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GMAC Insurance Study: 1 In 5 U.S. Drivers Couldn’t Pass A Driver’s Exam

Posted in Crashes, driving, General, Roads, Safety by Kurt Ernst | May 28th, 2010 | 4 Responses |

In a study that should surprise no one, GMAC Insurance estimates that nearly 38 million drivers on U.S. roads could not pass a written driver’s exam if given today. That number represents roughly 20% of the drivers on the road today. Scared yet? It gets better.

- Eighty-five percent of the driver’s tested did not know the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow light. It’s ‘stop if it’s safe to do so’, by the way.

- Drivers in the Northeast scored the worst, averaging 74.9% correct, and had the highest failure rate of 25.1%. Drivers in the Midwest scored the highest, averaging 77.5%, and had the lowest failure rate of 11.9%.

- Twenty five percent of those surveyed admitted to talking on the cell phone while driving, which simply means that the other 75% just didn’t own up.

- Only five percent copped to texting while driving, which I’m not buying, either.

- Males over 45 scored the highest, and males did better in both average score (78.1 percent) and failure rate (24 percent of women failed, versus 18.1 percent of males).

What states fared the worst? New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., California and Rhode Island drivers are to be avoided, especially if they’re female and under 45. On the other hand, drivers from Kansas, Oregon, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa scored highest, so feel free to give them an appreciative nod when you see them on the road.

'What did that red sign with all the edges mean, again?'

Florida finished 41st, which surprised me since drivers down here seem to invent the rules as they go along. No one in this state appears to have formal driver training of any kind, which leads me to believe that Florida drivers licenses are actually issued as prizes in breakfast cereal. For the record, I did my part and took the test, scoring a 90. Want to see if you can do better? You’ll find the test here.

Source: GMAC Insurance National Driver’s Test

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4 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    I scored 100% on the first try… just like when I was 14. I would love to see re-testing at every license renewal nationwide but I know the administrative cost is pretty daunting.

  2. nospaces says:

    95% come on kurt, I KNOW your a better driver than I am.

  3. Kurt says:

    Yeah, but the test lacked questions on drop throttle oversteer, threshold braking, etc.

  4. Set says:

    I got 95% as well. Missed the indicator one, which makes sense, because no one in California knows how to use one.