Driver’s Performance Test (Road Test)

1. Test requirements

a. The driver’s performance test is to be given according to the principles of test administration set forth in AR 611–5. In addition, the specific directions for this test are to be followed without deviation. No omissions or changes in the wording of these directions are permitted.

b. The purpose of the road test is to evaluate the driver’s ability to drive safely in most on–the–road situations. It serves as the basis for issuing an operator’s permit and provides instructional reinforcement and counseling. Driving weaknesses that surface as a result of the test should be called to the attention of the examinee so that specific steps can be taken to eliminate these weaknesses.

c. Final evaluations will be recorded on DA Form 348. Place the "Driver’s Road Test Checklist" in the company driver’s record.

d. The examiner will be a thoroughly qualified operator of the vehicle in which the testing takes place. Furthermore, he or she will be familiar with the road test route and the testing procedures. Before administering the test to any examinees, the examiner must practice administering the test to a regular licensed driver qualified on that type vehicle. This practice administration will help him or her become acquainted with the test route and testing procedures.

e. The road test will consist of three scored phases; the preventive maintenance checks and services test, the vehicle control test, and the on–the–road driving test. The driver will be tested on these phases in the order listed, and will not move on to the next phase until successfully testing on the previous phase. If the driver fails any phase of the test, the entire road test will be terminated at that point, and the examiner will annotate the "Driver’s Road Test Checklist" and conduct an after–action review with the driver. This procedure will help to ensure that only safe and proficient drivers get behind the wheel of a vehicle to drive.

2. Setting up the road test

For the road test the driver drives a predetermined route. To set up the test, plan the route to be used. It may be necessary to develop different routes to accommodate the various types of vehicles or varied conditions desired. However, once a route is established (in a given locality) it should be used for all examinees that are to be tested in the same type of vehicle. Should it prove necessary to vary the route, care should be taken that the different kinds of route

requirements, as well as the number of requirements, remain the same. Every road test route will meet the following requirements (to the extent possible):

a. A vehicle control test area with the following maneuvers:

(1) Forward Stop. Pull vehicle forward through a straight alley and then stop the vehicle so that the front bumper is within 2 feet of the forward stop line.

(2) Straight Line Backing. Back the vehicle through a straight alley and then stop the vehicle so that the front bumper is within 2 feet of the stop line.

(3) Right Turn. Drive the vehicle forward approximately 30–50 feet, and then turn the vehicle right around a cone or other point. Bring the rear of the vehicle within 6–12 inches from the cone without touching it.

(4) Alley Dock. Pull the vehicle forward past the alley, keeping the alley entrance on the left. Back in a 45-degree curve into the alley without touching the sides, and stop the rear of the vehicle within 2 feet of the stop line at the rear of the alley.

(5) Eight left and eight right turns. Include turns at traffic lights, stop signs, and uncontrolled intersections. The turns should range from easy to somewhat difficult for a heavy vehicle. Try to include a mixture of types of intersections so that they vary in complexity.

(6) A straight section of urban business streets . The section should be 1 to 2 miles long. It should contain through intersections, and intersections with traffic lights, and have moderate traffic density. Try to get a section where the driver can make lane changes somewhere along the route. The section should be one that demonstrates how the driver copes with traffic in a typical business area.

(7) Two through intersections, and two intersections where a stop has to be made. If possible, these intersections should be included in the urban section.

(8) Two railway crossings. Try to get at least one uncontrolled crossing. The crossing should have enough sight distance to determine if the driver makes head search movements when approaching each crossing. The driver’s attempt to look left and right down the track will often be the only way to tell if the driver noticed the crossing. If the test area does not have any railway crossings, simulate this exercise.

(9) Two curves, one to the left and one to the right. Try to get curve straight enough to produce noticeable off–tracking on a tractor–trailer.

(10) A two–lane rural or semi–rural road. This section should be about 2 miles long. If there is no rural road near the motor pool, an industrial street with few entrances and a higher speed limit is a good substitute. An undeveloped suburban road is also a good substitute. In general, use any road that has characteristics similar to a rural road.

(11) A section of expressway. The section should start with a conventional ramp entrance and end with a conventional ramp exit. The section should be long enough for a heavy vehicle to make two lane changes during the section. A section of highway can be used if there is no expressway available.

(12) A downgrade. The grade should be steep enough and long enough to require gearing down and braking. A steep short hill is the next best choice if a long grade cannot be found. If the area does not have any steep grades, simulate this exercise.

(13) An upgrade. The grade should be steep enough and long enough to require gear changing to maintain speed. A steep short hill is the next best choice if a long grade cannot be found. Use the same grade for both the downgrade and the upgrade if it is hard to find steep grades in the area.

(14) A downgrade for stopping. This is a grade where a vehicle can safely stop (or pull off) and park for a minute or so. The grade only needs to be steep enough to cause a vehicle to roll if the driver does not park properly. If the area does not have any steep grades, simulate this exercise.

(15) An upgrade for stopping. This is another grade where a vehicle can safely stop and park for a minute or so. If necessary, use the same grade as for the downgrade stop.

(16) One underpass or low clearance, and one bridge. The underpass should have a posted clearance height. The bridge should have a posted weight limit. If there are no underpasses or bridges with posted limits, use ones that do not have posted limits. If necessary, substitute a bridge for an underpass, or an underpass for a bridge. If there are no low clearances or bridges, look for places that have signs a heavy vehicle driver should see. Examples of such signs are: "No Commercial Vehicles after 11:00 PM," or "Bridge with 10 Ton Weight Limit in 5 Miles."

b. When designing a route, try to get all of the specified maneuvers into the route. If there is no ideal example for a maneuver, find the closest substitute. Do not drop a maneuver because there is no ideal example of it. The important thing is to have a route that tests the driver in as wide a variety of situations as possible.

c. There is no minimum length for a route and no minimum amount of time that a route must take. A route is acceptable whenever it has all the specified maneuvers. It is also a good idea to have at least two routes available so that the alternate route is available if construction or traffic prevents using the original route.

3. Administration of the road test

a. Prevention of accidents.

(1) Road tests should normally not be given if road or weather conditions present a hazard such as ice, snow, rain or blowing dust. The exception is when testing is specifically for driving under such conditions.

(2) Be prepared to take control of the vehicle at a moment’s notice. Always watch traffic conditions and warn the examinee of dangers that he or she appears not to see. If the driver becomes involved in a dangerous or unlawful moving traffic incident or an accident, the test is to be terminated immediately and the examiner will drive the vehicle back to the start point, once on–scene responsibilities are fulfilled.

b. Beginning the road test.

(1) Fill in the driver’s name, rank, date of test, model of vehicle, organization, and the examiner’s name, on the front of the "Driver’s Road Test Checklist". Read the following instructions to the driver at the beginning of the test:

"During the road test, I will give you directions as we go along."

"I will always give directions for turns and so on as far in advance as possible."

"There will be no trick directions to get you to do something illegal or unsafe."

"Keep in mind that you are always in charge of the vehicle. Don’t follow a direction if it turns out at the last minute to lead to an unsafe act."

"As we go along, I will be making various marks on the test form. When you see this, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have done anything wrong. It is best for you to concentrate on driving, and not worry about what I am doing."

"Your scored test begins with before operations Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services. If you are successful in that portion of the test, you will proceed to the vehicle control test, and finally to the on–the–road driving test."

"Are there any questions?"

c. The road test actually begins when the driver starts the before operations PMCS. If the examinee performs the PMCS to appropriate standards, the examiner will annotate in the NOTES section "Before operations PMCS satisfactory." If the examinee does not perform PMCS to the examiner’s satisfaction, the examiner will stop the road test at that point and fail the examinee. In this situation, the examiner will annotate " Before operations PMCS unsatisfactory "in the NOTES section of the test form, list specific deficiencies if possible, and refer the driver back to his or her unit for further training. The examiner will follow the same procedures for grading during and after operations PMCS.

d. If the driver successfully completes the before operations PMCS, he or she will proceed to the vehicle control test. It is important to ensure that the driver is proficient in basic vehicle control skills before taking him or her on the road with other traffic.

(1) Upon arrival at the vehicle control test site, give the driver an overview of all four exercises (forward stop, straight-line backing, right turn, alley dock). Use a diagram of the site to show the driver what to do, and explain that you will give detailed instructions for each exercise as it comes up. When the driver is ready, he or she may get into the vehicle and proceed to the first exercise for instructions.

(2) The examiner will evaluate the exercises from outside the vehicle, and observe the driver’s ability to control the vehicle during each maneuver. If the driver demonstrates satisfactory vehicle control skills, the examiner will indicate in the REMARKS section of the Driver’s Road Test Checklist "Vehicle Control Test Satisfactory". If the driver is unable to satisfactorily negotiate the course, the examiner will stop the road test and fail the driver at that point. The examiner will indicate in the REMARKS section "Vehicle Control Test Unsatisfactory," indicate specific weaknesses if possible, and refer the driver back to his or her unit for further training.

(3) If the driver satisfactorily completes the vehicle control test, he or she will proceed to the driving portion of the road test. When the driver is ready, get into the vehicle with the driver, and start giving directions for following the road test route. Give the directions in this form:

(a) At the (location), make (maneuver). For example:

(b) "At the next intersection, turn right."

(c) "At the stop sign, turn left."

(4) If necessary, give combined directions. For example: "Immediately after you complete your right turn, you will have to turn left into that road over there."

(5) Avoid using commercial signs or buildings as landmarks for directions unless there is no alternative. Do not assume that the driver is familiar enough with the area that he or she knows such landmarks.

(6) Give directions well before the maneuver is to be performed. Always give a direction at a point where the driver can see where he or she will do the maneuver. However, give the directions close enough to the location so the driver can be sure of where to do the maneuver. For example, do not tell the driver to turn at the next intersection if there is another intersection before the one where you want the driver to turn.

(7) In addition to directions for getting the driver around the route, there are some directions to give for the expressway, urban straight, and rural sections.

(a) At the beginning of the expressway section say: — "We will be driving along this expressway for about (2, or however many) miles. When it is safe to do so, make a lane change to the left. Then when it is safe to do so, make a lane change to the right."

(b) At the beginning of the urban straight section, say: — "We will be driving along this street for about (2, or however many) miles. When it is safe to do so, make a lane change to the left. Then when it is safe to do so, make a lane change back to the right. When we get near the end of this section, I will tell you what to do next."

(c) At the beginning of the rural section, say: — "We will be driving along this road for about (2, or however many) miles. When we get near the end, I will tell you what to do next."

(8) In general, give all directions in a way that avoids distracting the driver. Also, avoid unnecessary conversation.

4. Scoring the road test

a. The scoring form for the road test, Driver’s Road Test Checklist, is a multi-page document. The main headings at the beginning of each event describe the event/maneuver required of the prospective driver. For each maneuver there is a list of driver behaviors to be scored. Beside each behavior, there is a letter space provided for indicating if the soldier failed to perform the maneuver correctly. Do not enter a checkmark if the maneuver is performed successfully.

b. To score a behavior, enter a checkmark whenever the driver’s performance is unsatisfactory. Make no mark if the driver performs the behavior correctly. Write "No Errors" under the event title if the driver is satisfactory on all behaviors. These check marks will show that you scored the driver even if the driver made no errors.

c. The only other marking that needs to be done on the test is to indicate maneuvers that were not done. A maneuver might not be done because you missed it for some reason; or because there was no opportunity for it on the route. To show that a maneuver was not performed, draw a vertical line down through the entire column of behaviors listed for the maneuver.

d. When scoring the maneuver, follow these steps:

(1) Find the maneuver on the score sheet so you will be ready to mark it.

(2) Check the driver and the traffic. When the driver can pay attention, give the directions for the next maneuver.

(3) Watch the driver perform the maneuver.

(4) Mark the score sheet.

e. It is important to mark the driver’s score sheet immediately after each maneuver. Do not try to remember what the driver does, and mark the sheet later on in the route, or back at the office.

f. The following paragraphs describe how to mark the score sheet for each type of maneuver.

(1) Stop or start on a grade. Score the approach to the stop point as soon as the driver comes to a stop. Then check the stop behaviors, and score them before telling the driver to continue. After the driver pulls away, score the rest of the behaviors.

(2) Expressway. Score the expressway section in three phases: merge on, lane changes, and exit. Mark each phase as the driver completes it.

(3) Driving upgrade and driving downgrade. Driving up a grade and driving down a grade are scored separately. Observe how the driver handles the grade, and score the behaviors listed. It is especially important that the driver use the proper gear and appropriate signals and speed on grades because these can affect other traffic.

(4) General driving behavior. General behaviors such as gear changing and so on, should be marked at the end of the test. Specific actions such as traffic violations can be marked when they happen. There is also space to write notes. Use this space to make notes of things that do not fit into any scoring categories, or to record any unusual events during the test. Also, remember to draw a vertical line through behaviors which are not graded, such as use of clutch when grading on a vehicle with automatic transmission.

(5) Turns. The first few times a route is used, it is a good idea to write the names of the locations of the turns at the top of the event title on the score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the turns until you have the route completely memorized.

(a) Mark a turn in four steps: approach, if vehicle stops, turning, and completes turn. The "if vehicle stops" section is marked only if the driver has to make a legal stop before starting the turn. This would be at a traffic light, a stop sign, or yield sign. Do not mark this section if the driver stops for some other reason, such as being blocked by other vehicles part way around the turn.

(b) It is important to observe whether the driver is aware of his or her vehicle position throughout the turn, especially for tractor/ trailers, because it can affect other traffic. If there is more than one left turn lane, the driver should start his or her turn from the right most turn lane.

(6) Railway crossing. Vehicles hauling passengers or hazardous cargo are required by law to stop between 15 and 50 feet from the nearest rail and take whatever actions are necessary to look and listen for trains (that is, open window, open door, and so forth).

(7) Bridge or underpass. There is one space for marking a bridge, and one for marking an underpass.

(8) Curves. Drivers should reduce to a safe speed before entering the curve, then maintain that speed during the curve.

(9) Urban and rural straight sections. In most cases, mark the driver when he or she gets to the end of the section. However, if the driver makes an error while driving along the section, such as driving in the wrong lane, mark the error immediately. The driver should drive in the right lane if it is clear, or the center lane if the right lane is blocked, or has a large volume of merging traffic.

(10) Lane changes. The lane changes are part of the urban section. Mark each lane change as soon as the driver makes it.

(11) Intersections. There are two types of intersections: stopping and driving through. Start scoring the intersections as soon as the driver begins driving along the section. Score stop and through intersections in whatever order they come up in as you drive along. It does not matter if an intersection with traffic lights is sometimes scored as a stop intersection, and sometimes scored as a through intersection.

(12) Search, direction, and speed. Most of the grading blocks discussed above have areas for grading "search," "direction", and "speed" in addition to the other behaviors listed. These are general categories that the examiner should be monitoring through each exercise.

(a) Search. At all times during the road test, the driver must be constantly checking the front, sides, and rear of his or her vehicle for traffic, pedestrians, obstructions, emergencies, and so forth. During each maneuver, the examiner must observe whether the driver is checking around him or her, and yields right of way to other road users when appropriate.

(b) Direction. The driver must be aware of the position of his or her vehicle at all times. During each maneuver, the examiner must observe vehicle position in lane, whether the vehicle is in the correct lane, and whether the driver maintains the appropriate distance from traffic, stop lines, and so forth.

(c) Speed. The driver must be aware not only of his or her speed in comparison with the speed limit, but how it affects other traffic. During each maneuver, the examiner must watch to see that the driver maintains posted speed limits, accelerates and decelerates smoothly, uses the proper gear for his or her speed, blends in with the traffic flow, and that he or she does not lug or race the engine, coast the vehicle, change gears or brake on tracks or in the middle of intersections, stall the engine, and so forth.

(13) Driver errors at nonmarking locations. Since scoring is done at predetermined locations, there will be occasions when the driver makes an error at some place other than one of these locations. If the driver makes errors in places where you don’t score, he or she will likely make errors in places where you do score. Do not decide where to score a driver based on when the driver makes an error. Stick to scoring at the predetermined locations.

5. Computing the driver’s score

a. Road test score sheet. At the end of the test, make sure all driver and examiner information is completed. Check that everything is marked clearly and correctly. Be sure to cross out maneuvers that were not done on the test. Review the scored maneuvers for repeated errors and score errors in the general driving behavior. Carefully add the number of error checkmarks and write the total in

the "SCORE" space on the back of the form. A passing score is 25 errors or less. The driver fails the road test if he or she has 26 or more errors (errors accumulated on the Vehicle Control Test do not count toward the score on the driving portion of the Road Test). If the score is close to a failing score, double check to be sure addition is correct.

b. Automatic failures. Annotate reason for automatic failure in the REMARKS section, that is, "Examinee exhibited undue nervousness."

(1) Any unsafe driving act.

(2) Failure to properly perform PMCS.

(3) Not knowing location and function of gauges and controls.

(4) Unsatisfactory performance on Vehicle Control Test.

(5) Undue nervousness.

(6) Failure to achieve minimum passing score.

(7) If the individual scores 24 errors or less, but the examiner feels that the individual needs additional training, the examiner has the right not to issue a license.

c. After action report (AAR). Whether the driver passes or fails, the examiner will review the results of the road test with him or her, and bring to the driver’s attention any weaknesses which require further practice or training. If the driver failed, explain what caused the failure. Advise him or her that an Army Standard OF 346 cannot be issued and he or she will have to retake the entire performance test at a later date. Pass or fail, the results must be recorded on the Driver’s Road Test Checklist.