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Guidance for driving examiners carrying out driving tests (DT1)

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
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Annex 3 : Safety check questions (car + trailer test (B+E)

An annex of DT1 containing safety check questions (car + trailer test (B+E).

Q1: Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

A: Identify reservoir, check level against high/ low markings.

Q2: Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.

A: Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and checking functioning of all indicators.

Q3: Tell me the main safety factors involved in loading this vehicle.

A: The load should be distributed evenly throughout the trailer. Heavy items should be loaded as low as possible so that they are mainly over the axle(s). Bulkier, lighter items should be distributed to give a suitable ‘nose weight’ at the towing coupling. The nose weight should never exceed the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.

Q4: Tell me the main safety factors involved in securing a load on this vehicle.

A: Any load must be carried so that it does not endanger other road users. It must be securely stowed within the size and weight limits for the vehicle. The load needs to be secure so that it cannot move or fall from the vehicle when cornering or braking.

Q5: Show me how you would check that your vehicle & trailer doors are secure.

A: Physical checks should be made to ensure that windows, roof light and all doors, including cargo doors, are properly closed.

Q6: Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
A: No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.

Q7: Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only).

A: Check is carried out by using control (turn on ignition if necessary).

Q8: Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.

A: Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

Q9: Show me how you would check the parking brake for excessive wear.

A: Demonstrate by applying parking brake that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.

Q10: Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.

A: Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn ignition on if necessary).

Q11: Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens.

A: Set all relevant controls including; fan, temperature, air direction / source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. Engine does not have to be started for this demonstration

Q12: Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (No need to exit vehicle)

A: Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

Q13: Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.

A: Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

Q14: Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this vehicle. (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine).

A: Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc or ask someone to help.

Q15: Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.

A: The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. N.B. Some restraints might not be adjustable.