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Tri Valley Driving School


National safety council


Car crashes are the leading cause of unintentional deaths for U.S. teenagers, but there’s plenty we can do to help keep them safe. Inexperience is the biggest issue for new drivers, and the best solution is to help them safely gain experience behind the wheel.

Arrive Alive:

Arrive Alive California Inc develops, promotes, and facilitates evidence-based education to raise awareness on possible life altering decisions - thereby saving lives. to raise awareness on possible life altering decisions - thereby saving lives. 

Arrive Alive for Women: (Road safety for women driving alone)
Women are regarded in the insurance industry as ‘’safer” drivers and less likely to be in a road accident.

Even though all motorists need to be alert and cautious, female drivers, unfortunately, have to be even more vigilant in order to avoid falling prey to criminal acts such as hijacking, intimidation, sexual assault or worse.

Our women drivers are still regarded as more vulnerable by most criminals.

In this section, we would like to offer advice and a few precautions that could enhance the safety of all drivers - and especially our female drivers!

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

After spending years protecting your children from all sorts of dangers on the road and off, you now face the prospect of handing them the keys to the family car. It is time for them to learn how to drive. Are you prepared? We can help you develop your teen's driving ability. 

California DMV


Handling Special Problems & Emergencies

What do I do if I get into a collision?
All of the instructions for how to handle collision situations – either as a witness, or as someone involved in a collision – are detailed in the California Driver Handbook.

You can access the handbook online or pick up a hard copy at your local DMV field office.

I hear sirens. What should I do?
When a fire truck, ambulance, police vehicle, or other emergency vehicle approaches from behind with its siren on, pull over as far as you can on the right side of the road. Stop and do not move until the emergency vehicle passes.

Never stop in the middle of an intersection. Continue through the intersection and then pull over to the right as soon as you can. If you fail to do this, you could get a traffic violation citation.

How can I safety share the road with motorcycles, bicycles, and scooters?
Always check the road and regularly check to see what vehicles are coming up ahead of you and behind you. Be aware that because they are small, motorcycles, bicycles, and scooters can be difficult to see. They can approach quietly, so being aware of your surroundings is key.

What do I do when I see a school bus?
When you see flashing red lights on a school bus, stop at a safe distance away from the school bus, and remain stopped until the red lights stop flashing. Traffic must stop in both directions unless the roadway is divided by a median. School buses are not required to flash the red lights at all stops.

Be cautious around stopped school buses even if the red lights have stopped flashing. Children can cross the road without warning, so you should treat school buses as school zones – drive 25 mph or less when children are present.

How do I safely cross a railroad crossing?
Before crossing railroad tracks, look and listen for trains in both directions. Be ready to stop if necessary. It is best to expect a train on a track at any time, day or night. By the time a train sees you, it is too late to stop; so it is your responsibility to make sure the tracks are clear.

When traffic is heavy, wait off the tracks until you are able to drive across the tracks without needing to stop.

What if driving conditions are poor and it is foggy/raining/snowing?
If you can avoid driving in fog, please do. Consider postponing your trip until the fog clears.

If you must drive in foggy conditions, only use your low-beam headlights. Do not use your high-beam headlights in the fog as they will create glare and reduce visibility, and never drive with just your parking or fog lights on.

Be sure to increase your following distance and be prepared to stop within the space you can see in front of your vehicle. Avoid crossing or passing lanes of traffic unless absolutely necessary, and listen for traffic you cannot see. Use your wipers and defroster as necessary for best vision.

If the fog becomes so thick that you cannot see well, pull completely off the road. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

In heavy rain or a snowstorm, you may not be able to see more than 100 feet ahead. When this is the case, you cannot safely drive faster than 30 mph, and you may have to stop from time to time to wipe snow or mud off your windshield, headlights, and taillights.

When you drive in snowy areas, carry chains in case you find yourself in conditions where you need more traction. Make sure you carry the correct number of chains and the correct sizes to fit your wheels. Learn how to put the chains on before you use them so you are prepared.

Always slow down at the first sight of rain, fog, or snow on the road. The road can become very slippery, so you should drive cautiously.

Make sure you turn your lights on when visibility is poor, even in daylight hours. You must turn on your headlights if snow, rain, fog, or low visibility (1000 feet or less) require the continuous use of windshield wipers.

How do I safely drive on slippery roads?
When driving on wet, icy, gravel, or dirt roads, you should:

Drive more slowly and stay farther behind the vehicle ahead of you.

Slow down as you approach curves and intersections.

Avoid quick stops. “Pump” the brakes to slow or stop.

Avoid fast turns.

If you drive a manual transmission, shift into a lower gear before going down a steep hill.

If your brakes get wet, dry them by pressing the gas and brake pedals at the same time so that the vehicle drives against the pressure of the brakes.

Avoid especially slippery areas, such as ice patches, wet leaves, oil, and deep puddles.

How should I drive when it is windy?
When it is very windy, it is smart to drive slower than normal. Lighter vehicles, vans, and trucks with broad, high sides are susceptible to wind and can sometimes be blown out of their lane. House trailers are in special danger of shifting.

If possible, avoid driving next to other vehicles when it is windy. Grasp the steering wheel firmly. Be prepared to correct your steering as wind force changes, and keep your windows closed.

What if I have to stop quickly or my vehicle skids?
Avoid sudden stops whenever you can. If your vehicle has four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply firm pressure on the brake pedal.

To determine if a vehicle has ABS, review your owner’s manual. There may also be an illuminated ABS symbol on your dashboard immediately after starting the engine.

If you stop quickly or your vehicle begins to skid, try the following:

If your vehicle has just rear-wheel ABS (common in light trucks), ease up on the brake pedal with just enough pressure to allow the front wheels to roll again so you can steer.

If your vehicle has rear-wheel drive and goes into a skid, stop braking and turn the steering wheel into the direction of the skid.

Has front-wheel drive, steer where you want to go and carefully accelerate to keep the vehicle moving.

If your vehicle does not have ABS, lightly and briefly “pump” the brakes. To pump the brakes, you can:

Push the brake pedal hard.

As the vehicle begins to skid, quickly let up on the brake. Push it down again quickly.

Use this quick, pumping action until the vehicle is stopped.

What do I do if my brakes fail?
If your brakes fail, you should:

  • Downshift into a lower gear.

  • If your vehicle has four-wheel ABS, apply firm pressure on the brake pedal.

  • If your vehicle has just rear-wheel ABS (common in light trucks), ease up on the brake pedal with just enough pressure to allow the front wheels to roll again.-

  • If your vehicle does not have an ABS, pump the brake pedal.

  • Apply the parking brake, but be ready to release it if the vehicle begins to skid.

  • Remember you can still steer and swerve. Steer into bushes or something soft if you are able.

  • Sound your horn and flash your lights to warn other drivers.


When you no longer need to change direction and your vehicle has stopped, turn off the ignition. 

Turning off the key locks the steering wheel of many vehicles, so do not turn off the ignition until you come to a complete stop.

How should I drive in extreme heat?

  • Watch your vehicle’s temperature gauge to ensure it does not overheat.

  • Avoid driving at high speeds for long periods of time.

  • Use a low gear in slow-moving or “creeping” traffic.

  • If the engine is overheating, turn off the air conditioning.


What happens if my vehicle hydroplanes?
If water on the road is deeper than the tread of your tires, your vehicle may glide over the water and not touch the road surface. This condition is called hydroplaning. If you can see reflections on the pavement, or the vehicle ahead leaves no tracks on the water, your vehicle could hydroplane. To avoid hydroplaning:

  • Drive slowly.

  • Maintain good tire tread.

  • Have your tires properly inflated.

  • Steer around the water, if possible.

  • Slow down, especially when changing directions or if you hear a sloshing sound from the tires.

How should I drive in extreme cold?
If you have not added antifreeze to your engine, the water in your radiator may freeze. If this happens, your engine will overheat. To prevent this from happening, start your engine and watch the temperature gauge for signs of overheating. Use the defroster or slightly open your windows to keep them from “fogging up.”

What should I do if my tire blows out?
Always keep both hands on the wheel. If your tire goes flat suddenly, you need both hands to control the vehicle. If you have a sudden tire blowout, you should:

  • Hold the steering wheel tightly and steer straight ahead.

  • Slow down gradually. Take your foot off the gas pedal slowly, but do not hit the brakes.

  • Let the vehicle slow to a stop, and guide it completely off the road.

  • Apply the brakes when the vehicle is almost stopped.

What if my vehicle gets stuck in snow or mud?

  • Shift into a low gear and keep your front wheels straight.

  • Gently step on the gas pedal.

  • Avoid spinning the wheels. Drive as far forward as possible.

  • Shift into reverse and slowly back up as far as possible. Do not spin the wheels.

  • Shift into a low gear again and drive forward.

  • Repeat a forward-backward motion until the vehicle rolls free.

  • In deep mud or snow, put boards, tree branches, etc., under the tires. Never do this when the tires are spinning, only when they are not moving at all.

  • You may avoid getting stuck if you always carry chains in your vehicle. Put chains on the tires before driving in snow or mud.

What should I do if my accelerator gets stuck?
If your accelerator becomes stuck, you should:

  • Shift into neutral.

  • Apply the brakes.

  • Keep your eyes on the road.

  • Look for a way out of traffic.

  • Warn other drivers by honking and flashing your emergency lights.

  • Try to drive the vehicle safely off the road.

When you no longer need to change direction and have stopped, turn off the ignition. (Turning off the key locks the steering wheel of many vehicles, so do not turn off the ignition until you come to a complete stop.)


While we focus on developing skills in order to pass the driving test, we also instill driving courtesy.

Cancellation of behind-the-wheel appointment(s) must be made 48 hrs. prior to the scheduled appt.
Failure of 48 hr. notice will result in a $75 cancellation fee. 

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