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State of Florida vehicle guide

Your Vehicle

These items will be checked before you take the driving test for your license. If your tires, brake light, directional signals, brakes, steering, horn or mirror are not in good condition, you will not be allowed to take the driving test.
You may be stopped at any time by a law enforcement officer for a vehicle inspection.

Equipment Standards

The equipment on your car must meet certain standards. These are listed below.


Brakes:

Your car must have two braking systems. Each must be able to stop the car alone. The parking or emergency brake should be strong enough to hold the car on any hill. Your brakes must be able to stop your car within the distance shown on the chart on the right.


Braking Distance

You must be able to stop your car within the distance shown by the black cars when you use the foot brake. For safest driving, keep your brakes in such good condition that you can stop within distance shown by the white cars.
It is important to note that the graph below illustrates the braking distance AFTER YOU HAVE APPLIED YOUR BRAKES. To this must be added a REACTION DISTANCE, which is the distance you travel from seeing the danger to putting your foot on the brake pedal. Since 3/4 second is the average reaction time, a motorist will travel 11 feet for each 10 m.p.h. of speed before hitting the brake. At 50 m.p.h. this distance would be 55 feet!

Lights:

Your car must have the following lights:

  • Bright (high-beam) headlights which show objects 450 feet ahead.
  • Dimmed (low-beam) headlights which show objects 150 feet ahead.
  • Two red taillights mounted on the rear, visible from 1,000 feet.
  • A white light that makes the license plate visible from 50 feet (The plate must be kept clean).
  • Two red stoplights. They must be seen from 300 feet in the daytime, and must come on when the foot brake is pressed.

All vehicles, including animal-drawn vehicles, must have at least one white light visible from a distance of not less than 1,000 feet to the front. They must also have two red lights visible from a distance of not less than 1,000 feet to the rear, or one red light visible to the rear for a distance of 1,000 feet and two red reflectors visible from all distances from 600 feet to 1,000 feet.

Other Equipment Standards


Horn: Your vehicle must have a horn which can be heard from a distance of 200 feet.


Windshield Wiper: Your vehicle must have a windshield wiper in good working order for cleaning rain, snow or other moisture from the windshield.

Windshields: Must be safety glass and may not be covered or treated with any material which has the effect of making the windshield reflective or in any way non-transparent. It must be free of any stickers not required by law.

Side windows: May not be composed of, covered by, or treated with any material which has a highly reflective or mirrored appearance and reflects more than 35% of the light.


Rear windows: When the rear window is composed of, covered by, or treated with any material which makes the rear window non-transparent, the vehicle must be equipped with side mirrors on both sides.


Directional signals: You must have electrical turn signals if your vehicle measures more than 24 inches from the center of the top of the steering post to the left outside limit of the body, or when the distance from the steering post to the rear of the body or load is greater than 14 feet.

Tires: Your tires should have visible tread of at least 2/32 of an inch across the base with no worn spots showing the ply. Smooth tires on wet roads contribute to thousands of serious crashes.


Mirrors: Your car must have at least one rearview mirror which gives a view of the highway at least 200 feet to the rear.

Keeping your Car in Good Condition

No matter how well you drive, you are not safe unless your vehicle is in good condition. If it is not, you could have a serious crash.
Brakes: Check to see that the pedal stays well above the floor when you step on it. If the car pulls to one side when you use the brakes or you hear any scraping or squealing noises, your brakes may need to be repaired.
Lights: Replace burned-out bulbs and clean lenses often. Dirty headlights can cut your night vision by one-half. Burned out signal lights or brake lights mean you can't tell other drivers what you are doing. Keep your lights adjusted so that you don't blind oncoming drivers.
Windows and Windshields: Keep the glass clean, inside and out, to reduce glare.

Equipment Not Permitted

You may not have on or in your vehicle:

  • Red or blue emergency lights. These are for emergency and law enforcement vehicles only.
  • A siren, bell or whistle.
  • A very loud muffler or one that lets out smoke.
  • Signs, posters or stickers on the windshield or windows (except those required by law).
  • A television which the driver can see.
  • More than two spotlights, cowl or fender lights, fog lights (in front), or other extra lights (in front).
  • Headsets worn by driver while operating a vehicle.

Bumper Height Requirements

Owners of automobiles and pickup trucks are required to have both front and rear bumpers mounted within certain height levels. Height limitations are governed by the new shipping weight of the vehicle; not the modified or altered weight. The maximum allowable heights between the pavement and bottom of the front and rear bumper, as provided by Section 316.251, Florida Statutes, are:

  • Cars with a net weight of less than 2,500 pounds - 22 inches front and rear;
  • Cars 2,500 pounds or more but less than 3,500 pounds - 24 inches front and 26 inches rear;
  • Cars 3,500 pounds or more - 27 inches front; 29 inches rear;
  • Trucks under 2,000 - 24 inches front; 26 inches rear;
  • Trucks 2,000 pounds or more but less than 3,000 pounds - 27 inches front, and 29 inches rear;
  • Trucks 3,000 pounds or more but not more than 5,000 pounds - 28 inches front; 30 inches rear.


Please Do not Tamper

It is illegal to tamper with, remove, or cause not to work, any pollution control device on your vehicle. Those who do are guilty of a first or second degree misdemeanor depending on the offense.
Tampering with emissions control devices damages your vehicle and can cause the following:

  • Increased air pollution.
  • Lower gas mileage and less vehicle efficiency.
  • More maintenance costs.
  • Respiratory (breathing) difficulties.

DO NOT EXHAUST FLORIDA'S FUTURE!

Anti-Locking Brake System (ABS)

Anti-locking brakes prevent skidding and allow drivers to steer during an emergency, braking situation. ABS can help improve vehicle stability (avoiding spinouts), steering ability (directing the car where the driver wants to go) and stopping capability (distance needed to stop the vehicle).
Many drivers learned the correct way to stop in an emergency situation where traction is lost and the vehicle slides is by pumping the brakes, while this is correct with conventional brakes, with ABS it is different. All drivers need to do with vehicles who have ABS is press down hard on the brake pedal, hold it and steer out of danger. In an emergency situation, ABS pumps the brakes for the driver and pumps the brakes at a much faster rate than the driver ever could. Drivers should be aware that removing steady pressure from the brake pedal or pumping the brakes will disengage or "turn off" the ABS.
One of the most important benefits of ABS is that driver can steer the vehicle away from hazards while braking. Drivers should not turn the steering wheel hard or jerk the vehicle in one direction. Control of the vehicle can be maintained by steering where the driver wants to go. Drivers need to check that traffic is clear when deciding where to steer and always remember to steer back into the original lane as soon as the hazard is cleared.
Vehicles can be equipped with two different types of ABS:

  • Four-wheel-Passenger cars and some light trucks. Always remember to brake hard and steer. It is important to keep firm and constant pressure on the brake pedal while stopping.
  • Rear-wheel-Only on some light trucks. It prevents the rear wheels from locking up so that the back end of the vehicle does not skid sideways. The front wheels can still lock up and the driver will lose steering control if this happens. In this situation, the driver should let up on the brake pedal with just enough pressure to allow the front wheels to start rolling again to regain control. When the driver feels that he has regained steering control, the brake pedal should be again be firmly engaged.

Drivers can determine whether their cars have ABS by looking for a lighted ABS symbol on the dashboard right after starting the engine, checking the owners manual or asking the dealer.

 

United States of America , Traffic Safety

Date: 12/26/2013 1:03:46 PM

By: YASA WEB , www.stateofflorida.com
 
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Traffic Safety