Knowing how to stop safely and properly is an important driving skill. Safe and responsible drivers see stops ahead, check their mirrors, begin braking early and stop smoothly. Braking is easier when you sit properly. Use your right foot for both brake and accelerator pedals so you won’t step on both pedals at the same time or activate your brake lights unnecessarily. Press the brake pedal firmly and evenly.

A vehicle stopped at the marked stop line behind a stop sign.

Diagram 2-1

Shift into a lower gear when going down long, steep hills. This will help control your speed and you won’t have to brake as sharply. Downshift before starting downhill since it may not be possible once you are going downhill. As a guide, you should be in the same gear going downhill as uphill. When climbing a steep hill and your speed is reduced, you should continue driving and activate your four-way flashers throughout the ascent.

You must come to a complete stop for all stop signs and red traffic lights. Stop at the stop line if it is marked on the pavement. If there is no stop line, stop at the crosswalk, marked or not. If there is no crosswalk, stop at the edge of the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, stop at the edge of the intersection (Diagram 2-2). Wait until the way is clear before entering the intersection.

A vehicle stopped at the edge of the intersection where there is no marked stop line.

Diagram 2-2