Commonly Missed Questions on Teen Driving Permit Exams

Teen driving permit exams test your knowledge of the basic rules of the road before you get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Your state needs to know you understand local and national traffic laws and can read traffic signs before they allow you to start driving.

Each state has its own new driver manual to provide details on state laws and help you prepare for your teen driving permit exam. But before you take your test, you should be aware of some commonly missed questions and their answers.

Here are some of the most commonly missed questions on teen driving permit exams nationwide.

1. At What Blood Alcohol Concentration Are You Impaired?

This is a tricky question because the answer may not be the same as your state’s legal maximum blood alcohol concentration level. 

In general, impairment begins between .03 and .05 percent. However, if the question asks what the legal blood alcohol concentration limit is, you would answer according to your state laws. In California, for example, it is illegal for any person over 21 to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, but the legal limit is reduced all the way to .01 percent for anyone under 21.

2. Who Has the Right-of-Way When…?

Teen permit driving exams want to make sure you know who has the right-of-way in any situation. These right-of-way rules help prevent accidents by clearly defining who should go first and who needs to wait for their turn. For example:

  • When driving on a narrow mountain road with only enough width for one vehicle, the vehicle traveling uphill has the right-of-way. Downhill vehicles are expected to pull over (preferably in an area designated just for this purpose) to allow the uphill vehicle to proceed past.

  • When two vehicles approach a four-way stop at the exact same moment from perpendicular directions, the vehicle furthest right has the right-of-way.

  • Vehicles moving straight through an intersection with a green light have the right-of-way; vehicles turning left on a green light must yield to those oncoming vehicles.

Right-of-way rules apply nationwide, so you won’t need to worry about state specifics on this topic.

3. How Much Distance Should You Keep Between Your Vehicle and…?

Teen permit driving exam question-makers love to ask about distances. There are lots of versions of this question, and they’re often state-specific. So if you see a distance in your studies, highlight it or make a flashcard, because you will definitely be asked at least one distance question.

Here are two common examples:

  1. Q: How much distance should you keep between your vehicle and the railroad tracks if you must stop at a railroad crossing? A: 15-50 feet (in Texas)

  2. Q: What is the recommended distance to keep between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you? A: A minimum of one car length for every 10 mph or at least 2 seconds between vehicles (in Ohio).

4. Which Way Should Your Wheels Face When Parking Uphill?

This is an often-missed question, especially by drivers who live in geographically flat areas and rarely, if ever, park on a hillside. But the answer is nice and logical. You want to park in such a way that your vehicle would be stopped by gravity if it started to roll. So if you’re parking facing uphill, turn your wheels away from the curb. And if parking facing downhill, turn your wheels toward the curb. If gravity starts pulling on your vehicle, the curb will keep your vehicle from rolling into anything else on the street. And don’t forget to engage your parking brake!

5. When Is It Safe to Enter an Intersection?

You may think it’s safe to enter an intersection when the light turns green or when you have the right-of-way. But teen permit driving exams want to make sure you’re a defensive driver (someone who’s prepared for the incorrect actions of other drivers). So the answer to this question should always include something about “when other vehicles have cleared the intersection” or “when it is safe to do so.”

6. What Does [This Sign] Mean?

Know your signs! Teen permit driving exams always ask a question or two about signage. These could be traffic signs (yield, railroad, school, etc) or warning signs (side roads, deer crossing, winding roads, etc). So designate some extra study time to reviewing and memorizing signs.

With a teen driving course, you’ll have access to engaging online materials to help you learn this information fast. And you’ll have access to unlimited practice exams so you’ll be ready to pass your teen driving permit exam on the first try!

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