Driving licence theory – Swedish driving licence
Fundamental traffic rules
- Show consideration and care.
- Be considerate of those using the road and those who live near it.
- Be especially considerate of children, school traffic wardens, people with disabilities and the elderly.
- Do not cause any unnecessary disturbance or obstruction.
- No-one has any “rights”, only joint obligations.
Ambiguous traffic rules
Does he want the car to drive? Or is he just about to cross the road?
Some rules are very clear, for example that you are not permitted to stop or park within 10 metres of a pedestrian crossing. It is simply a matter of measuring.
However, there are more ambiguous rules, such as you having an obligation to give way to pedestrians who “are about to step on to the pedestrian crossing.” What does “about to” mean? There is no exact answer; instead, the following process is used to discern whether or not you have adhered to the rule (simplified):
- You are reported for not giving way to a pedestrian.
- A court looks at the rules and relates them to your specific case.
- The court then decides whether you have violated those rules.
When it comes to ambiguous rules, you must therefore make a reasonable assessment and hope that your conclusion is shared by the judicial system.
- Clearly show your intentions.
- Make eye contact with the people who, for example, are using a pedestrian crossing or other drivers crossing your path.
- Always keep a safe distance (there is always the possibility of someone suddenly opening a car door or of a cyclist swerving).
- Only ever use your horn as a warning. It is forbidden to sound your horn just to “say hello” to someone.
Driving defensively makes for safer traffic. Examples of defensive driving:
- Take no unnecessary risks.
- Make sure to have wide safety margins.
- Stay vigilant.
- Do not stress, make sure you have plenty of time.
- Be prepared for unexpected things to happen.
- Analyse the situation before doing anything else.
- Think ahead and imagine what could happen.
- Drive smoothly and brake in good time.
Definition of hard shoulder, lane, carriageway and road
- The road is everything (carriageway, lane and hard shoulder) put together.
- The carriageway is both lanes combined.
- The lane is where the cars are driving. The road will normally have two lanes going in opposite directions. They are not necessarily marked out.
- The hard shoulder is the area outside the carriageway.
- This is a safety zone that shall primarily be used by pedestrians, cyclists, moped drivers and slow-moving vehicles.
- It is not a car lane.
- You may drive briefly on the hard shoulder in order, for example, to facilitate an overtaking. However, be very careful if you have limited visibility.
- Anyone on the hard shoulder has an obligation to give way to the road users in the actual lanes.
- Adapt your speed, which means you must:
- Be in control of the vehicle.
- Be able to stop for foreseeable obstacles.
- Take other traffic into consideration.
- Take the vehicle’s condition and load into consideration.
- Take the weather and road condition into consideration.
- You may not brake suddenly or drive excessively slowly for no reason.
- The speed signs always take priority. However, there are a few basic speed limits, which may be of help if there are no signs:
- Built-up area: 50 km/h.
- Outside of built-up area: 70 km/h.
Important clarification regarding speed limits
The fact that the sign says 50 does not mean that you have to maintain an exact speed of 50 km/h. The signs indicate the maximum permitted speed.
In other contexts, it would be considered common practice to give yourself good margins. You wouldn’t fill a glass to the point of nearly brimming over, would you? You wouldn’t try to put exactly 450 kg in a lift if 450 kg is the maximum load of the lift, would you?
When it comes to speed limits, however, many seem to always want to be on the limit of what is permitted, even though the time gain is often very small.
Sometimes you receive several messages simultaneously in traffic. You then must choose which to adhere to. This is the order you should follow:
- Police signals
- Traffic signals
- Road signs
- Rules (the right-hand rule such as)
A few words on statistics
The driving instruction involves statistics that may feel like unnecessary knowledge. However, there is a reason for the statistics. For example:
Why do I need to know at which hour most accidents relating to tiredness occur?
– If you know that the accident risk is much higher at certain hours, you can plan your driving and avoid it at certain times of the day. This leads to a safer traffic situation for everyone.
Why do I need to know that a certain proportion of people over the age of 70 have a visual defect?
– If you are aware of this when you reach that age yourself, it increases the probability of you having your eyes checked at an optician to get glasses. This increases traffic safety, as you will see better.
Last updated 2017-09-29.