Leave enough space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. If that vehicle stalls you can pull around the vehicle without having to back. The space is determined by the size and length of your vehicle. The longer your vehicle the more space you need.
Why? HAVE AN ESCAPE ROUTE
Starting up at intersections:
Look left right left. Look left and right first, clearing the intersection for motorist and pedestrians. Look left the second time since that's the first lane of traffic you enter. Prior to entering the intersection, check your traffic mirror looking for vehicles that may turn in front of you.
Why? KEEPS YOU ALIVE AT INTERSECTIONS
After the vehicle ahead has started to move before placing your vehicle in motion. You do this by releasing your hand valve and counting 1-2-3. This will automatically establish a space cushion and bring your eyes up to the driving scene.
Why? SPACE ON ALL FOUR SIDES BUT ALWAYS IN FRONT
4-6 Seconds following time for speeds 29mph and under; 6-8 Seconds following time for speeds 30mph and over
You pick a stationary object and after the vehicle ahead passes it, count 1/1000, 2/1000, 3/1000 etc, until the front of your vehicle passes that object. This is your following distance in seconds.
Why? KEEPS YOU AWAY FROM BILLBOARDS
8-12 Seconds eye lead time
You pick a target 8 -12 seconds up the road in the center of your drive path. Your eyes should be focused on that point most of the time. Remember this is a maintained depth of vision.
Why? CENTERS CAR IN TRAFFIC LANE
Scan steering wheels of parked cars:
Looking for some sort of life such as exhaust, lights, signals, wheels turned or someone behind the wheel. The hazards are the person exiting the vehicle or pulling away from the curb. If you can't determine if the vehicle is occupied treat it as though it is.
Why? BUYS TIME
Stale green light:
Is a light that you did not see change, so a point of decision must be established in which you can safely stop the vehicle before the crosswalk should the light change. If you reach the decision point and the light changes, continue through the intersection without acceleration or hesitation. Things that affect the point of decision are: load, road, weather and speed. Right now my load is two empties, the road is...., the weather is..., and my speed is ___mph.
Why? SMOOTH STOPS AND TURNS
When it is imperative that motorist and pedestrians along your drive path stay put until you pass the danger point, establish eye contact with them by a friendly tap or if necessary a loud blast of the horn. This makes an unpredictable situation more predictable.
Why? ESTABLISHES EYE TO EYE CONTACT
Pulling from curb
Turn on your left directional and check the traffic by looking at your left flat and convex mirrors. Look over your left shoulder and check the blind spot between you, the drive axle and into the first lane of traffic you enter. When the lane is clear begin pulling from the curb. Cancel signal when fully in the lane.
Why? COMMUNICATE IN TRAFFIC: HORN, LIGHTS, SIGNALS
Use of mirrors and gauges
Check your mirrors every 5 to 8 seconds looking for lane position, traffic and mechanical problems. When traffic allows substitute a mirror with one of the three primary gauges; air, oil, water. Never go mirror to mirror, mirror to gauge or gauge to mirror.