Safety and Your Vehicle

Safety and Your Vehicle Theory Test


The Safety and Your Vehicle Theory Test consists of 137 questions.
You need 68 out of 79 (86%) to pass. There is no time limit for this test.
Click here to read our Safety and Your Vehicle Theory Test revision notes.

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Many of the questions in the safety and your vehicle section concern legal requirements and rules of the road. It also tests knowledge of how your vehicle works, with topics including interior controls, brakes and suspension. Questions may also cover steering, tyres and the battery.

Safety is of the utmost importance, and you are responsible for your passengers, particularly children and the use of child restraints or seatbelts. Other safety considerations include parking restrictions, vehicle security and environmental issues.

Vehicle Safety

Tyres and Wheels

  • Tyre pressures should be regularly checked when the tyres are cold
  • Under-inflated tyres can lead to poor braking, increased fuel consumption and heavy steering
  • Excessive and uneven tyre wear can be caused by a defective braking or suspension system or poor wheel alignment
  • The minimum tread depth must be 1.6 mm over ¾ of the tread breadth
  • Tyres that have cuts in the side wall are illegal and must be replaced

Fuel Consumption

  • High fuel consumption can be caused by accelerating, high speed driving, harsh braking and unnecessary weight on the roof rack
  • Fuel consumption can be reduced by smooth driving, lowering speed, proper maintenance of the vehicle and missing out some gears while driving

Steering and Engine Oil

  • Heavy steering is caused by under-inflated tyres
  • Do not turn the steering wheel when stationary as this can damage the wheel itself and the tyres
  • Always check oil levels before a long journey and be aware that too much oil can cause a leak
  • Dispose of old oil at a registered local authority site

Horn, Suspension and the Catalytic Converter

  • Horns must not be used in built-up areas between 11.30 pm and 7.00 am
  • If the car keeps bouncing when you press down on the front wing, this means that the shock absorbers are worn and need replacing
  • The catalytic converter is located on the exhaust system and reduces toxic gas emissions

Batteries and General Maintenance

  • Most modern batteries are sealed and require no maintenance. Old style batteries need topping up with distilled water to just above the battery cell plates
  • Used batteries are toxic and should be taken to a garage or local authority site
  • Headlights, seat belts and the windscreen must be maintained in good condition by law

Driver Behaviour and the Environment

Route Planning

  • Allow plenty of time for your journey, avoiding busy times if possible to avoid delays and help reduce congestion
  • Study maps or an internet route planner, printing it out if necessary and plan alternative routes in case of unforeseen circumstances

Vehicle Security

  • Remove valuables or lock them out of sight and install a security coded radio
  • Park in a well-lit area or a secure car park and engage the steering lock when parked
  • Install an immobiliser and etch the car number on the windows
  • Lock the car and remove the key when parked and never leave an unattended vehicle with the engine running
  • Don’t leave vehicle documents in the car

Parking

  • Do not park where your vehicle will cause an obstruction e.g. near a bus stop, on the brow of a hill or where the kerb is lowered for wheelchair users
  • Parking lights must be used if you are parking on a road where the speed limit is more than 30 mph

Road Humps, Chicanes and Other Narrowing

  • These are designed as traffic calming measures; you need to reduce your speed when approaching them

Shoes

  • Suitable shoes must be worn for driving to ensure you can maintain control of the pedals

Environmental Issues

  • Road transport is responsible for 20% of all emissions, causing air pollution, consumption of natural resources and damage to buildings
  • Environmentally friendly vehicles can reduce noise pollution, excessive traffic in towns and can be electricity powered
  • The MOT exhaust emission test helps protect the environment
  • By reducing speed, servicing your vehicle properly, using gentle acceleration and avoiding frequent, short trips, you too can help the environment

Seat Belts and Child Restraints

  • You must wear a seatbelt if fitted
  • Adult passengers over the age of 14 are themselves responsible for wearing a seatbelt
  • Children under three must have the correct restraint in front or rear seats
  • Children over three but under 12 and less than 1.35m tall, must use the correct child restraint in the front of the vehicle or the rear if seat belts are fitted
  • Children aged 12 or 13, or over 1.35m tall must wear a seatbelt if fitted

Safety and Your Vehicle Theory Test Tips

Many of the questions in the safety section require answers that are governed by law and the regulations must be learnt accordingly. You may also be asked about warning lights on the dashboard panel, including when an indicator is on, whether headlights should be dipped or on full beam and the use of hazard lights.