Improving Driver Selection with Road Tests

Road Test

Drivers are evaluated for safe driving practices on a 10 to 12 mile course.

Road tests are designed to assist with the overall driver selection process and to evaluate safe driving performance. A course of approximately 10 to 12 miles including city, rural and interstate driving is utilized for the road test. A driver is shown a map of the route and is given time to become familiar with the vehicle before the test begins.

The following are suggested areas that should be evaluated by a qualified driver during the road test.

Inspection of equipment

Be sure the driver does the following while driving.

  • Makes visual check of vehicle including lights and reflectors, tires, coupling devices, air lines and trailer hookup.
  • Familiar with starting procedure.
  • Checks brakes, steering mechanism, horn, windshield wipers and adjusts mirrors.
  • Checks air pressure, instruments and tractor protection valve.


  • Approaches intersections at a speed where vehicle could stop if necessary.
  • Stops soon enough to avoid running over crosswalk.
  • Does not allow vehicle to roll or creep while waiting for traffic lights.
  • Brings vehicle to full stop at stop signs.
  • Checks cross traffic regardless of traffic controls.


  • Does not attempt to pass when traffic is moving at posted speed.
  • Maintains proper following distance, does not tailgate awaiting chance to pass.
  • Does not attempt to pass without adequate passing distance.
  • Does not pass on hills, curves, intersections or railroad tracks.
  • Allows adequate clearance before pulling back into right lane.

Coupling and uncoupling tractor trailer units

  • Lines up units properly.
  • Makes sure lines are clear.
  • Makes sure trailer is secure.
  • Backs under slowly.
  • Checks hookup visually.
  • Handles landing gear properly.

Vehicle operation, straight road

  • Checks traffic conditions before pulling into traffic.
  • Drives with both hands on the wheel.
  • Stays in traffic flow.
  • Maintains proper speed within posted speed limits but not too slow.
  • Signals intent before changing lanes.
  • Maintains proper following distance.
  • Brakes smoothly and uses engine to reduce speed by shifting to lower gears.


  • Approaches intersection in proper lane.
  • Begins turn signal at least 100 feet from the corner.
  • Checks position of other vehicles well in advance of turn.
  • On right turns makes allowance for off-track or back end cutting short.
  • While waiting to make left turns has wheels pointing straight ahead.
  • Maintains proper lane during turns.

Backing and parking

  • Stops in correct position to back.
  • Gets out of cab and checks to rear and sides if necessary.
  • Backs slowly and smoothly without excessive use of clutch or brake.
  • Makes full use of mirrors.
  • Chocks trailer at loading docks.
  • Parks off pavement and secures vehicle before leaving.

General habits

  • Is alert and aware of changing traffic conditions.
  • Adjusts driving to meet changing traffic conditions.
  • Performs routine functions without taking eyes from road.
  • Displays self-confidence in driving.

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