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teach life long driving skills to all ages and skill levels.
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REVIEWS & TESTIMONIALS:
All The Difference!" - by Dian
My husband and I have a daughter who recently received instruction
from Armando. Our daughter, Sammy is deaf and has some communication
barriers when learning new things, but these were overcome
easily and Sammy just received her drivers license. Armando
was patient and very thorough when giving Sammy her driving
instruction and this made all the difference in her gaining
the skills and confidence to drive and pass her drivers
test. Thanks Armando!
- by Julie M
Armando is actually a really good, patient instructor. As
long as you are capable of learning from your mistakes,
the behind-the-wheel with him is kind of pleasant. Every
correction he makes on your driving really comes from his
best intentions for you. Driving is obviously going to be
difficult to adjust to at first, but just suck up what he
is trying to tell you and stop getting so butt hurt over
Just Got My License!" - by Harrold J
I tried another school and was very discouraged. The instructor
here was very strict and demanding but made me feel quite
safe. I just got my license in the mail and will be practicing
my hand on hand technique very often. (update) My brother
just finished diving with Armendo and was very pleased as
"Great Experience" -
by HB mom
When I signed my oldest son up for behind the wheel lessons.
He is a high functioning autistic person and I thought he
would be comfortable with strict. It proved to be a fabulous
choice. The child was an insecure and nervous driver at
first and Armando patiently worked through all of his issues
at a pace that worked. He got his license in December 2008
and I believe he has become and excellent driver. I was
so pleased that when my second son went for his permit we
also signed up with Armando. This child is not disabled
and was able to explain that at first Armando was a little
difficult to understand, but that he was able to adjust.
He felt the first lesson went really well, and I know he
would have complained if he felt differently. He complains
frequently about his other teachers. In week 2 of his permit
he drove to school on the freeway without difficulty. I
think that the fact that Armando is strict and rules based
gave confidence to both of my sons. Our experience has been
great, and we are pleased to support a local, independent
"Strict but Good Teacher!" -
Though he is firm at times, Armando does it for the student's
sake. When he commented that my driving needed work I didn't
feel angry but frustrated. So instead of pouting I would
fix the problem. He is a strict but good teacher.
"Extremely Helpful!" -
was extremely helpful!!! He was very profesional and he
was strict at times but for wour own good and saftey. I
had never even heard of the hand over hand method with antony
at atlantis and so armando taught me. he gets frusterated
at times but he just wants you to be the safest driver possible.
Extremely kind and proud when you have made an improvement
on an issue. I completely rccomend!!! thanks alot!!!!
"Great Instructor!" -
Firm but otherwise great instructor!:
firm but otherwise great instructor
Today to Learn More at: (714)968-8908
CAR HANDLING (DRIVING)
and vehicle handling is a description of the way wheeled
vehicles perform transverse to their direction of motion, particularly
during cornering and
swerving. It also includes their stability when moving in a straight
line. Handling and braking are the major components of a vehicle's
"active" safety. The maximum lateral acceleration is sometimes discussed
separately as "road holding". Handling is an esoteric performance
area because rapid and violent manoeuvres are often only used in
unforeseen circumstances. (This discussion is directed at road vehicles
with at least three wheels, but some of it may apply to other ground
Cars that drive
on public roads, whose engineering requirements emphasize handling
above passenger space and comfort, are called sports
that affect a car's handling
a vehicle which relies on gravity in some way, weight distribution
directly affects a variety of vehicle characteristics, including
handling, acceleration, traction, and component life. Ideal weight
distribution will vary from vehicle to vehicle and from application
to application. For example, the weight distribution for a dedicated
drag car will be different from that of a car built for road racing.
In the airline industry, load balancing is used to evenly distribute
the weight of passengers, cargo, and fuel throughout an aircraft,
so as to keep the aircraft's center of gravity close to its center
of pressure to avoid losing pitch control. In military transport
aircraft, it is common to have a loadmaster as a part of the crew;
their responsibilities include calculating accurate load information
for center of gravity calculations, and ensuring cargo is properly
secured to prevent its shifting. In large aircraft and ships, multiple
fuel tanks and pumps are often used, so that as fuel is consumed,
the remaining fuel can be positioned to keep the vehicle balanced,
and to reduce stability problems associated with the free surface
of gravity height, relative to the track, determines load
transfer, (related to, but not exactly weight
transfer), from side to side and causes body lean. When tires
of a vehicle provide a centripetal
force to pull it around a turn, the momentum
of the vehicle actuates load transfer
in a direction going from the vehicle's current position to a point
on a path tangent to the vehicle's path.
This load transfer presents itself
in the form of body lean.
Height of the
center of gravity relative to the wheelbase determines load transfer
between front and rear. The car's momentum acts at its center of
gravity to tilt the car forward or backward, respectively during
braking and acceleration. Since it is only the downward force that
changes and not the location of the center of gravity, the effect
on over/under steer is opposite to that of an actual change
in the center of gravity. When a car is braking, the downward load
on the front tires increases and that on the rear decreases, with
corresponding change in their ability to take sideways load, causing
of gravity is the principal performance advantage of sports
cars, compared to sedans and (especially) SUVs.
Some cars have light materials in their roofs, partly for this reason.
It is also part of the reason that traditional sports cars are open
Body lean can
also be controlled by the springs, anti-roll
bars or the roll center heights.
of gravity forward or back
cornering, because of the center of gravity, front-heavy cars tend
to understeer and rear-heavy cars to
oversteer, all other things being equal. The mid-engine
design offers the ideal center of gravity.
When all four
wheels and tires are of equal size, as is most often the case with
passenger cars, a weight distribution close to "50/50" (i.e. the
center of mass is mid-way between
the front and rear axles) produces the preferred handling compromise.
weight bias preferred by sports and racing cars results from handling
effects during the transition from straight-ahead to cornering.
During corner entry the front tires, in addition to generating part
of the lateral force required to accelerate the car's center
of mass into the turn, also generate a torque about the car's
vertical axis that starts the car rotating into the turn. However,
the lateral force being generated by the rear tires is acting in
the opposite torsional sense, trying to rotate the car out of the
turn. For this reason, a car with "50/50" weight distribution will
understeer on initial corner entry. To avoid this problem, sports
and racing cars often have a more rearward weight distribution.
In the case of pure racing cars, this is typically between "40/60"
and "35/65." This gives the front tires an advantage in overcoming
the car's moment of inertia (yaw
angular inertia), thus reducing corner-entry understeer.
and tires of different sizes (proportional to the weight carried
by each end) is a lever automakers can use to fine tune the resulting
the time it takes to settle down and follow the steering. It depends
on the (square of the) height and width, and (for a uniform mass
distribution) can be approximately calculated by the equation: I
= M(height2 + width2)
then, though it counteracts center of gravity height, hurts handling
by increasing angular inertia. Some high performance cars have light
materials in their fenders and roofs partly for this reason.
and pitch angular inertia (polar moment)
Unless the vehicle
is very short, compared to its height or width, these are about
equal. Angular inertia determines the rotational
inertia of an object for a given rate of rotation. The yaw
angular inertia tends to keep the direction the car is pointing
changing at a constant rate. This makes it slower to swerve or go
into a tight curve, and it also makes it slower to turn straight
again. The pitch
angular inertia detracts from the ability of the suspension to keep
front and back tire loadings constant on uneven surfaces and therefore
contributes to bump steer. Angular inertia is an integral over the
square of the distance from the center of gravity, so it
favors small cars even though the lever arms (wheelbase and track)
also increase with scale. (Since cars have reasonable symmetrical
shapes, the off-diagonal terms of the angular inertia tensor
can usually be ignored.) Mass near the ends of a car can be avoided,
without re-designing it to be shorter, by the use of light materials
for bumpers and fenders or by deleting them entirely.
have many variable characteristics, which are generally different
in the front and rear and all of which affect handling. Some of
these are: spring rate,
damping, straight ahead camber angle,
camber change with wheel travel, roll center height and the flexibility
and vibration modes of the suspension elements. Suspension also
affects unsprung weight.
Many cars have
suspension that connects the wheels on the two sides, either by
a sway bar and/or by a solid axle. The
Citroën 2CV has interaction between
the front and rear suspension.
of the frame interacts with the suspension. (See below.)
The severe handling
vice of the TR3 and related cars was
caused by running out of suspension travel. (See below.) Other vehicles
will run out of suspension travel with some combination of bumps
and turns, with similarly catastrophic effect. Excessively modified
cars also may encounter this problem.
Tires and wheels
larger tires, softer rubber,
higher hysteresis rubber and stiffer
cord configurations increase road holding and improve handling.
On most types of poor surfaces, large diameter wheels
perform better than lower wider wheels. The fact that larger tires,
relative to weight, stick better is the main reason that front heavy
cars tend to understeer and rear heavy to oversteer. The depth of
tread remaining greatly affects aquaplaning
(riding over deep water without reaching the road surface). Increasing
tire pressures reduces their slip angle,
but (for given road conditions and loading) there is an optimum
pressure for road holding.
Track and wheelbase
track provides the resistance to sideways weight transfer and
body lean. The wheelbase provides resistance
to front/back weight transfer and to pitch angular inertia, and
provides the torque lever arm to rotate the car when swerving. The
wheelbase, however, is less important than angular inertia (polar
moment) to the vehicle's ability to swerve quickly.
flexing of other components, a car can be modeled as the sprung
weight, carried by the springs, carried by the unsprung
weight, carried by the tires, carried by the road. Unsprung
weight is more properly regarded as a mass
which has its own inherent inertia separate
from the rest of the vehicle. When a wheel is pushed upwards by
a bump in the road, the inertia of the wheel will cause it to be
carried further upward above the height of the bump. If the force
of the push is sufficiently large, the inertia of the wheel will
cause the tire to completely lift off the road surface resulting
in a loss of traction and control. Similarly when crossing into
a sudden ground depression, the inertia of the wheel slows the rate
at which it descends. If the wheel inertia is large enough, the
wheel may be temporarily separated from the road surface before
it has descended back into contact with the road surface.
weight is cushioned from uneven road surfaces only by the compressive
resilience of the tire (and wire wheels if fitted), and which aids
the wheel in remaining in contact with the road surface when the
wheel inertia prevents close-following of the ground surface. However,
the compressive resilience of the tire results in rolling
resistance which requires additional kinetic energy to overcome,
and the rolling resistance is expended in the tire as heat due to
the flexing of the rubber and steel bands in the sidewalls of the
tires. To reduce rolling resistance for improved fuel
economy and to avoid overheating and failure of tires at high
speed, tires are designed to have limited internal damping.
So the "wheel
bounce" due to wheel inertia, or resonant motion of the unsprung
weight moving up and down on the springiness of the tire is only
poorly damped, mainly by the dampers or Shock
absorbers of the suspension. For these reasons, high unsprung
weight reduces road holding and increases unpredictable changes
in direction on rough surfaces (as well as degrading ride
comfort and increasing mechanical loads).
weight includes the wheels and tires, usually the brakes,
plus some percentage of the suspension, depending on how much of
the suspension moves with the body and how much with the wheels;
for instance a solid axle is completely unsprung. The main factors
that improve unsprung weight are a sprung differential (as opposed
to live axle) and inboard
brakes. (The De Dion tube suspension
operates much as a live axle does, but represents an improvement
because the diff is mounted to the body, thereby reducing the unsprung
weight.) Aluminum wheels
also help. Magnesium
alloy wheels are even lighter but corrode easily.
Since only the
brakes on the driving wheels can easily be inboard, the Citroën
2CV had inertial dampers on its rear wheel hubs to damp only
forces are generally proportional to the square of the air speed,
therefore car aerodynamics become rapidly more important as speed
increases. Like darts, aeroplanes, etc., cars can be stabilised
by fins and other rear aerodynamic devices. However, in addition
to this cars also use downforce or "negative lift" to improve road
holding. This is prominent on many types of racing cars, but is
also used on most passenger cars to some degree, if only to counteract
the tendency for the car to otherwise produce positive lift.
to providing increased adhesion, car aerodynamics are frequently
designed to compensate for the inherent increase in oversteer as
cornering speed increases. When a car corners, it must rotate about
its vertical axis as well as translate its center
of mass in an arc. However, in a tight-radius (lower speed)
corner the angular velocity of
the car is high, while in a longer-radius (higher speed) corner
the angular velocity is much lower.
Therefore, the front tires have a more difficult time overcoming
the car's moment of inertia during
corner entry at low speed, and much less difficulty as the cornering
speed increases. So the natural tendency of any car is to understeer
on entry to low-speed corners and oversteer on entry to high-speed
corners. To compensate for this unavoidable effect, car designers
often bias the car's handling toward less corner-entry understeer
(such as by lowering the front roll center),
and add rearward bias to the aerodynamic downforce to compensate
in higher-speed corners. The rearward aerodynamic bias may be achieved
by an airfoil or "spoiler" mounted near the rear of the car, but
a useful effect can also be achieved by careful shaping of the body
as a whole, particularly the aft areas
In recent years,
aerodynamics have become an area of increasing focus by racing teams
as well as car manufacturers. Advanced tools such as wind
tunnels and computational
fluid dynamics (CFD) have allowed engineers to optimize the
handling characteristics of vehicles. Advanced wind tunnels such
Shear's Full Scale, Rolling Road, Automotive Wind Tunnel recently
built in Concord, North Carolina have taken the simulation of on-road
conditions to the ultimate level of accuracy and repeatability under
very controlled conditions. CFD has similarly been used as a tool
to simulate aerodynamic conditions but through the use of extremely
advanced computers and software to duplicate the car's design digitally
then "test" that design on the computer.
of power to the wheels and brakes
of friction of rubber on the road limits the magnitude of the vector
sum of the transverse and longitudinal force. So the driven wheels
or those supplying the most braking tend to
slip sideways. This phenomenon is often explained by use of the
circle of forces model.
One reason that
sports cars are usually rear wheel drive is that power induced oversteer
is useful, to a skilled driver, for tight curves. The weight transfer
under acceleration has the opposite effect and either may dominate,
depending on the conditions. Inducing understeer by applying power
in a front wheel drive car is useful via proper use of "Left-foot
braking." In any case, this is not an important safety issue,
because power is not normally used in emergency situations. Using
low gears down steep hills may cause some oversteer.
The effect of
braking on handling is complicated by load
transfer, which is proportional to the (negative) acceleration
times the ratio of the center of gravity height to the wheelbase.
The difficulty is that the acceleration at the limit of adhesion
depends on the road surface, so with the same ratio of front to
back braking force, a car will understeer under braking on slick
surfaces and oversteer under hard braking on solid surfaces. Most
modern cars combat this by varying the distribution of braking in
some way. This is important with a high center of gravity, but it
is also done on low center of gravity cars, from which a higher
level of performance is expected.
the driver, steering force and transmission
of road forces back to the steering wheel and the steering
ratio of turns of the steering wheel to turns of the road wheels
affect control and awareness. Play — free rotation of the steering
wheel before the wheels rotate — is a common problem, especially
in older model and worn cars. Another is friction. Rack
and pinion steering is generally considered the best type of
mechanism for control effectiveness. The linkage also contributes
play and friction. Caster — offset of the steering axis from the
contact patch — provides some of the
the steering is particularly important on ice or hard packed snow
where the slip angle at the limit of adhesion is smaller than on
effort depends on the downward force on the steering tires and on
the radius of the contact patch. So for constant tire pressure,
it goes like the 1.5 power of the vehicle's weight. The driver's
ability to exert torque on the wheel scales similarly with his size.
The wheels must be rotated farther on a longer car to turn with
a given radius. Power steering reduces
the required force at the expense of feel. It is useful, mostly
in parking, when the weight of a front-heavy vehicle exceeds about
ten or fifteen times the driver's weight, for physically impaired
drivers and when there is much friction in the steering mechanism.
steering has begun to be used on road cars (Some WW II reconnaissance
vehicles had it). It relieves the effect of angular inertia by starting
the whole car moving before it rotates toward the desired direction.
It can also be used, in the other direction, to reduce the turning
radius. Some cars will do one or the other, depending on the speed.
changes due to bumps in the road may cause the front wheels to steer
in different directions together or independent of each other. The
steering linkage should be designed to minimize this effect.
control (ESC) is a computerized technology that improves the safety
of a vehicle's stability by attempting to detect and prevent skids.
When ESC detects loss of steering control, the system applies individual
brakes to help "steer" the vehicle where the driver wants to go.
Braking is automatically applied to individual wheels, such as the
outer front wheel to counter oversteer, or the inner rear wheel
to counter understeer.
control of some cars may not be compatible with some driving techniques,
such as power induced over-steer. It is therefore, at least from
a sporting point of view, preferable that it can be disabled.
alignment of the wheels
Of course things
should be the same, left and right, for road cars. Camber affects
steering because a tire generates a force towards the side that
the top is leaning towards. This is called camber thrust. Additional
front negative camber is used to improve the cornering ability of
cars with insufficient camber gain.
The frame may
flex with load, especially twisting on bumps. Rigidity is considered
to help handling. At least it simplifies the suspension engineers
work. Some cars, such as the Mercedes-Benz
300SL have had high doors to allow a stiffer frame.
a property of the car, but different characteristics will work well
with different drivers.
A person learns
to control a car much as he learns to control his body, so the more
he has driven a car or type of car the better it will handle for
them. One needs to take extra care for the first few months after
buying a car, especially if it differs in design from those they
are used to. Other things that a driver must adjust to include changes
in tires, tire pressures and load. That is, handling is not just
good or bad; it is also the same or different.
and support for the driver
Having to take
up "g forces" in his/her arms interferes with a driver's precise
steering. In a similar manner, a lack of support for the seating
position of the driver may cause them to move around as the car
undergoes rapid acceleration (through cornering, taking off or braking).
This interferes with precise control inputs, making the car more
difficult to control.
Being able to
reach the controls easily is also an important consideration, especially
if a car is being driven hard.
In some circumstances,
good support may allow a driver to retain some control, even after
a minor accident or after the first stage of an accident.
conditions that affect handling
handling by making the road slippery. Different tires
do best in different weather. Deep water is an exception to the
rule that wider tires improve road holding. (See aquaplaning under
Cars with relatively
soft suspension and with low unsprung
weight are least affected by uneven surfaces, while on flat
smooth surfaces the stiffer the better. Unexpected water, ice, oil,
etc. are hazards.
When any wheel
leaves contact with the road there is a change in handling, so the
suspension should keep all four (or three) wheels on the road in
spite of hard cornering, swerving and bumps in the road. It is very
important for handling, as well as other reasons, not to run out
of suspension travel and "bottom" or "top".
It is usually
most desirable to have the car adjusted
for a small amount of understeer, so
that it responds predictably to a turn of the steering wheel and
the rear wheels have a smaller slip angle than the front wheels.
However this may not be achievable for all loading, road and weather
conditions, speed ranges, or while turning under acceleration or
braking. Ideally, a car should carry passengers and baggage near
its center of gravity and have similar tire loading, camber
angle and roll stiffness in front and back to minimise the variation
in handling characteristics. A driver can learn to deal with excessive
oversteer or understeer, but not if it varies greatly in a short
period of time.
The most important
common handling failings are;
- the front wheels tend to crawl slightly or even slip and drift
towards the outside of the turn. The driver can compensate by
turning a little more tightly, but road-holding is reduced, the
car's behaviour is less predictable and the tires are liable to
wear more quickly.
- the rear wheels tend to crawl or slip towards the outside of
the turn more than the front. The driver must correct by steering
away from the corner, otherwise the car is liable to spin, if
pushed to its limit. Oversteer is sometimes useful, to assist
in steering, especially if it occurs only when the driver chooses
it by applying power.
steer – the effect of irregularity of a road surface on the
angle or motion of a car. It may be the result of the kinematic
motion of the suspension rising or falling, causing toe-in or
toe-out at the loaded wheel, ultimately affecting the yaw angle
(heading) of the car. It may also be caused by defective or worn
out suspension components. This will always happen under some
conditions but depends on suspension, steering linkage, unsprung
weight, angular inertia, differential type, frame rigidity, tires
and tire pressures. If suspension travel is exhausted the wheel
either bottoms or loses contact with the road. As with hard turning
on flat roads, it is better if the wheel picks up by the spring
reaching its neutral shape, rather than by suddenly contacting
a limiting structure of the suspension.
roll - the car leans towards the outside of the curve. This
interferes with the driver's control, because he must wait for
the car to finish leaning before he can fully judge the effect
of his steering change. It also adds to the delay before the car
moves in the desired direction.
transfer - the wheels on the outside of a curve are more heavily
loaded than those on the inside. This tends to overload the tires
on the outside and therefore reduce road holding. Weight transfer
(sum of front and back), in steady cornering, is determined by
the ratio of the height of a car's center of gravity to its track.
Differences between the weight transfer in front and back are
determined by the relative roll stiffness and contribute to the
over or under-steer characteristics.
the weight transfer equals half the vehicle's loaded weight,
it will start to roll over. This
can be avoided by manually or automatically reducing the turn
rate, but this causes further reduction in road-holding.
- Slow response
- sideways acceleration does not start immediately when the steering
is turned and may not stop immediately when it is returned to
center. This is partly caused by body roll. Other causes include
tires with high slip angle, and yaw and roll angular inertia.
Roll angular inertia aggravates body roll by delaying it. Soft
tires aggravate yaw angular inertia by waiting for the car to
reach their slip angle before turning the car.
quality and handling have always been a compromise - technology
has over time allowed automakers to combine more of both features
in the same vehicle. High levels of comfort are difficult to reconcile
with a low center of gravity, body roll resistance, low angular
inertia, support for the driver, steering feel and other characteristics
that make a car handle well.
production cars, manufactures err towards deliberate understeer
as this is safer for inexperienced or inattentive drivers than is
oversteer. Other compromises involve comfort and utility, such as
preference for a softer smoother ride or more seating capacity.
brakes improve both handling and comfort but take up space and
are harder to cool. Large engines tend to make cars front or rear
heavy. In tires, fuel economy, staying cool at high speeds, ride
comfort and long wear all tend to conflict with road holding, while
wet, dry, deep water and snow road holding are not exactly compatible.
A-arm or wishbone front
suspension tends to give better handling, because it provides the
engineers more freedom to choose the geometry, and more road holding,
because the camber is better suited to radial tires, than MacPherson
strut, but it takes more space.
The older Live
axle rear suspension technology, familiar from the Ford
Model T, is still widely used in most sport utility vehicles
and trucks. The live axle suspension is still used in some sports
cars, like the Ford Mustang, and is better for drag racing, but
generally has problems with grip on bumpy corners, and stability
at high speeds on bumpy straights. Having said that a good live
axle can be superior to a poor independent
rear suspension system, in most circumstances.
modifications and adjustments
center of gravity will always help the handling (as well as reduce
the chance of roll-over). This can be done to some extent by using
plastic windows (or none) and light roof, hood (bonnet) and boot
(trunk) lid materials, by reducing the ground clearance, etc. Increasing
the track with "reversed" wheels will have a similar effect, but
remember that the wider the car the less spare room it has on the
road and the farther you may have to swerve to miss an obstacle.
Stiffer springs and/or shocks, both front and rear, will generally
improve handling, at the expense of comfort on small bumps. Performance
suspension kits are available. Light alloy (mostly aluminum or magnesium)
wheels improve handling as well as ride comfort.
Moment of inertia
can be reduced by using lighter bumpers and wings (fenders), or
none at all.
of gravity towards rear
of gravity towards front
rim width or diameter
rim width or diameter
(because these usually
affect camber and roll resistance)
Tire contact area can be increased by using wider tires, or
tires with fewer grooves in the tread pattern. Of course fewer
grooves has the opposite effect in wet weather or other poor
also improve road holding, under most conditions.
with unusual handling problems
can be involved in a disproportionate share of single-vehicle
accidents - their handling characteristics may play a role:
Porsche 911s — suffered from treacherous lift
off oversteer (where the car unpredictably leaves the road
tail first); also the inside front wheel leaves the road during
hard cornering on dry pavement, causing increasing understeer.
The roll bar stiffness at the front is
set to compensate for the rear-heaviness and gives neutral handling
in ordinary driving. This compensation starts to give out when
the wheel lifts. A skilled driver can use the 911's other features
to his/her advantage, making the 911 an extremely capable sports
car in expert hands. Later 911s have had increasingly sophisticated
rear suspensions and larger rear tires, eliminating these problems.
- Triumph TR2,
and TR3 — began to oversteer more
suddenly when their inside rear wheel lifted.
Beetle — (original Beetle) senstitivity to crosswinds, due
to the lightness of the front of the rear
engine car; and poor roll stability due to the swing
axle suspension. People who drove them hard fitted reversed
wheels and bigger rear tires and rims to ameliorate.
Corvair - cited for dangerous handling in Unsafe
at Any Speed caused by poor roll stability due to the swing
axle rear suspension similar to that used in the Volkswagen
Beetle. These problems were corrected with the redesign of the
Corvair for 1965, however, it died from its negative publicity.
- The large,
(known as the 'Czech secret weapon')
killed so many Nazi officers
during World War II that the German
Army eventually forbade its officers from driving the Tatra.
- Some 1950s
American "full size" cars responded very slowly to steering changes
because of their very large angular inertia, softly tuned suspension
which made ride quality a priority over cornering, and comfort
oriented cross bias tires. Auto Motor und Sport reported
on one of these that they lacked the courage to test it for top
speed, probably due to their familiarity with smaller European
cars and their unfamiliarity with large American cars.
Omni and Plymouth
Horizon — these early American responses to the Volkswagen
Rabbit were found "unacceptable" in their initial testing
by Consumer Reports, due to an
observed tendency to display an uncontrollable oscillating yaw
from side to side under certain steering inputs. While Chrysler's
denials of this behaviour were countered by a persistent trickle
of independent reports of this behaviour, production of the cars
was altered to equip them with both a lighter weight steering
wheel and a steering damper, and no further reports of this problem
- The Suzuki
Samurai — was similarly reported by Consumer
Reports to exhibit a propensity to tipping over onto two wheels,
to the point where they were afraid to continue testing the vehicle
without the attachment of outrigger wheels to catch it from completely
rolling over; once again, they rated it as "Unacceptable", and
once again the manufacturer denied that it was any sort of problem
"in the real world", while reports by owners who had experienced
such rollovers steadily trickled in. The vehicle was eventually
taken off the market before any changes were made to the handling.
As SUVs became popular,
however, it became evident that their high center of mass made
them more likely to tip over than passenger cars, and some even
did so during Consumer Reports' testing; but none other than the
Samurai showed such a readiness to roll over that they were rated
unacceptable, as theoretically predictable by the Samurai's being
exceptionally short and narrow. See http://www.safercar.gov/Rollover.
A-Class — a tall car with a high center of gravity; early
models showed excessive body roll during sharp swerving manoeuvres
and rolled over, most particularly during the Swedish moose
test. This was later corrected using Electronic
Stability Control and retrofitted at great expense to earlier
Explorer — a dangerous tendency to blow a rear tire and flip
over. Ford had constructed a vehicle with a high center of gravity
- the tendency to roll over on sharp changes in direction is built
in to the vehicle. Ford attempted to counteract the forces of
nature by specifying lower than optimum pressures, in the tires
in order to induce them to lose traction and slide under sideways
forces rather than to grip and force the vehicle to roll over.
For reasons that were never entirely clear, these vehicles then
suffered from sudden tire blow outs, which led to a spate of well
- Ford and
makers of the tires, pointed fingers at each other, with the final
blame being assigned to quality control practices at a Firestone
plant which was undergoing a strike.
Tires from a different Firestone plant were not associated with
this problem. An internal document dated 1989 states
has recommended use of tire pressures below maximum allowable
inflation levels for all UN46 tires. As described previously,
the reduced tire pressures increase understeer and reduce
maximum cornering capacity (both 'stabilising' influences).
This practice has been used routinely in heavy duty pick-up
truck and car station wagon applications to assure adequate
understeer under all loading conditions.
Nissan (Pathfinder), Toyota, Chevrolet, and Dodge also reduce
tire pressures for selected applications. While we cannot
be sure of their reasons, similarities in vehicle loading
suggest that maintaining a minimal level of understeer under
rear-loaded conditions may be the compelling factor. http://www.citizen.org/autosafety/articles.cfm?ID=5336
- This contributed
to build-up of heat and tire deterioration under sustained high
speed use, and eventual failure of the most highly stressed tire.
Of course, the possibility that slightly substandard tire construction
and slightly higher than average tire stress, neither of which
would be problematic in themselves, would in combination result
in tire failure is quite likely. The controversy continues without
unequivocal conclusions, but it also brought public attention
to a generally high incidence of rollover accidents involving
SUVs, which the manufacturers continue to address in various ways.
(One of the
handling advantages of sports cars is
that their very lack of carrying capacity allows their standard
tire pressures, as well as sizes, to be optimised for light load.)
- The Jensen
GT (hatchback coupe) — was introduced in attempt to broaden the
sales base of the Jensen
Healey, which had up to that time been a roadster or convertible.
Its road test report in Motor Magazine and a very similar
one, soon after, in Road &
Track concluded that it was no longer fun enough to drive
to be worth that much money. They blamed it on minor suspension
changes. Much more likely, the change in weight distribution was
at fault. The Jensen
Healey was a rather low and wide fairly expensive sports car,
but the specifications of its suspension were not particularly
impressive, having a solid rear axle. Unlike the AC
Ace, with its double transverse leaf rear suspension and aluminium
body, the Jensen
Healey could not stand the weight of that high up metal and
glass and still earn a premium price for its handling. The changes
also included a cast iron exhaust manifold replacing the aluminium
one, probably to partly balance the high and far back weight of
the top. The car had also suffered reliability problems with engines
that Jensen bought from Lotus. The
factory building was used to build multi-tub truck frames.
- The rear
engined Renault Dauphine earned
in Spain the sobriquet
of the "widow's car", due to its bad handling.
cars/vehicles have unique handling issues, especially considering
whether the single wheel is at the front or back. (Motorcycles
with sidecars; another matter.) Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion
car caused a sensation, but ignorance of the problems of rear-wheel-steering
led to a fatal crash that destroyed its reputation.
TRAFFIC (DRIVING CONDITIONS)
on roads may consist of
pedestrians, ridden or herded animals,
and other conveyances,
either singly or together, while using the public way for purposes
of travel. Traffic laws
are the laws which govern traffic and regulate
vehicles, while rules of the road are both the laws and the
informal rules that may have developed
over time to facilitate the orderly and timely flow of traffic.
generally has well-established priorities, lanes, right-of-way,
and traffic control at intersections.
Traffic is formally
organized in many jurisdictions, with marked lanes,
signals, or signs. Traffic is often
classified by type: heavy motor vehicle (e.g., car,
truck); other vehicle (e.g., moped,
bicycle); and pedestrian.
Different classes may share speed limits
and easement, or may be segregated. Some jurisdictions may have
very detailed and complex rules of the road while others rely more
on drivers' common sense and willingness to cooperate.
typically produces a better combination of travel safety and efficiency.
Events which disrupt the flow and may cause traffic to degenerate
into a disorganized mess include: road
and debris in the roadway. On particularly busy freeways, a minor
disruption may persist in a phenomenon known as traffic
waves. A complete breakdown of organization may result in traffic
jams and gridlock. Simulations of organized
traffic frequently involve queuing
theory, stochastic processes
and equations of mathematical physics
applied to traffic flow.
Rules of the road
in Chicago, Michigan Avenue
in Rome, Italy. This
traffic control podium can retract back to road level when not
the road are the general practices and procedures that road
users are required to follow. These rules usually apply to all road
users, though they are of special importance to motorists
and cyclists. These rules govern interactions
between vehicles and with pedestrians.
The basic traffic rules are defined by an international treaty under
the authority of the United Nations,
the 1968 Vienna
Convention on Road Traffic. Not all countries are signatory
to the convention and, even among signatories, local variations
in practice may be found. There are also unwritten local rules of
the road, which are generally understood by local drivers.
As a general
rule, drivers are expected to avoid a collision with another vehicle
and pedestrians, regardless of whether or not the applicable rules
of the road allow them to be where they happen to be.
to the rules applicable by default, traffic
signs and traffic lights must
be obeyed, and instructions may be given by a police officer, either
routinely (on a busy crossing instead of traffic lights) or as road
traffic control around a construction zone, accident, or other
should be distinguished from the mechanical procedures required
to operate one's vehicle. See driving.
in opposite directions should be separated in such a way that they
do not block each other's way. The most basic rule is whether to
use the left or right side of the road.
In many countries,
the rules of the road are codified, setting out the legal requirements
and punishments for breaking them.
In the United
Kingdom, the rules are set out in the Highway
Code, which includes obligations but also advice on how to drive
sensibly and safely.
In the United
States, traffic laws are regulated by the states and municipalities
through their respective traffic codes.
Most of these are based at least in part on the Uniform
Vehicle Code, but there are variations from state to state.
In states such as Florida, traffic
law and criminal law are separate,
therefore, unless someone flees a scene of an accident, commits
vehicular homicide or manslaughter, they are only guilty of a minor
traffic offense. However, states such as South
Carolina have completely criminalized their traffic law, so,
for example, you are guilty of a misdemeanor simply for travelling
5 miles over the speed limit.
(right of way)
come into conflict with other vehicles and pedestrians because their
intended courses of travel intersect, and thus interfere with each
other's routes. The general principle that establishes who has the
right to go first is called "right of way", or "priority". It establishes
who has the right to use the conflicting part of the road and who
has to wait until the other does so.
markings and other features are often used to make priority explicit.
Some signs, such as the stop sign, are
nearly universal. When there are no signs or markings, different
rules are observed depending on the location. These default priority
rules differ between countries, and may even vary within countries.
Trends toward uniformity are exemplified at an international level
by the Vienna
Convention on Road Signs and Signals, which prescribes standardized
traffic control devices (signs, signals, and markings) for establishing
the right of way where necessary.
pedestrian crossings) are common in populated areas, and may indicate
that pedestrians have priority over vehicular traffic. In most modern
cities, the traffic
signal is used to establish the right of way on the busy roads.
Its primary purpose is to give each road a duration of time in which
its traffic may use the intersection in an organized way. The intervals
of time assigned for each road may be adjusted to take into account
factors such as difference in volume of traffic, the needs of pedestrians,
or other traffic signals. Pedestrian crossings may be located near
other traffic control devices; if they are not also regulated in
some way, vehicles must give priority to them when in use. Traffic
on a public road usually has priority over other traffic such as
traffic emerging from private access; rail crossings and drawbridges
are typical exceptions.
traffic occurs in the absence of lane
markings and traffic control signals.
On roads without marked lanes, drivers tend
to keep to the appropriate side if the road is wide enough. Drivers
frequently overtake others. Obstructions are not uncommon.
have no signals or signage, and a particular road at a busy intersection
may be dominant – that is, its traffic flows – until a break in
traffic, at which time the dominance shifts to the other road where
vehicles are queued. At the intersection of two perpendicular roads,
a traffic jam may result if four vehicles face each other side-on.
often want to cease to travel a straight line and turn onto another
road or onto private property. The vehicle's directional signals
(blinkers) are often used as a way to announce one's intention to
turn, thus alerting other drivers. The actual usage of blinkers
varies greatly amongst countries, although its purpose should be
the same in all countries: to indicate a driver's intention to depart
from the current (and natural) flow of traffic well before the departure
is executed (typically 3 seconds as a guideline).
This will usually
mean that turning traffic will have to stop in order to wait for
a breach to turn, and this might cause inconvenience for drivers
that follow them but do not want to turn. This is why dedicated
lanes and protected traffic signals for turning are sometimes provided.
On busier intersections where a protected lane would be ineffective
or cannot be built, turning may be entirely prohibited, and drivers
will be required to "drive around the block" in order to accomplish
the turn. Many cities employ this tactic quite often; in San
Francisco, due to its common practice, making three right turns
is known colloquially as a "San Francisco left turn". Likewise,
as many intersections in Taipei
City are too busy to allow direct left turns, signs often direct
drivers to drive around the block to turn.
are by no means universal. In New Zealand, for example, left turning
traffic must give way to opposing "right turning" traffic, i.e.,
traffic turning into a driver's path (unless there are multiple
lanes to turn into).
On roads with
multiple lanes, turning traffic is generally expected to move to
the lane closest to the direction they wish to turn. For example,
traffic intending to turn right will usually move to the rightmost
lane before the intersection. Likewise, left-turning two rightmost
lanes will be of authority; for example, in Brazil
and elsewhere it is common for drivers to observe (and trust) the
turn signals used by other drivers in order to make turns from other
lanes. For example if several vehicles on the right lane are all
turning right, a vehicle may come from the next-to-right lane and
turn right as well, doing so in parallel with the other right-turning
of movement within a roundabout in
a country where traffic drives on the left. A roundabout is
a type of road
junction, or traffic calming
device, at which traffic streams circularly around a central
island after first yielding to the circulating traffic. Unlike
with traffic circles, vehicles on a roundabout have priority
over the entering vehicle, parking is
not allowed and pedestrians are usually
prohibited from the central island.
In most of Continental
Europe, the default rule is to give priority
to the right, but this may be overridden by signs or road markings,
and does not apply at T-shaped junctions in some of these countries,
such as France. There, priority was initially
given according to the social rank of each traveler, but early in
the life of the automobile this rule
was deemed impractical and replaced with the priorité à droite
(priority to the right) rule, which still applies. At a traffic
circle where priorité à droite is not overridden, traffic
on what would otherwise be a roundabout
gives way to traffic entering the circle. Most French roundabouts
now have give-way signs for traffic entering the circle, but there
remain some notable exceptions that operate on the old rule, such
as the Place de
l'Étoile around the Arc de Triomphe.
Traffic at this intersection is so chaotic that French insurance
companies deem any accident on the roundabout to be equal liability.
Priority to the right where used in continental Europe may be overridden
by an ascending hierarchy of markings, signs, signals, and authorized
In the United
Kingdom, priority is always indicated by signs or markings,
so that every junction between public roads (except those governed
by traffic signals) has a concept of a major road and minor road.
The default give-way-to-the-right rule used in Continental Europe
causes problems for many British and Irish
drivers who are accustomed to having right of way by default unless
they are specifically told to give way.
use various methods similar to the above examples to establish the
right of way at intersections. For example, in most of the United
States, the default priority is to yield to traffic from the
right, but this is usually overridden by traffic control devices
or other rules, like the boulevard rule.
This rule holds that traffic entering a major road from a smaller
road or alley must yield to the traffic of the busier road, but
signs are often still posted. The boulevard rule can be compared
with the above concept of a major and minor road, or the priority
roads that may be found in countries that are parties to the Vienna
Convention on Road Signs and Signals.
intersections Also known as a "four-way" intersection, this
intersection is the most common configuration for roads that cross
each other, and the most basic type.
of an example intersection
of two-way streets as seen from above (traffic flows on the
right side of the road). The East-West street has left turn
lanes from both directions, but the North-South street does
not have left turn lanes at this intersection. The East-West
street traffic lights also have green left turn arrows to
show when unhindered left turns can be made. Some possible
markings for crosswalks are shown as examples.
signals do not control a 4-way intersection, signs or other
features are typically used to control movements and make clear
priorities. The most common arrangement is to indicate that one
road has priority over the other, but there are complex cases where
all traffic approaching an intersection must yield and may be required
In the United
States, South Africa, and Canada,
there are four-way intersections with a stop
sign at every entrance, called four-way stops. A failed signal
or a flashing red light is equivalent to a four-way stop, or an
all-way stop. Special rules for all-way
stops may include:
- In the countries
that use four-way stops, pedestrians always have priority at crosswalks
– even at unmarked ones, which exist as the logical continuations
of the sidewalks at every intersection with approximately right
angles – unless signed or painted otherwise.
vehicle first stops at the stop line – or before the crosswalk,
if there is no stop line – has priority.
- If two vehicles
stop at the same time, priority is given to the vehicle on the
- If three
vehicles stop at the same time, priority is given to the two vehicles
going in opposite directions, if possible.
- If four vehicles
stop, drivers usually use gestures and other communication to
In Europe and
other places, there are similar intersections. These may be marked
by special signs (according to the Vienna
Convention on Road Signs and Signals), a danger sign with a
black X representing a crossroads. This sign informs drivers that
the intersection is uncontrolled and that default rules apply. In
Europe and in many areas of North America the default rules that
apply at uncontrolled four-way intersections are almost identical:
- Rules for
pedestrians differ by country, in the United States and Canada
pedestrians generally have priority at such an intersection.
- All vehicles
must give priority to any traffic approaching from their right,
- Then, if
the vehicle is turning right or continuing on the same road it
turning left must also give priority to traffic approaching from
the opposite direction, unless that traffic is also turning left.
- If the intersection
is congested, vehicles must alternate directions and/or circulate
priority to the right one vehicle at a time.
of Avenida Faria Lima in São Paulo,
Brazil, showing a semaphore-controlled
pedestrian crossing, and several red lights on several intersections
must often cross from one side of a road to the other, and in doing
so may come into the way of vehicles traveling on the road. In many
places pedestrians are entirely left to look after themselves, that
is, they must observe the road and cross when they can see that
no traffic will threaten them. Busier cities usually provide pedestrian
crossings, which are strips of the road where pedestrians are
expected to cross.
The actual appearance
of pedestrian crossings varies greatly, but the two most common
appearances are: (1) a series of parallel white stripes or (2) two
long horizontal white lines. The former is usually preferred, as
it stands out more conspicuously against the dark pavement.
crossings also accompany a traffic
signal which will make vehicles stop at regular intervals so
the pedestrians can cross. Some countries have "intelligent" pedestrian
signals, where the pedestrian must push a button in order to assert
his intention to cross. The traffic signal will use that information
to schedule itself, that is, when no pedestrians are present the
signal will never pointlessly cause vehicle traffic to stop.
without traffic signals are also common. In this case, the traffic
laws usually states that the pedestrian has the right of way when
crossing, and that vehicles must stop when a pedestrian uses the
crossing. Countries and driving cultures vary greatly as to the
extent to which this is respected. In the state of Nevada the car
has the right of way when the crosswalk signal specifically forbids
forbid crossing or using the road anywhere other than at crossings,
termed jaywalking. In other areas,
pedestrians may have the right to cross where they choose, and have
right of way over vehicular traffic while crossing.
In most areas,
an intersection is considered to have a crosswalk, even if not painted,
as long as the roads meet at approximate right angles. Examples
of locations where this rule is not in effect are the United
Kingdom and Croatia.
may also be located away from intersections.
article: Level crossing
of a typical rail crossing in the United States.
A level crossing
is an at-grade intersection of a railway by a road. Because of safety
issues, they are often equipped with closable
gates, crossing bells and warning signs.
article: Speed limit
The higher the
speed of a vehicle, the more difficult collision avoidance becomes
and the greater the damage if a collision does occur. Therefore,
many countries of the world limit the maximum
speed allowed on their roads. Vehicles are not supposed to be
driven at speeds which are higher than the posted maximum.
To enforce speed
limits, two approaches are generally employed. In the United
States, it is common for the police to patrol the streets and
use special equipment (typically a radar unit)
to measure the speed of vehicles, and pull over any vehicle found
to be in violation of the speed limit. In Brazil
and some European countries, there are computerized speed-measuring
devices spread throughout the city, which will automatically detect
speeding drivers and take a photograph of the license plate (or
number plate), which is later used for applying and mailing the
ticket. Many jurisdictions in the U.S. use this technology as well.
that was developed in Germany is the Grüne
Welle, or green wave, which
is an indicator that shows the optimal speed to travel for the synchronized
green lights along that corridor. Driving faster or slower than
the speed set by the behavior of the lights causes the driver to
frequently encounter red lights. This discourages drivers from speeding
or impeding the flow of traffic. See related traffic
(or passing) refers to a maneuver by which one or more vehicles
traveling in the same direction are passed by another vehicle. On
two-lane roads, when there is a split line or a dashed line on the
side of the overtaker, drivers may overtake when it is safe. On
multi-lane roads in most jurisdictions, overtaking is permitted
in the "slower" lanes, though many require a special circumstance.
See "Lanes" below.
In the United
Kingdom, United States, and Canada,
notably on extra-urban roads, a solid white or yellow line closer
to the driver is used to indicate that no overtaking is allowed
in that lane. A double white or yellow line means that neither side
When a street
is wide enough to accommodate several vehicles traveling side-by-side,
it is usual for traffic to organize itself into lanes, that
is, parallel corridors of traffic.
Some roads have one lane for each direction of travel and others
have multiple lanes for each direction. Most countries apply pavement
markings to clearly indicate the limits of each lane and the direction
of travel that it must be used for. In other countries lanes have
no markings at all and drivers follow them mostly by intuition
rather than visual stimulus.
On roads that
have multiple lanes going in the same direction, drivers may usually
shift amongst lanes as they please, but they must do so in a way
that does not cause inconvenience to other drivers. Driving cultures
vary greatly on the issue of "lane ownership": in some countries,
drivers traveling in a lane will be very protective of their right
to travel in it while in others drivers will routinely expect other
drivers to shift back and forth.
The usual designation
for lanes on divided
highways is the fastest lane is the one closest to the center
of the road, and the slowest to the edge of the road. Drivers are
usually expected to keep in the slowest lane unless overtaking,
though with more traffic congestion all lanes are often used.
on the left:
- The lane
designated for faster traffic is on the right.
- The lane
designated for slower traffic is on the left.
- Most freeway
exits are on the left.
is permitted to the right, and sometimes to the left.
on the right:
- The lane
designated for faster traffic is on the left.
- The lane
designated for slower traffic is on the right.
- Most freeway
exits are on the right.
is permitted to the left, and sometimes to the right.
to the Vienna Convention
on Road Traffic have uniform rules about overtaking and lane
designation. The convention details (amongst other things) that
"Every driver shall keep to the edge of the carriageway appropriate
to the direction of traffic", and the "Drivers overtaking shall
do so on the side opposite to that appropriate to the direction
of traffic", notwithstanding the presence or absence of oncoming
traffic. Allowed exceptions to these rules include turning or heavy
traffic, traffic in lines, or situation in which signs or markings
must dictate otherwise. These rules must be more strictly adhered
to on roads with oncoming traffic, but still apply on multi-lane
and divided highways. Many countries in Europe
are party to the Vienna Conventions on traffic and roads. In Australia
(which is not a contracting party), traveling in any lane other
than the "slow" lane with a speed limit at or above 80 km/h
(50 mph) is a criminal
offence, unless signage is posted to the contrary or the driver
Many areas in
North America do not have any laws
about staying to the slowest lanes unless overtaking. In those areas,
unlike many parts of Europe, traffic is allowed to overtake on any
side, even in a slower lane. This practice is known as "passing
on the right" in the United States (where it is common ) and "overtaking on the inside" and "undertaking"
in the United Kingdom. In most countries,
the inside lane refers to the fastest lane (the lane closest to
the highway median),
but in the United Kingdom, it refers to the slowest lane (the lane
that is in fact outside).
In some U.S.
states (such as Louisiana, Massachusetts
and New York), although there are laws
requiring all traffic on a public way to use the right-most lane
unless overtaking, this rule is often ignored and seldom enforced
on multi-lane roadways. Some states, such as Colorado,
use a combination of laws and signs restricting speeds or vehicles
on certain lanes to emphasize overtaking only on the left lane,
and to avoid a psychological condition commonly called road
cars may use any lane on multi-lane roadways. Drivers moving slower
than the general flow of traffic are required to stay in the right-most
lanes (by California
Vehicle Code (CVC) 21654) to keep the way clear for faster vehicles
and thus speed up traffic. However, faster drivers may legally pass
in the slower lanes if conditions allow (by CVC
21754). But the CVC also requires trucks to stay in the right
lane, or in the right two lanes if the roadway has four or more
lanes going in their direction. The oldest freeways
in California, and some freeway interchanges, often have ramps on
the left, making signs like "TRUCKS OK ON LEFT LANE" or "TRUCKS
MAY USE ALL LANES" necessary to override the default rule. Lane
splitting, or riding motorcycles in the space between cars in
traffic, is permitted as long as it is done in a safe and prudent
- Main articles:
One-way traffic and Dual
In order to
increase traffic capacity and safety, a route may have two or more
separate roads for each direction of traffic. Alternatively, a given
road might be declared one-way.
- Main articles:
Expressway and Freeway
In large cities,
moving from one part of the city to another by means of ordinary
streets and avenues can be time-consuming since traffic is often
slowed by at-grade junctions, tight
turns, narrow marked lanes and lack of a minimum speed
limit. Therefore, it has become common practice for larger cities
to build expressways
or freeways, which
are large and wide roadways with limited access, that typically
run for long distances without at-grade junctions.
The words expressway
and freeway have varying meanings in different jurisdictions
and in popular use in different places; however, there are two different
types of roads used to provide high-speed access across urban areas:
- The freeway
(in U.S. usage) or motorway in UK usage,
is a divided multi-lane highway with fully-controlled access and
grade-separated intersections (no cross traffic). Some freeways
are called expressways, super-highways, or turnpikes,
depending on local usage. Access to freeways is fully controlled;
entering and leaving the freeway is permitted only at grade-separated
- The expressway
(when the name does not refer to a freeway or motorway) is usually
a broad multi-lane avenue, frequently divided, with some grade-level
intersections (although usually only where other expressways or
arterial roads cross).
vehicle drivers wishing to travel over
great distances within the city will usually take the freeways or
expressways in order to minimize travel time. When a crossing road
is at the same grade as the freeway,
a bridge (or, less often, an underpass)
will be built for the crossing road. If the freeway is elevated,
the crossing road will pass underneath it.
signs are sometimes posted (although increasingly rare) and usually
indicate that any vehicle traveling slower than 40 mph (64 km/h)
should indicate a slower speed of travel to other motor vehicles
by engaging the vehicle's four-way flashing lights. Alternative
slower-than-posted speeds may be in effect, based on the posted
speed limit of the highway/freeway.
Systems of freeways
and expressways are also built to connect distant and regional cities,
notable systems include the Interstate
highways, the Autobahnen
and the Expressway Network of the
People's Republic of China.
In more sophisticated
systems such as large cities, this concept is further extended:
some streets are marked as being one-way, and on those streets
all traffic must flow in only one direction, but pedestrians on
the sidewalks are generally not limited to one-way movement. A driver
wishing to reach a destination he already passed must use other
streets in order to return. Usage of one-way streets, despite the
inconveniences it can bring to individual drivers, can greatly improve
traffic flow since they usually allow traffic to move faster and
tend to simplify intersections.
In some places
traffic volume is consistently, extremely large, either during periods
of time referred to as rush hour or perpetually. Exceptionally,
traffic upstream of an accident or an obstruction, such as construction,
may also be constrained, resulting in a traffic
jam. Such dynamics in relation to traffic
congestion is known as traffic flow.
sometimes gauge the quality of traffic flow in terms of level
days in most major cities, traffic
congestion reaches great intensity at predictable times of the
day due to the large number of vehicles using the road at the same
time. This phenomenon is called rush hour
or peak hour, although the period of high traffic intensity
often exceeds one hour.
Rush hour policies
adopt policies to reduce rush-hour traffic and pollution and encourage
the use of public transportation. For example, in São
Paulo, Manila and in Mexico City,
each vehicle has a specific day of the week in which it is forbidden
from traveling the roads during rush hour. The day for each vehicle
is taken from the license plate number, and this rule is enforced
by traffic police and also by hundreds of strategically positioned
traffic cameras backed by computerized image-recognition systems
that issue tickets to offending drivers.
In the United
States and Canada, several expressways have a special lane (called
an "HOV Lane" - High
Occupancy Vehicle Lane) that can only be used by cars carrying
two (some locations-three) or more people. Also, many major cities
have instituted strict parking prohibitions during rush hour on
major arterial streets leading to and from the central business
district. During designated weekday hours, vehicles parked on these
primary routes are subject to prompt ticketing and towing at owner
expense. The purpose of these restrictions is to make available
an additional traffic lane in order to maximize available traffic
capacity. Additionally, several cities offer a public telephone
service where citizens can arrange rides with others depending on
where they live and work. The purpose of these policies is to reduce
the number of vehicles on the roads and thus reduce rush-hour traffic
are also a solution for controlling rush hour traffic. In Phoenix,
Arizona metered on-ramps have been implemented. During rush hour,
traffic signals are used with green lights to allow one car per
blink of the light to proceed on to the freeway.
In some areas,
emergency responders are provided
with specialized equipment which allows emergency response vehicles,
particularly fire fighting apparatus,
to have high-priority travel by having the lights along their route
change to green. The technology behind these methods have evolved,
from panels at the fire department (which could trigger and control
green lights for certain major corridors) to optical systems (which
the individual fire apparatus can be equipped with to communicate
directly with receivers on the signal head). In other areas, public
transport buses have special equipment to get
where evacuation of a heavily populated area is required, local
authorities may institute contraflow
lane reversal, in which all lanes of a road lead away from a
danger zone regardless of their original flow. Aside from emergencies,
contraflow may also be used to ease traffic congestion during rush
hour or at the end of a sports event (where a large number of cars
are leaving the venue at the same time). For example, the six lanes
of the Lincoln Tunnel can be changed
from three in-bound and three out-bound to a two/four configuration
depending on traffic volume. The Brazilian highways Rodovia
dos Imigrantes and Rodovia Anchieta
connect São Paulo to the Atlantic
coast. Almost all lanes of both highways are usually reversed during
weekends to allow for heavy seaside traffic. The reversibility of
the highways requires many additional highway ramps and complicated
transportation system (ITS) is a system of hardware, software,
and operators that allow better monitoring and control of traffic
in order to optimize traffic flow. As the number of vehicle lane
miles traveled per year continues to increase dramatically, and
as the number of vehicle lane miles constructed per year has not
been keeping pace, this has led to ever-increasing traffic
congestion. As a cost-effective solution toward optimizing traffic,
ITS presents a number of technologies to reduce congestion by monitoring
traffic flows through the use of sensors and live cameras or analysing
cellular phone data travelling in cars (floating
car data) and in turn rerouting traffic as needed through the
use of variable message boards (VMS), highway advisory radio, on
board or off board navigation devices and other systems through
of traffic data with navigation systems. Additionally, the roadway
network has been increasingly fitted with additional communications
and control infrastructure to allow traffic operations personnel
to monitor weather conditions, for dispatching maintenance crews
to perform snow or ice removal, as well as intelligent systems such
as automated bridge de-icing systems which help to prevent accidents.
DRIVERS LICENSE INFORMATION
Version Of The California Driver Handbook
integrity, and confidentiality of the California driver license
(DL) and identification (ID) cardis of prime concern to all levels
of government, and the private sector as well.
It is critical
that these documents be completely authenticated and accurate.
The California Legislature has declared the DL/ID card as the
primary identification documents in this state. California law
requires that all customers who apply for an original California
DL/ID card submit proof of legal presence in the U.S. as authorized
under federal law. Your true full name, as shown on your legal
presence document, will appear on your DL/ID card.
A driver license
shows that you have been given permission by the state to drive
on public roadways. You may apply for a driver license at most
It is a misdemeanor
to drive in California without a valid driver license. If you
do, you can be cited, your vehicle may be impounded, and you may
have to appear in court.
If you have
no outstanding actions on your record, you will receive a license
after you pay the fee, correctly answer questions about the law
and safety rules, show that your physical and mental condition
is satisfactory, and demonstrate your ability to drive safely.
If you have a medical condition or a disability, DMV may require
you to take a driving test and/or present a statement from your
physician regarding your condition.
A person must
be at least 21 years old to drive most commercial vehicles for
hire in interstate commerce and to transport hazardous materials
a lost or damaged driver license, you must go to a DMV office
and pay a fee for a duplicate. You should also present photo identification.
If DMV cannot confirm your identity, you will not be issued a
temporary license. If you are a minor, your parents must sign
the DMV application form (DL 44).
Once a duplicate
license has been issued, the previous license is not valid. Destroy
it if you find it later.
name with the local Social Security Administration (SSA). DMV
electronically verifies your name, birth date and social security
number (SSN) with the SSA.
If you change
your name, you must take your old DL/ID card to a DMV office with
acceptable verification of your "true full name." You
must pay the applicable fee and a new picture and thumb print
will be taken. Your old photo DL/ ID card will be invalidated
and returned to you.
a regular DL for a five-year term. The license expires on your
birthday in the year shown on the license. It is against the law
to drive after your license expires.
a renewal notice to your address of record about two months before
your license expires. Follow the instructions on the renewal notice.
If you do not receive a renewal notice, go online or call to make
If DMV cannot
confirm your identity, you will not be issued
a temporary license.
test may be required as part of any driver license transaction.
Driving tests are not required simply because of age.
drivers may be eligible to renew by mail or online at DMV’s
assumes your interest is in a basic Class C license.
a valid Class C license
- any 2-axle
vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,000
lbs. or less.
- any 3-axle
vehicle weighing 6,000 lbs. or less gross.
- any housecar,
40 feet or less.
- a vanpool
vehicle, designed to carry more than 10 but no more than 15
persons including the driver. The driver must have a valid medical
certification on file with DMV and carry a valid medical card.
The driver must also have a signed certification stating he/she
has not been convicted of reckless driving, drunk driving, or
hitand- run in the last five years. (VC Section 12804.9[j] ).
or employee of a farmer may drive:
- any combination
of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or less if used exclusively
in agricultural operations and it is not for
hire or compensation.
- a single
vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or less including a tow dolly,
vehicle weighing at least 4,000 lbs., you may tow:
- a trailer
coach or 5th-wheel travel trailer under 10,000 lbs. GVWR when
towing is not for compensation.
- a 5th-wheel
travel trailer exceeding 10,000 lbs. but under 15,000 lbs. GVWR,
when towing is not for compensation and with
- Class C
licensees may not tow more than one vehicle.
- No passenger
vehicle, regardless of weight, may tow more than one vehicle.
- No motor
vehicle under 4,000 lbs. unladen weight may tow any vehicle
weighing 6,000 lbs. or more gross. (VC Section 21715)
classes of licenses/endorsements are listed as follows:
various classes of licenses/endorsements are listed as follows:
Class A Fire Fighter
Class B Fire Fighter
of Transit Training Certificate
Refer to the
Driver Handbook (PDF), the Recreational
Vehicles and Trailers Handbook, or the California
Motorcycle Handbook (PDF) for additional license information.
Use, Effective July 1, 2008.
18 years of age and older are required to use a hands-free
device while driving.
(under age 18) are not permitted to use cellular phones or other
wireless devices while driving.
- Smoking in
a vehicle where a minor is present is an infraction and is punishable
by a fine up to $100.
Slow for the
- Drivers are
required to move over to the right shoulder and slow down when
approaching a roadside emergency along a state highway or freeway.
The law is designed to reduce the deaths of police officers, tow
truck drivers, paramedics and other emergency personnel who are
aiding stranded or injured motorists. Use caution if lane changes
are required and do not block the intersections.
Use of Windshield
- Turn on your
headlights if inclement weather or low visibility (1000 feet or
less) requires the use of windshield wipers.
- Do not leave
a child six years of age or younger unattended in a motor vehicle
when the child’s safety is at risk. (Example: In a car on
a very hot day or the engine is running and the keys are in the
- A child may
be left in a vehicle when supervised by a person age 12 or older.
Evading a Peace
- Do not deliberately
run away or attempt to evade a peace officer performing his/her
duties (police pursuit). The punishment is up to one year in county
- If serious
bodily injury occurs during a police pursuit, the punishment is:
- up to
seven years in state prison or up to one year in county jail,
- a fine
of $2000 to $10,000, or
a fine and imprisonment
- If a person
is killed during a police pursuit, the punishment is up to ten
years in state prison.
SAMPLE DRIVERS LICENSE TESTS
(Answers are below)
1. When you
drive through a construction zone, you should:
Slow down to watch the workers
b. Decrease your following distance
c. Pass the construction zone carefully and not "rubberneck"
2. To make
a right turn at the corner, you:
May not enter the bicycle lane
b. Should only merge into the bicycle lane if you stop before turning
c. Must merge into the bicycle lane before turning
3. If a traffic
signal light is not working, you must:
Stop, then proceed when safe
b. Stop before entering the intersection and let all other traffic
c. Slow down or stop, only if necessary
4. A pedestrian
is crossing your lane but there is no crosswalk. You should:
Make sure the pedestrian sees you, but continue driving
b. Carefully drive around the pedestrian
c. Stop and let the pedestrian cross the street
5. Always use
your seat belt:
Unless the vehicle was built before 1978
b. Unless you are in a limousine
c. When the vehicle is equipped with seat belts
6. The extra
space in front of a large truck is needed for:
a. Other drivers when merging onto a freeway
b. The truck driver to stop the vehicle
c. Other drivers when they want to slow down
7. Roads are
slippery after it first starts to rain. When the road is slippery
Avoid making fast turns and fast stops
b. Test your tires’ traction while going uphill
c. Decrease the distance you look ahead of your vehicle
can happen more often when:
All vehicles are traveling about the same speed
b. One lane of traffic is traveling faster than the other lanes
c. One vehicle is traveling faster or slower than the flow of traffic
- (c) Pass
the construction zone carefully and not "rubberneck"
- (c) Must
merge into the bicycle lane before turning
- (a) Stop,
then proceed when safe
- (c) Stop
and let the pedestrian cross the street
- (c) When
the vehicle is equipped with seat belts
- (b) The truck
driver to stop the vehicle
- (a) Avoid
making fast turns and fast stops
- (c) One vehicle
is traveling faster or slower than the flow of traffic
sample DVM Tests
of Huntington Beach
|ï¿½ City ï¿½
Surf City USA
of Huntington Beach within Orange
| - Type
| - City
| - City
L. Freidenrich, CCMT,
| - City
| - Total
||81.7 km2 (31.6 sq mi)
| - Land
||68.3 km2 (26.4 sq mi)
||13.4 km2 (5.2 sq mi)
| - Total
| - Density
||2,773.9/km2 (7,184.4/sq mi)
| - Summer (DST)
is a seaside city in Orange
County in southern California,
United States. According to the 2000
census, the city population was 189,594. It is bordered by the
Pacific Ocean on the southwest, by
Seal Beach on the northwest,
by Costa Mesa on the east,
by Newport Beach on the
southeast, by Westminster
on the north, and by Fountain
Valley on the northeast.
is known for its long 8.5-mile (13.7 km) beach, mild climate,
and excellent surfing. The waves are a
unique natural effect caused by edge-diffraction of ocean swells
by the island of Catalina,
and waves from distant hurricanes.
Beach, pre-incorporation, 1904.
area was originally occupied by the Tongva
people. European settlement can be traced
to a Spanish soldier, Manuel
Nieto, who in 1784 received a Spanish land grant of 300,000 acres
(1,200 km2), Rancho
Los Nietos, as a reward for his military service and to encourage
settlement in Alta California.
Nieto's western area was reduced in 1790 because of a dispute
with the Mission
San Gabriel, but he retained thousands of acres stretching
from the hills north of Whittier,
Fullerton and Brea,
south to the Pacific Ocean, and from today's Los
Angeles River on the west, to the Santa
Ana River on the east.
main thoroughfare of Huntington Beach, Beach Boulevard, was originally
a cattle route for the main industry of the Rancho. Since its
time as a parcel of the enormous Spanish land grant, Huntington
Beach has undergone many incarnations. One time it was known Shell
Beach, the town of Smeltzer, and then Gospel Swamp for the revival
meetings that were held in the marshland where the community college
Golden West College can currently
be found. Later it became known as Fairview and then Pacific City
as it developed into a tourist destination. In order to secure
access to the Red Car lines that used to criss-cross Los Angeles
and ended in Long Beach, Pacific City ceded enormous power to
railroad magnate Henry
Huntington, and thus became a city whose name has been written
into corporate sponsorship, and like much of the history of Southern
Beach incorporated on February 17, 1909 under its first mayor,
Ed Manning. Its original developer was the Huntington Beach Company
(formerly the West Coast Land and Water Company), a real-estate
development firm owned by Henry Huntington. The Huntington Beach
Company is still a major land-owner in the city, and still owns
most of the local mineral rights.
interesting hiccup in the settlement of the district occurred
when an encyclopedia company gave away free parcels of land, with
the purchase of a whole set for $126, in the Huntington Beach
area that it had acquired cheaply. The lucky buyers got more than
they had bargained for when oil was discovered in the area, and
enormous development of the oil reserves followed. Though many
of the old wells are empty, and the price of land for housing
has pushed many of the rigs off the landscape, oil pumps can still
be found to dot the city.
Beach was primarily agricultural in its early years with crops
such as celery and sugar beets. Holly
Sugar was a major employer with a large processing plant in
the city that was later converted to an oil refinery.
city's first high school, Huntington
Beach High School was built in 1906. The school's team, the
Oilers, is named after the city's original natural resource.
Airport, a small general aviation airport, existed in Huntington
Beach from the 1950s until 1989.
Beach at Sunset
to the United States Census
Bureau, the city has a total area of 81.7 square kilometres
(31.5 sq mi). 68.3 km2 (26.4 sq mi)
of it is land and 13.4 km2 (5.2 sq mi)
of it (16.38%) is water.
entire city of Huntington Beach lies in area
codes 657 and 714, except for small parts of Huntington Harbour
(along with Sunset Beach, the unincorporated community adjacent
to Huntington Harbour), which is in the 562
Beach has a Mediterranean climate
(Kï¿½ppen climate classification
Csb). The climate is generally sunny, dry and cool, although
evenings can be excessively damp. In the morning and evening,
there are often strong breezes, 15 mph (24 km/h). Ocean
water temperatures average 55 ï¿½F (13 ï¿½C) to 65 ï¿½F
(18 ï¿½C). In the summer, temperatures rarely exceed 85 ï¿½F
(29 ï¿½C). In the winter, temperatures rarely fall below
40 ï¿½F (4 ï¿½C), even on clear nights. There are about
14 inches (360 mm) of rain, almost all in mid-winter.
Frost occurs only rarely on the coldest winter nights. The area
is annually affected by a marine layer
caused by the cool air of the Pacific Ocean meeting the warm air
over the land. This results in overcast and foggy conditions in
May and June.
of any kind on the beach is prohibited without a vote of the people,
allowing Huntington Beach to retain its natural tie to the ocean
rather than having the view obscured by residential and commercial
Downtown Huntington Beach and Huntington Harbour lies a large
marshy wetland, much of which is protected within the Bolsa
Chica Ecological Reserve. A $110 million restoration of the
wetlands was completed in 2006. The Reserve is popular with bird
watchers and photographers.
of Downtown, the Talbert and Magnolia Marshes lie on a strip of
undeveloped land parallel to Huntington State Beach and are in
the process of restoration, as well.
northern and southern beaches (Bolsa
Chica State Beach and Huntington
State Beach, respectively) are state parks. Only the central
beach (Huntington City Beach) is maintained by the city. Camping
and RVs are permitted here, and popular campsites for the Fourth
of July and the Surfing Championships must be reserved many
months in advance. Bolsa Chica State Beach is actually a sand
bar fronting the Bolsa Bay and Bolsa Chica State Ecological Reserve.
Harbour from the air
Orange County run Sunset Marina Park next to Huntington Harbour
is part of Anaheim Bay. It is suitable for light craft, and includes
a marina, launching ramp, basic services, a picnic area and a
few restaurants. The park is in Seal
Beach, but is only reachable from Huntington Harbour. The
Sunset/Huntington Harbour area is patrolled by the Orange
County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol.
harbor entrance for Anaheim Bay is sometimes restricted by the
United States Navy, which loads
ships with munitions at the Seal
Beach Naval Weapons Station to the north of the main channel.
of the census of 2000, there were 189,594
people, 73,657 households, and 47,729 families residing in the
city. The population density
was 2,773.9/kmï¿½ (7,183.6/miï¿½). There were 75,662 housing units
at an average density of 1,107.0/kmï¿½ (2,866.8/miï¿½). The racial
makeup of the city was 79.22% White,
American, 0.65% Native
American, 9.34% Asian,
Islander, 5.81% from other
races, and 3.94% from two or more races. 14.66% of the population
of any race.
were 73,657 households out of which 29.0% had children under the
age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married
couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with
no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 24.3% of all
households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living
alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household
size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.08.
the city the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age
of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 34.9% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45
to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median
age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 100.4 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.6 males.
to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city
was $81,112, and the median income for a family was $101,023.
Adult males had a median income of $52,018 versus $38,046 for
adult females. The per capita income
for the city was $36,964. About 4.3% of families and 6.6% of the
population were below the poverty
line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those
age 65 or over.
2009 population estimated by the California
Department of Finance was 202,480.
unemployment rate in Huntington Beach is one of the lowest among
large (over 100,000) cities in the United States at 1.9%.
to Huntington Beach's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,
the top employers in the city are:
Regency Huntington Beach
Depot (including Expo)
Beach sits above a large natural fault structure containing oil.
Although the oil is mostly depleted, extraction continues at a
slow rate, and still provides significant local income. There
are only two off-shore extraction facilities left, however, and
the day is not far off when oil
production in the city will cease and tourism will replace
it as the primary revenue source for resident industry.
city is discussing closing off Main Street to cars from PCH through
the retail shopping and restaurant areas, making it a pedestrian
zone only. Other shopping centers include Bella
Terra, built on the former Huntington Center site, and Old
World Village, a German-themed center.
Beach has an off-shore oil terminus for the tankers that support
the Alaska Pipeline.
The terminus pipes run inland to a refinery in Santa Fe Springs.
Huntington Beach also has the Gothard-Talbert terminus for the
Orange County portion of the pipeline running from the Chevron
El Segundo refinery.
hotels have been constructed on the inland side of Pacific
Coast Highway (State Route 1) within view of the beach, just
southeast of the pier.
Beach contains a major installation of Boeing,
A number of installations on the Boeing campus were originally
constructed to service the Apollo
Program, most notably the production of the S-IVB
upper stage for the Saturn IB and Saturn
V rockets, and some nearby telephone poles are still marked
"Apollo Dedicated Mission Control Line."
Beach contains the administrative headquarters of Sea
Launch, a commercial space vehicle launch enterprise whose
largest stockholder is Boeing.
Beach contains a small industrial district in its northwest corner,
near the borders with Westminster and Seal Beach.
Huntington Beach retains its 15-year trademark of Surf City Huntington
Beach, the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau filed
four applications to register the Surf City USA trademark
in November 2004. The idea was to market the city by creating
an authentic brand based on Southern California's beach culture
and active outdoor lifestyle while at the same time creating a
family of product licensees who operate like a franchise family
producing a revenue stream that could also be dedicated to promoting
the brand and city. A ruling by the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office released on May 12, 2006 awarded
three trademark registrations to the Bureau; nine additional trademark
registrations have been granted since this time and ten other
Surf City USA trademarks are now under consideration. One of the
first products the Bureau developed to promote its brand was the
Surf City USA Beach Cruiser by Felt Bicycles in 2006. The product
has sold out every year in markets worldwide and created demand
for a second rental bicycle model that will be marketed to resort
locations across the globe starting in 2009. The Bureau now has
dozens of other licensed products on the market from Surf City
USA soft drinks to clothing to glassware. As of April 2008, the
Bureau had more than 20 licensing partners with over 50 different
products being prepared to enter the market over the next 18 months.
Four of the Bureau's registrations of the trademark are now on
the principal register and the remaining
ten trademark applications are expected to follow. The Bureau
is actively considering registration of the Surf City USA trademark
in several different countries and anticipates a growing market
for its branded products overseas in coming years.
ongoing dispute between Huntington Beach and Santa
Cruz, California over the trademark garnered negative national
publicity in 2007 when a law firm representing Huntington Beach
sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Santa Cruz t-shirt vendor.
A settlement was reached in January, 2008, which allows the Huntington
Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau to retain the trademark.
downtown district includes an active art center, a colorful shopping
district, and the International Surfing Museum. This district
was also once the home of the famous restaurant and music club
"The Golden Bear." In the late 1960s and 1970s it hosted many
famous bands and acts. The Huntington
Beach Pier stretches from Main Street into the Pacific Ocean.
At the end of the pier is
a Ruby's Diner. The Surf Theatre, which was located one block
north of the pier, gained fame in the 1960s and 1970s for showing
independent surf films such as The
Endless Summer and Five
Summer Stories. The Surf Theatre was owned and operated
by Hugh Larry Thomas from 1961 until it was demolished in 1989.
A newer version of The Surf Theatre is now closed, but the International
Surf Museum has preserved its memory with a permanent exhibit
featuring vintage seats and screening of surfing movies once shown
at a Huntington Beach theater.
Arts and culture
of the events at Huntington Beach are focused around the beach
during the summer. The U.S. Open
of Surfing and Beach Games are featured on the south side
of the pier. Huntington Beach is a stop on the AVP
beach volleyball tour. A biathlon (swim/run) hosted by the Bolsa
Chica & Huntington State Beach Lifeguards takes place in July,
early at dawn. The race begins at the Santa
Ana River Jetties and ends at Warner Avenue, Bolsa
Chica State Beach. Huntington Beach Junior Lifeguard day
camps are held which teaches preadolescents and adolescents
ocean swimming, running, and first-aid medical knowledge.
addition to the beach-focused events, the Fourth
of July parade has been held since 1904. The SoCal Independent
Film Festival takes place every September.
the winter the annual Cruise of Lights Boat Tour is held in the
Huntington Harbour neighborhood. This is a parade of colorful
lighted boats as well as boat tours to view the decorated homes.
The annual Kite Festival is held just north of the pier in late
Beach hosts car shows such as the Beachcruiser Meet and a Concours
d'Elegance. The Beachcruiser Meet is held in March, attracting
over 250 classic cars displayed along Main Street and the Pier
parking lot. A Concours d'Elegance is held at Central Park in
June and benefits the public library.
City Nights is held during the entire year. The community-spirited
event features a farmer's market, unique entertainment, food,
kiddie rides and a carnival atmosphere, each Tuesday evening.
Surf City Nights is presented by the Huntington Beach Downtown
Business Improvement District (HBDBID) and the City of Huntington
Beach. The event takes place in the first three blocks of Main
Street from Pacific Coast Highway to Orange Avenue.
abound near Huntington City Pier
Beach during the day.
Beach is the site of the world surfing
championships, held in the summer every year. The city is often
referred to as "Surf City" because of this high profile event,
its history and culture of surfing. It is often called the "Surfing
Capital of the World", not for the height of the waves, but rather
for the consistent quality of surf. Gordon Duane established the
city's first surf shop, Gordie's Surfboards, in 1955.
Surf and beaches
from sponsored surf events, Huntington Beach has some of the best
surf breaks in the State of California
and that of the United States. Huntington
Beach has four different facing beaches: Northwest, West, Southwest,
and South. Northwest consists of Bolsa
Chica State Beach with a length of 3.3 miles (5.3 km),
the West consist of "The Cliffs" or "Dog Beach", Southwest is
considered everything north of the pier which is operated by the
City of Huntington Beach. South consists in everything south of
the pier which primarily focuses on Huntington
State Beach (2.2 Miles), which almost faces true South.
Chica State Beach is operated by the State of California,
Dept. Parks & Recreation, and the Bolsa Chica State Beach
Lifeguards. The beach is very narrow and the sand is very coarse.
Bolsa Chica tends to have better surf with NW/W swells during
the winter season. During the summer months the beach picks up
south/southwest swells at a very steep angle. Due to the bottom
of the beach, surf at Bolsa Chica
tends to be slowed down and refined to soft shoulders. Longboards
are the best option for surfing in the Bolsa Chica area.
Cliffs" or "Dog Beach" is also another popular surf spot. This
segment of Huntington Beach obtains these names because dogs are
allowed around the cliff area. Beach is very restricted and often
is submerged with high tides. Surf at this location tends to be
even bigger than Bolsa Chica during the winter and often better.
During the summer most of the South/Southwest swells slide right
by and often break poorly. The best option is to take out a longboard,
but shortboards will do at times. Dolphins have also been sighted
in this area.
north and south of the Huntington Beach Pier are some well defined
sandbars that shift throughout the year with the different swells.
Southside of the Pier is often a popular destination during the
summer for good surf, but the Northside can be just as well during
the winter. Around the Pier it all depends on the swell and the
sandbars. Shortboard is your best option for surfing around the
Huntington Beach, also known as Huntington
State Beach, is where all the south swells impact the coastline.
Huntington State Beach is operated by the State of California,
Department of Parks & Recreation, and Huntington State Beach
Lifeguards. This beach is very wide with
plenty of sand. Sandbars
dramatically shift during the spring, summer and fall seasons,
thus creating excellent surf conditions with a combination South/West/Northwest
swell. Due to the Santa Ana River
jetties located at the southern most end of the beach, large sandbars
extend across and upcoast, forcing swells to break extremely fast
and hollow. Best seasons for surfing at this beach is the summer
and fall. The best option for surfing in this area is a shortboard.
Beach is also a popular destination for kite
surfing, and this sport can be viewed on the beach northwest
of the pier.
Beach is the host city of the National
Professional Paintball League Super 7 Paintball Championships.
The NPPL holds its first event of the year traditionally between
the dates of March 23 through March 26.
Beach also hosts the annual Surf City USA Marathon and Half-Marathon,
which is usually held on the first Sunday of February.
Beach has a very large Central Park, located between Gothard and
Edwards Streets to the east and west, and Slater and Ellis Avenues
to the north and south. The park is vegetated with xeric
(low water use) plants, and inhabited by native wildlife. Thick
forests encircling the park are supplemented with Australian
trees, particularly eucalyptus, a high
water use plant.
Huntington Beach Public
Library is located in Central Park in a notable building designed
by Richard Neutra and Dion
Neutra. It houses almost a half-million volumes, as well as
a theater, gift shop and fountains. The library was founded as
a Carnegie library in 1914, and
has been continuously supported by the city and local activists,
with new buildings and active branches at Banning, Oak View, Main
Street, and Graham. The library has significant local historical
materials and has a special genealogical
reference collection. It is independent of the state and county
park is also home of Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center,
a top class boarding facility that also offers horse rentals to
the public, with guided trail rides through the park. There is
also a "mud park" available for kids. The world's second oldest
disc golf course is available in the park, as are two small dining
areas, a sports complex for adult use, and the Shipley Nature
Chica Wetlands, which are diminishing rapidly due to development,
contains numerous trails and scenic routes. The wetlands themselves
have recently been connected with the ocean again, in effort to
maintain its previous, unaltered conditions.
to the cityï¿½s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,
the cityï¿½s various funds had $295.6 million in Revenues, $287.7
million in expenditures, $1,046.6 million in total assets, $202.8
million in total liabilities, and $87.1 million in cash and investments.
structure of the management and coordination of city services
of Library Services
of Human Resources
of Building and Safety
of Community Services
of Public Works
of Information Services
of Economic Development
the state legislature
Huntington Beach is located in the 35th Senate
District, represented by Republican
Tom Harman, and in the 67th Assembly
District, represented by Republican Jim Silva.
Federally, Huntington Beach is located in California's
46th congressional district, which has a Cook
PVI of R +6 and is represented by Republican Dana
Beach is the home of Golden West
College, which offers two-year associates of arts degrees
and transfer programs to four year universities.
Beach is in the Huntington
Beach Union High School District, which includes Edison
High School, Huntington
Beach High School, Marina High
School, and Ocean View High
School in the city of Huntington Beach, Fountain
Valley High School in the city of Fountain
Valley, and Westminster
High School in the city of Westminster.
district also has an alternative school, Valley Vista High School,
and an independent study school, Coast High School.
Beach High School, which is the district's flagship school,
celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2006.
city has two elementary school districts: Huntington Beach City
with 9 schools and Ocean View with 15. A small part of the city
is served by the Fountain Valley School District.
Beach was selected for the 24th season of MTV's Real World Series.
city was featured in the TruTV series Ocean
Force: Huntington Beach. Also, the city is mentioned in the
Beach Boys song Surfin'
Safari and in Surfer Joe by The Surfaris.
live camera is set up at the Huntington
Beach Pier and shown on screens at the California-themed Hollister
public television station KOCE-TV operates
from the Golden West College campus, in conjunction with the Golden
West College Media Arts program.
weekly newspapers cover Huntington Beach: The Huntington Beach
Independent and The Wave Section of The
Orange County Register.
Simpson's music video for La La
was filmed in Huntington Beach.
natives and residents
- The metal
band Avenged Sevenfold grew
up and currently reside here. Lead guitarist Synyster
Gates has said he enjoys nothing more than cruising Huntington
Beach on his chopper.
- The punk
rock band The Offspring was formed
here in 1984.
Torrence, from the 1960s Pop group, Jan
and Dean, who co-authored the famous song "Surf City"
(#1 in 1963) said that Huntington Beach embodies the song's
spirit of freedom and California fun.
Jacobs, The MC Bat Commander of The
Aquabats, resides in Huntington Beach.
Costa, the folk pop singer, was born in Huntington Beach.
Vandals, a punk rock band formed in Huntington Beach
Silveria from the rock band Korn resides
in Huntington Beach and owns two restaurants in downtown Huntington
Beach (Silvera's Steakhouse and Tuna Town)
Weiland, of the Stone Temple
Pilots and Velvet Revolver,
West, the drummer for the 70s band The Runaways, grew up and went
to school in Huntington Beach. She attended Edison High School.
Beach is the home to pro skateboarders like: Geoff
Rowley, Arto Saari, Tosh
Townend, Mark Appleyard,
Brian Sumner, Greg
Lutzka and Ed Templeton.
player John Blue is
from Huntington Beach, as is professional soccer player Sasha
- It is
also home of MMA fighters
Tito "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy"
Ortiz, Kimo Leopoldo, and
York Yankees pitcher Ian Kennedy
was born in Huntington Beach.
Seattle Mariners pitcher Bob
Wolcott was born in Huntington Beach.
Derby Blonde Amazon Joan Weston.
Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons
grew up in Huntington Beach and attended Huntington Beach
Kent, retired baseball player and recipient of the 2000
MVP Baseball award was raised in Huntington Beach and attended
Godderz - A professional bodybuilder with the World Natural
Body Building Federation that was also a contestant on Big
Brother 10 and Big
Conger - a professional baseball player for the Los
Angeles Angels of Anaheim and attended Huntington
Beach High School
Balester - a professional baseball player for the Washington
Nationals, attended Huntington
Beach High School
Klinsmann - a former international professional soccer
player, former soccer team coach and a former coach of the
national soccer team. Has left Huntington Beach with his
family in 2008 to Munich, Germany
to become the coach of FC Bayern
Carlander - a former basketball player at Southern
Beach Police Department MD520N
protection in Huntington Beach is provided by the Huntington
Beach Fire Department. Law enforcement is provided by the
Huntington Beach Police Department. Huntington Beach Marine Safety
Officers and its seasonal lifeguards are recognized as some of
the best in the world with a top notch safety record. It has an
Emergency Response Team training program, that trains citizens
as Disaster Service Workers certified by Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a part of a free program
run by the fire department's Office of Emergency Services.
services are also provided at State Beach locations. Peace Officers
and lifeguards can be found at Bolsa Chica and Huntington State
Beach. Such services consist of: aquatic rescues, boat rescues,
first aid and law enforcement. All services are provided by the
State of California, Dept. Parks & Recreation.
1926, the Santa Ana River dam failed,
and flash-flooded its entire delta.
The southern oceanic terminus of this delta is now a settled area
of Huntington Beach. The distant dam is still functional, but
silting up, which is expected to reduce its storage volume, and
therefore its effectiveness at flood-prevention. The flood and
dam-endangered areas are protected by a levee, but lenders require
expensive flood insurance in the delta. There have been serious
discussions to eliminate the need for flood insurance and this
requirement has already been waived in some areas and may one
day no longer be considered a credible threat.
it is a seaside city, Huntington Beach has had tsunami
warnings, storm surge (its pier
has been rebuilt three times), sewage spills, tornadoes and waterspouts.
The cold offshore current prevents hurricanes. The Pier that was
rebuilt in the 1990s was engineered to withstand severe storms
fractions of the settled delta are in earthquake
liquefaction zones above known active faults. Most of the
local faults are named after city streets.
residents (and even city hall) live within sight and sound of
active oil extraction and drilling operations. These occasionally
spew oil, causing expensive clean-ups. Large parts of the developed
land have been contaminated by heavy metals from the water separated
local oil has such extreme mercury contamination that metallic
mercury is regularly drained from oil pipelines and equipment.
Oil operations increase when the price of oil rises. Some oil
fields have been approved for development. The worst-polluted
areas have been reclaimed as parks. At least one Superfund
site, too contaminated to be a park, is at the junction of
Magnolia and Hamilton streets, near Edison High School.
Beach has the following sister
city relationships, according to the Huntington Beach Sister
Beach also has youth exchange programs with both cities, sending
four teenagers on an exchange student basis for two weeks in order
to gather different cultural experiences.
County is a county in Southern California, United States. Its county seat
is Santa Ana. According to the 2000 Census, its population was 2,846,289,
making it the second most populous county in the state of California,
and the fifth most populous in the United States. The state of California
estimates its population as of 2007 to be 3,098,121 people, dropping its
rank to third, behind San Diego County. Thirty-four incorporated cities
are located in Orange County; the newest is Aliso Viejo.
Unlike many other large centers of population in the United States, Orange
County uses its county name as its source of identification whereas other
places in the country are identified by the large city that is closest
to them. This is because there is no defined center to Orange County like
there is in other areas which have one distinct large city. Five Orange
County cities have populations exceeding 170,000 while no cities in the
county have populations surpassing 360,000. Seven of these cities are
among the 200 largest cities in the United States.
Orange County is also famous as a tourist destination, as the county is
home to such attractions as Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, as well
as sandy beaches for swimming and surfing, yacht harbors for sailing and
pleasure boating, and extensive area devoted to parks and open space for
golf, tennis, hiking, kayaking, cycling, skateboarding, and other outdoor
recreation. It is at the center of Southern California's Tech Coast, with
Irvine being the primary business hub.
The average price of a home in Orange County is $541,000. Orange County
is the home of a vast number of major industries and service organizations.
As an integral part of the second largest market in America, this highly
diversified region has become a Mecca for talented individuals in virtually
every field imaginable. Indeed the colorful pageant of human history continues
to unfold here; for perhaps in no other place on earth is there an environment
more conducive to innovative thinking, creativity and growth than this
exciting, sun bathed valley stretching between the mountains and the sea
in Orange County.
Orange County was Created March 11 1889, from part of Los Angeles County,
and, according to tradition, so named because of the flourishing orange
culture. Orange, however, was and is a commonplace name in the United
States, used originally in honor of the Prince of Orange, son-in-law of
King George II of England.
March 11, 1889
* Congressional: 38th-40th, 42nd & 43
* California Senate: 31st-33rd, 35th & 37
* California Assembly: 58th, 64th, 67th, 69th, 72nd & 74
County Seat: Santa Ana
Robert E. Thomas Hall of Administration
10 Civic Center Plaza, 3rd Floor, Santa Ana 92701
Telephone: (714)834-2345 Fax: (714)834-3098
County Government Website: http://www.oc.ca.gov
CITIES OF ORANGE COUNTY CALIFORNIA:
of Aliso Viejo,
92653, 92656, 92698
City of Anaheim, 92801, 92802,
92803, 92804, 92805, 92806, 92807, 92808, 92809, 92812, 92814, 92815,
92816, 92817, 92825, 92850, 92899
City of Brea, 92821, 92822,
City of Buena Park, 90620,
90621, 90622, 90623, 90624
City of Costa Mesa,
92626, 92627, 92628
City of Cypress, 90630
City of Dana Point, 92624,
City of Fountain Valley,
City of Fullerton,
92831, 92832, 92833, 92834, 92835, 92836, 92837, 92838
City of Garden Grove,
92840, 92841, 92842, 92843, 92844, 92845, 92846
City of Huntington
Beach, 92605, 92615, 92646, 92647, 92648, 92649
City of Irvine, 92602,
92603, 92604, 92606, 92612, 92614, 92616, 92618, 92619, 92620, 92623,
92650, 92697, 92709, 92710
City of La Habra, 90631,
City of La Palma, 90623
City of Laguna Beach,
92607, 92637, 92651, 92652, 92653, 92654, 92656, 92677, 92698
City of Laguna Hills,
92637, 92653, 92654, 92656
City of Laguna Niguel,
of Laguna Woods,
City of Lake Forest,
92609, 92630, 92610
City of Los Alamitos,
City of Mission Viejo,
92675, 92690, 92691, 92692, 92694
City of Newport Beach,
92657, 92658, 92659, 92660, 92661, 92662, 92663
City of Orange, 92856,
92857, 92859, 92861, 92862, 92863, 92864, 92865, 92866, 92867, 92868,
City of Placentia, 92870,
City of Rancho Santa Margarita,
City of San Clemente, 92672,
City of San Juan Capistrano,
92675, 92690, 92691, 92692, 92693, 92694
City of Santa Ana,
92701, 92702, 92703, 92704, 92705, 92706, 92707, 92708, 92711, 92712,
92725, 92728, 92735, 92799
City of Seal Beach,
City of Stanton, 90680
City of Tustin, 92780, 92781,
City of Villa Park, 92861,
City of Westminster,
92683, 92684, 92685
City of Yorba Linda,
92885, 92886, 92887
communities Some of the communities that exist within city limits
are listed below: * Anaheim Hills,
Anaheim * Balboa Island, Newport Beach * Corona del Mar, Newport
Beach * Crystal Cove / Pelican Hill, Newport Beach * Capistrano
Beach, Dana Point * El Modena, Orange * French Park, Santa Ana *
Floral Park, Santa Ana * Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest * Monarch Beach,
Dana Point * Nellie Gail, Laguna Hills * Northwood, Irvine * Woodbridge,
Irvine * Newport Coast, Newport Beach * Olive, Orange * Portola
Hills, Lake Forest * San Joaquin Hills, Laguna Niguel * San Joaquin
Hills, Newport Beach * Santa Ana Heights, Newport Beach * Tustin
Ranch, Tustin * Talega, San Clemente * West Garden Grove, Garden
Grove * Yorba Hills, Yorba Linda * Mesa Verde, Costa Mesa
Unincorporated communities These communities are outside of the
city limits in unincorporated county territory: * Coto de Caza
* El Modena * Ladera Ranch * Las Flores * Midway City * Orange Park
Acres * Rossmoor * Silverado Canyon * Sunset Beach * Surfside *
Trabuco Canyon * Tustin Foothills
Adjacent counties to Orange County Are: * Los Angeles County,
California - north, west * San Bernardino County, California - northeast
* Riverside County, California - east * San Diego County, California