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Vehicle Handling Category (UK)

Theory Test - Vehicle Handling Category

The questions deal with how external factors, such as the weather, can affect the handling of your vehicle and overall road safety.

As always, safety is the prime concern - a fact that is reflected in the answers to the questions.
Overtaking at night

  • be careful because you can see less.
  • beware of bends in the road ahead.
  • don't dazzle other road users.
  • If you are overtaken at night and you have your headlights on full beam, you should switch to dipped beam as the overtaking car draws level with you.

Facts To Know

  • In heavy rain your overall stopping distance is likely to be doubled.
  • If heavy snow is falling you should not drive unless it is essential.
  • Areas reserved for trams may have white line markings, a different coloured surface, a different surface texture.
  • You active the engine brake when you change to a lower gear.
  • When driving up a steep hill lower gears will pull better, the engine will work harder, you will slow down sooner.
  • On icy roads the distance you should driver from the car in front is ten times the normal distance.
  • Coasting (rolling in neutral gear or holding the clutch pedal down) is dangerous because you will have less steering and braking control, and won't be able to make use of the engine brake.
  • When using your brakes a lot i.e. when driving downhill you may notice that they don't work as well as normal. This is due to them overheating.
  • You must use dipped headlights during the day if visibility is poor.
  • When driving through a Ford (a small stream) remember, it could be more difficult in the winter, use a low gear and driver slowly, test your brakes afterwards, there may be a depth gauge.
  • Traffic calming measures are used to slow traffic down.
  • To correct a rear-wheel skid you should steer into it.
  • You must use dipped headlights during the day when visibility is poor.
  • A rumble device is designed to alert you to a hazard.
  • Areas reserved for trams may have a) white line markings b) a different coloured surface c) a different textured surface.

Box Junctions

  • You may wait in a box junction when oncoming traffic prevents you turning right.
  • Traffic calming measures, such as road humps, are designed to slow traffic down.
  • Rumble strips, raised markings or yellow painted strips across the road, are designed to alert you to a hazard ahead, make you aware of your speed and encourage you to slow down.

Driving in Fog

When driving in fog:
  • Leave plenty of time for the journey.
  • Only drive when absolutely necessary.
  • Reduce your speed, as it is harder to see ahead.
  • Keep well back from vehicles in front, as they may stop suddenly.
  • Turn on rear fog lights when visibility drops below 100 metres (328 feet).
  • Front fog lights should only be used when visibility is seriously reduced.
  • When fog clears you must turn off fog lights, as they can dazzle other road users and cause brake lights to be less clear.
  • Driving with fog lights on when visibility is above 100 metres is breaking the law.
  • When parking in fog leave your sidelights on.
  • Before driving in fog check you lights are working and make sure your windows are clean.


  • On a well-lit motorway at night always use dipped headlights
  • If you break down on the motorway, or have to stop on the hard shoulder you must turn your headlights off and turn on the sidelights.
  • The left-hand side of a motorway lane edge is marked by red reflective studs.
  • The reflective studs between lanes are white.
  • The right-hand edge of a motorway lane is marked by amber reflective studs.
  • The reflective studs between the carriageway and slip road are green.

DSA Theory Test Questions - Vehicle Handling Category

1In which THREE of these situations may you overtake another vehicle on the left?
Mark THREE answers.
Knowledge and Understanding At certain times of the day, traffic might be heavy. If traffic is moving slowly in queues and vehicles in the right-hand lane are moving more slowly, you may overtake on the left. Don’t keep changing lanes to try and beat the queue.

When you are in a one-way street When approaching a motorway slip road where you will be turning off When the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right When a slower vehicle is travelling in the right-hand lane of a dual carriageway in slow-moving traffic queues when traffic in the right-hand lane is moving more slowly
2Traffic calming measures are used to
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding Traffic calming measures are used to make the roads safer for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, pedestrians and children. These can be designed as chicanes, road humps or other obstacles that encourage drivers and riders to slow down.

stop road rage help overtaking slow traffic down help parking
3You are on a road which has speed humps. A driver in front is travelling slower than you. You should
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding Be patient and stay behind the car in front. Normally you should not overtake other vehicles in traffic-calmed areas. If you overtake here your speed may exceed that which is safe along that road, defeating the purpose of the traffic calming measures.

sound your horn overtake as soon as you can flash your headlights slow down and stay behind
4You are overtaking a car at night. You must be sure that
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding To prevent your lights from dazzling the driver of the car in front, wait until you’ve overtaken before switching to full beam.

you flash your headlights before overtaking you select a higher gear you have switched your lights to full beam before overtaking you do not dazzle other road users
5You have to make a journey in foggy conditions. You should
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding If you’re planning to make a journey when it’s foggy, listen to the weather reports on the radio or television. Don’t travel if visibility is very poor or your trip isn’t necessary. If you do travel, leave plenty of time for your journey. If someone is expecting you at the other end, let them know that you’ll be taking longer than normal to arrive.

follow other vehicles' tail lights closely avoid using dipped headlights leave plenty of time for your journey keep two seconds behind other vehicles
6Areas reserved for trams may have
Mark THREE answers.
Knowledge and Understanding Trams can run on roads used by other vehicles and pedestrians. The part of the road used by the trams is known as the reserved area and this should be kept clear. It has a coloured surface and is usually edged with white road markings. It might also have different surface texture.

metal studs around them white line markings zigzag markings a different coloured surface yellow hatch markings a different surface texture
7You see a vehicle coming towards you on a single-track road. You should
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding You must take extra care when on single track roads. You may not be able to see around bends due to high hedges or fences. Proceed with caution and expect to meet oncoming vehicles around the next bend. If you do, pull into or opposite a passing place.

go back to the main road do an emergency stop stop at a passing place put on your hazard warning lights
8You are driving on a motorway in windy conditions. When passing high-sided vehicles you should
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding The draught caused by other vehicles could be strong enough to push you out of your lane. Keep both hands on the steering wheel to maintain full control.

increase your speed be wary of a sudden gust drive alongside very closely expect normal conditions
9Whilst driving, the fog clears and you can see more clearly. You must remember to
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and UnderstandingBright rear fog lights might be mistaken for brake lights and could be misleading for the traffic behind.

switch off the fog lights reduce your speed switch off the demister close any open windows
10You are driving at night. You are dazzled by headlights coming towards you. You should
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding You will have additional hazards to deal with at night. Visibility may be very limited and the lights of oncoming vehicles can often dazzle you. When this happens don’t close your eyes, swerve or flash your headlights, as this will also distract other drivers. It may help to focus on the left kerb, verge or lane line.

pull down your sun visor slow down or stop switch on your main beam headlights put your hand over your eyes
11Chains can be fitted to your wheels to help prevent
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding Snow chains can be fitted to your tyres during snowy conditions. They can help you to move off from rest or to keep moving in deep snow. You will still need to adjust your driving according to the road conditions at the time.

damage to the road surface wear to the tyres skidding in deep snow the brakes locking
12You are on the motorway at night. You must have your headlights switched on unless
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding Always use your headlights at night on a motorway unless you have stopped on the hard shoulder. If you break down and have to stop on the hard shoulder, switch off the headlights but leave the sidelights on so that other road users can see your vehicle.

there are vehicles close in front of you you are travelling below 50 mph the motorway is lit your vehicle is broken down on the hard shoulder
13You will feel the effects of engine braking when you
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding When going downhill, prolonged use of the brakes can cause them to overheat and lose their effectiveness. Changing to a lower gear will assist your braking.

only use the handbrake only use neutral change to a lower gear change to a higher gear
14Daytime visibility is poor but not seriously reduced. You should switch on
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding Only use your fog lights when visibility is seriously reduced. Use dipped headlights in poor conditions.
headlights and fog lights front fog lights dipped headlights rear fog lights
15Why are vehicles fitted with rear fog lights?
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding Rear fog lights make it easier to spot a vehicle ahead in foggy conditions. Avoid the temptation to use other vehicles’ lights as a guide, as they may give you a false sense of security.

To be seen when driving at high speed To use if broken down in a dangerous position To make them more visible in thick fog To warn drivers following closely to drop back
16When snow is falling heavily you should
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding Consider if the increased risk is worth it. If the weather conditions are bad and your journey isn’t essential, then stay at home.

only drive with your hazard lights on not drive unless you have a mobile phone only drive when your journey is short not drive unless it is essential
17What are TWO main reasons why coasting downhill is wrong?
Mark TWO answers.
Knowledge and Understanding Coasting is when you allow the vehicle to freewheel in neutral or with the clutch pedal depressed. Doing this gives you less control over the vehicle. It’s especially important not to let your vehicle coast when approaching hazards such as junctions and bends and when travelling downhill.

Fuel consumption will be higher The vehicle will get faster It puts more wear and tear on the tyres You have less braking and steering control It damages the engine
18Which THREE of the following will affect your stopping distance?

Knowledge and Understanding There are several factors that can affect the distance it takes to stop your vehicle. Adjust your driving to take account of how the weather conditions could affect your tyres’ grip on the road.

How fast you are going The tyres on your vehicle The time of day The weather The street lighting
19You are on a motorway at night with other vehicles ahead of you. Which lights should you have on?
Mark one answer.
Knowledge and Understanding If you’re driving behind other traffic at night on the motorway, leave a two-second time gap and use dipped headlights. Full beam will dazzle the other drivers. Your headlights’ beam should fall short of the vehicle in front.

Front fog lights Main beam headlights Sidelights only Dipped headlights
20Hills can affect the performance of your vehicle. Which TWO apply when driving up steep hills?

Mark TWO answers.
Knowledge and Understanding The engine will need more power to pull the vehicle up the hill. When approaching a steep hill you should select a lower gear to help maintain your speed. You should do this without hesitation, so that you don’t lose too much speed before engaging the lower gear.

Higher gears will pull better You will slow down sooner Overtaking will be easier The engine will work harder The steering will feel heavier