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New York has Least Knowledgeable Drivers, Survey Says

It may not come as much of a surprise, but the country’s least knowledgeable drivers hail from New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and California. Conversely, the most knowledgeable motorists are in Idaho, Wisconsin, Montana and Kansas – well, at least according to the results of the 2009 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test, which also found that 20.1 percent of American drivers (about 41 million) would not pass a written drivers exam if they had to take it today.

When asked about driving habits, 30 percent of the motorists GMAC Insurance surveyed said that financial strains have made them want to drive less, and find new ways to save money, as well, but what’s more disturbing is that in this, the fifth annual such survey the insurer has conducted, the number of drivers with real understanding of basic road rules is declining, with this year’s scores 1.5 percent lower than last year’s.

Drivers in Idaho and Wisconsin tied for the best scores in the country, with average results of 80.6 percent, with those in New York ranking last, with an average score of 70.5 percent. The first and last place results are repeats of prior year’s surveys. In general, however, last year’s trends remained the same, with the lowest average scores in the Northeast, and the highest in the Midwest.

Interestingly, while men are still more likely to pass the test than women, the gap between the sexes is smaller in the 2009 results (81% of males, 79 % of females) than it was in 2008 (87% and 80% respectively.)

The greatest number of wrong answers related to yellow lights and safe following distances, but almost everyone correctly identified the purpose of a solid line.

Additional key findings from the 2009 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test include:

  • Older drivers generally score better than younger drivers.
  • While the Northeast had the lowest average scores, the South had the highest failure rate (41%). The Midwest had the highest average test scores and the lowest failure rates (15%).

Source: Insurance Journal.

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