Driving is the controlled operation and movement of a vehicle, including cars, motorcycles, trucks, and buses. Permission to drive on public highways is granted based on a set of conditions being met and drivers are required to follow the established road and traffic laws in the location they are driving. The word driving, has etymology dating back to the 15th century and has developed as what driving has encompassed has changed from working animals in the 15th to automobiles in the 1800s. Driving skills have also developed since the 15th century with physical, mental and safety skills being required to drive. This evolution of the skills required to drive have been accompanied by the introduction of driving laws which relate to not only the driver but the driveability of a car.
The term "driver" originated in the 15th century, referring to the occupation of driving working animals like pack or draft horses. It later applied to electric railway drivers in 1889 and motor-car drivers in 1896. The world's first long-distance road trip by automobile occurred in 1888 when Bertha Benz drove a Benz Patent-Motorwagen from Mannheim to Pforzheim, Germany. Driving requires both physical and mental skills, as well as an understanding of the rules of the road.
In many countries, drivers must pass practical and theoretical driving tests to obtain a driving license. Physical skills required for driving include proper hand placement, gear shifting, pedal operation, steering, braking, and operation of ancillary devices. Mental skills involve hazard awareness, decision-making, evasive maneuvering, and understanding vehicle dynamics. Distractions, altered states of consciousness, and certain medical conditions can impair a driver's mental skills.
Safety concerns in driving include poor road conditions, low visibility, texting while driving, speeding, impaired driving, sleep-deprived driving, and reckless driving. Laws regarding driving, driver licensing, and vehicle registration vary between jurisdictions. Most countries have laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Some countries impose annual renewals or point systems for driver's licenses to maintain road safety.
The World Health Organization estimates that 1.35 million people are killed each year in road traffic; it is the leading cause of death for people age 5 to 29.
The Metropolitan Borough of Walsall is a metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. It is named after its largest settlement, Walsall, but covers a larger area which also includes Aldridge, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Darlaston, Pelsall and Willenhall. It also serves as the post town for nearby Cannock Chase District and Lichfield District respectively.
The borough had an estimated population of 254,500 in 2007.
The current boundaries were set as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, with a change to the north of the borough in 1994. It is bounded on the west by the City of Wolverhampton, the south by the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell, to the south east by the City of Birmingham, and by the Staffordshire districts of Lichfield, Cannock Chase and South Staffordshire to the east, north and northwest respectively. Most of the borough is highly industrialised and densely populated, but areas around the north and east of the borough are open space.
In 1986 the borough became an effective unitary authority when the West Midlands County Council was abolished. However it remains part of the West Midlands for ceremonial purposes, and for functions such as policing, fire and public transport.