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Driving is the controlled operation of a land vehicle, such as a car, truck or bus.

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.


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.<ref></ref>

Driving skills

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 govern safe and efficient sharing with other users). An effective driver also has an intuitive understanding of the basics of vehicle handling.

Driving as a physical skill

In terms of the basic physical tasks required, a driver must be able to control direction, acceleration, and deceleration. For motor vehicles, the detailed tasks include: <ref>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>

Driving as a mental skill

Avoiding or successfully handling an emergency driving situation can involve the following skills: <ref>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>

  • Making good decisions based on factors such as road and traffic conditions
  • Evasive maneuvering
  • Proper hand placement and seating position
  • Skid control
  • Steering and braking techniques
  • Understanding vehicle dynamics

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.<ref name="Strayer">Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>

Another survey indicated that music could affect adversely a driver's concentration.<ref>Hard-Rock and Classic Music Could Lead to Road Accidents, New Survey Says</ref>

Seizure disorders and Alzheimer's disease are among the leading medical causes of mental impairment among drivers in the United States and Europe.<ref name="ReferenceA">Jacob M. Appel "Must Physicians Report Impaired Driving? Rethinking a Duty on a Collision Course with Itself" Journal of Clinical Ethics Volume 20 Number 2.</ref> Whether or not physicians should be allowed, or even required, to report such conditions to state authorities, remains highly controversial.<ref name="ReferenceA"/>

Driving laws

A person is subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which he or she is driving. The rules of the road, driver licensing and vehicle registration schemes that apply 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 whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Motorists are almost universally required to take lessons with an approved instructor and pass a driving test before being granted a license. Almost all countries allow all adults with good vision to apply to take a driving test and, if successful, to drive on public roads. Saudi Arabia, however, bans women from driving vehicles (whether pedal or motor powered) on public roads. Saudi women have periodically staged driving protests against these restrictions.

In many countries, even after passing one's driving test, new motorists may be initially subject to special restrictions. For example, in Australia, novice drivers are required to carry "P" ("provisional") plates, and are subject to alcohol limits, and other restrictions for their first two years of driving. Another example, in California, licensed drivers (ages 16) are able to drive only with a family member for the first year.

Driving and occupational therapy

When effects of aging or a health condition impact the ability to drive, an occupational therapist can provide assessment to determine fitness to drive. An occupational therapist may suggest adaptive equipment, or a driver refresher program to keep older adults driving for as long and as safely as possible. When driving is no longer an option, occupational therapists prepare older adults for driving retirement and offer solutions to community mobility.

See also

External links

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