only partly true or is true only under certain narrow conditions, then it’s probably not the right choice.

Be patient - driversprep.com DMV tests

The Second Major Mistake

Don’t focus too much on your score and don’t attempt the real DMV exam too soon. The quicker you try to master the content of the driver handbook, the quicker the knowledge will disappear afterwards.

While repetition is one key to make your learning easier, it is also important continually tune or adjust your understanding of laws and driving practices. You will most likely find that some of your previous understandings about rules of the road, signs, or signals were based on false assumptions. The older you are (even if you are an experienced driver), the harder these false assumptions stick in your mind.

Remember, laws change from time to time. So do safe driving recommendations.

Don’t Get Frustrated by Challenging Questions

If you start by making many errors on the permit practice test, don’t let that discourage you. In fact, learning becomes better if a practice test is arranged so that you make errors.

In most cases, you will remember things better and for a longer period of time, if tests are challenging.

While easy questions and good scores boost your confidence, they will not improve your learning.

There Are No Trick Questions

Questions or answers are never written to be deceptive.

If you feel that a question is a trick one, make sure you haven’t added your own information to it. It is best to avoid reading too much into the question and not limit it to a specific scenario in which the answer could be true. The worst thing you can do is start asking yourself “what if”.

All the information you need to answer it correctly is already in the question and/or the choices.

A question only becomes a trick question when the test taker lets it become one.

When You Miss a Question

For anything you miss on the practice tests, read the comments and restudy that section of the driver handbook. Then wait a few days and try to answer the questions again. Be aware of different wording. Questions may look the same, but they can be totally different from one test to another.

Misreading questions because they look familiar is a very common reason for failing both practice tests and the real DMV test.

This is why scrabbling notes and trying to memorize questions and answers isn’t always a successful method. Probably, contrary to what you once learned in school.

Pass rates - driversprep.com

Practice Scores to Aim for

The most common passing score on DMV exams in United States is 80 percent (read more about passing scores here). It means that you must answer 4 out of 5 questions correctly.

Passing a practice tests with a score of 80% does not mean you are ready for the real test. In fact, it shows that there are still large gaps to be filled.

Take a closer look at any questions you miss on the practice tests. They will give you valuable information on parts of the driver’s manual that you may have overlooked. This is the best way of improving your score on the next practice tests.

Being Ready

How do you know when you are ready?

When you feel that you know and understand all the answers, and just miss one or two questions on less important details (such as DUI penalties or DMV fees), you are probably ready.

The official DMV exam is always based on the information in the handbook or manual. You will not get any questions where the answer is not found in the manual. The same thing applies for our practice tests, even if we may stretch it a bit sometimes.

DMV instructors write questions with two things in mind:

  • Making sure you have studied the manual.
  • Making sure you understand laws and rules that important for your safety on the road.

A good example of the first, is questions about smoking in a vehicle with a minor present or abandoning an animal on a highway. These questions appear on the California DMV test, and you probably don’t pay too much attention to these laws when you read them in the handbook. That is why the DMV tests make sure you know them.

Examples of the second, are questions about headlights, following distances, safety belts, traffic signs, and signals.

Detailed questions about penalties, license restrictions, and other administrative numbers are not common, but they pop up on the tests in some states. Having a rough idea about those is usually enough. You should, as an example, know when a violation is a severe one or a just small fault.

Student studying with laptop and taking notes - copyright: Antonio Guillem

New Oregon DMV Practice Tests

With the release of the new 2016 – 2017 Oregon Driver Manual from Oregon DMV, studying for your Oregon driver’s license or instruction permit got a lot easier. DMV has trimmed down the manual from 116 pages to 69. Detailed information, such as suspension periods and penalties, has been removed from the manual. This allows you to study for your permit without learning too many unnecessary details.

This also means that we have reviewed our Oregon DMV practice tests. We have removed almost 50 practice question so far, other questions and answers have been updated to better match the contents of the new manual. You can expect additional updates as we take a closer look at all questions in our database.

Oregon Class C Knowledge Test

The Oregon knowledge test is based solely on the Driver Manual. It includes all the information necessary to pass the test, as well as our permit practice tests. Don’t fool yourself and think that you can skip reading the manual.

The Oregon knowledge test has questions about road signs, traffic laws, and other information about rules of the road that a driver needs to know. It consists of 35 multiple-choice questions.
You must answer 28 questions correctly to pass the test, which is a passing score of 80%. Our practice tests have 25 questions, which is a number preferred by most of our test takers. The passing score is the same as on the real test.

If you are under 18, there is an additional safe driving practices test that you must pass. It checks your theoretical knowledge of common safe driving practices. You can take this test as soon as you are within 30 days of your 16th birthday. It is also based on the information in the driver manual. Questions from the safe driving practices test is also included in our permit practice tests.

Oregon Driver Manual - Driver's Prep

Computerized Knowledge Tests

You will take your DMV knowledge tests on a touch-screen computer, with or without audio assistance. You may use a foreign language translation dictionary and/or authorized interpreters. Should you require some other accommodation to take a knowledge test, you should contact your local office ahead of your test.

The test is available in the following languages (with or without audio assistance):

  • English
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

If You Fail the DMV Knowledge Test

After each failed testing attempt, you must wait until the next day before you can take the test again. Should you fail a fourth (or subsequent) time, you must wait at least 28 days before you can try again.

It is a good idea to take the Oregon DMV practice tests at this website many times. Each time you pass, you will boost your self-confidence and eliminate some of the test anxiety that might plague you. You can take our practice tests 100 times, and still see new questions.


Photo credit: Antonio Guillem

Hawaii Driver's Manual - published by Hawaii Department of Transportation

Updated Hawaii DOT Practice Tests

Our Hawaii DOT Practice Tests for your instruction permit or full driver’s license have recently been reviewed and updated. The practice tests here at driversprep.com are designed for use as a guide to help you qualify for a Hawaii driver’s license or permit and become a safer driver.

More Than 500 Questions

With more than 500 practice questions in the database, our practice tests cover all aspects of the Hawaii Drivers Manual. Even if you can study and pass the exam solely by using our practice tests, we encourage you to get a copy of the driver’a manual and read it carefully. All questions on the final Hawaii DOT permit exam are drawn from this manual.

Known “Error” in the 2015 Version

In 2003, Hawaii Department of Transportation updated the driver’s manual regarding parking on hills. The change reflected what is included in most state manuals and what is being taught in driver education classes. When parking uphill, you should turn your front wheels away from the curb, letting your vehicle roll back a few inches until the rear of one front wheel touches the curb. Read more on how to park on hills and why you should turn your wheels the “other” way: Parking on Hills.

Unfortunately, this update has been removed from the issue published in September 2015. Back to “old school” in other words. Hopefully, a mistake that will be corrected in the next edition.

Parking on hills from Hawaii Drivers Manual

Removed Practice Questions

The issue published in September 2015 also removed several of the practice questions that came with photographs from real-life situations. They were a great help for new drivers, and it is a pity that they were removed (even if some photos seemed to have been there since the fifties).

PennDot No Registration Stickers 2017 - Copyright: PennDot

PennDot Eliminates Vehicle Registration Stickers

Starting at the end of 2016, Pennsylvania will no long issue that little vehicle registration sticker that you put on your license plate each year.

The last registration sticker will be issued by PennDot on December 30, 2016.

Money Saver for Taxpayers

Not only will PennDot save taxpayers about $1 million per year, customers will also be able to pay their registration fee online and print their own permanent registration credential. In the future, it will also be possible to upload the registration card to your smart phone and eliminate the requirement to print a copy altogether.

In short, no more waiting around for paperwork to be delivered by mail!

Through electronic means, law enforcement can verify whether a vehicle registration is valid or not. Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR) can connect to PennDOT’s database and more efficiently validate both the registration and the motor vehicle insurance.

Registration Still Necessary

Even if the stickers are eliminated, you still have to register your vehicle. The process, however, will be easier.

Do You Have to Remove Old Stickers?

If your License Plate have an old sticker, issued before December 31, you can leave the sticker on. There is no requirement to remove old stickers.