CDL Driving Safely: Seeing

Look Far Enough Ahead When Operating the Vehicle

  • 12-15 seconds ahead.
  • At lower speeds, about a block.
  • At higher speeds, ¾ of a mile.
  • Look for traffic entering the roadway, brake lights, traffic signals.


  • Adjust your mirrors before you drive.
  • Check your mirrors regularly, more often in special situations.
  • Check for traffic on either side and behind you.
  • Keep an eye on your own car in your mirrors.
  • Use your mirrors when you are changing lanes:
    • Check your mirror first.
    • Signal your change.
    • Make sure no one has moved into your blind spot.
    • Double check before you change.
    • Change lanes.
    • Check your mirrors after you make the change.
  • Check your mirrors when you are turning.
  • Check your mirrors when you are merging.
  • Check your mirrors when you are driving in close quarters.
  • How to use your mirrors:
    • Check quickly.
    • Check between the mirrors and the road.
    • Many mirrors are curved, to show a wider area but makes items appear smaller and farther away.