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:
- Starting the vehicle's engine with the starting system
- Setting the transmission to the correct gear
- Depressing the pedals with one's feet to accelerate, slow, and stop
the vehicle, and if the vehicle is equipped with a manual transmission,
to modulate the clutch
- Steering the vehicle's direction with the steering wheel
- Operating other important ancillary devices such as the indicators,
headlights, and windshield wipers.
a mental skill
|Avoiding or successfully handling an emergency driving situation can involve
the following skills:
- 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.