33 million licensed drivers in U.S. may be unfit
Provided by GMAC Insurance
Kansas drivers ranked first in the nation, with an average test score of 84.0 percent; New Jersey drivers ranked last, with an average score of 69.9 percent.
Overall, findings from the 2008 survey indicate that an alarming number of licensed Americans continue to lack knowledge of basic rules of the road. While the national average score improved slightly to 78.1 percent (from 77.1 percent in 2007), in general, geographical regions ranked similarly to previous years, with the lowest average test scores in the Northeast.
Across the board, respondents continued to have difficulty on questions about yellow lights and safe following distances. Eighty-four percent could not identify the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow traffic light, and 73 percent could not properly identify a typical safe following distance from the car in front of them.
Additional key findings from the 2008 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test include:
“It’s encouraging to see that scores are beginning to get better, but there is still a lot of room for improvement,” said Wade Bontrager, vice president, marketing, GMAC Insurance.
“To do this, we all need to make safety our top priority, review the basic road rules and put them into practice every day. By announcing these results and offering a venue to learn proper procedures, it’s our goal to help people become more knowledgeable, and therefore safer, drivers.”
Test standardization is key
Bontrager said that each year, people write in asking why there isn’t a standard, national written drivers test.
“While each state has its own rules and regulations, we wanted to find out what people really think about the whole process,” he said. “We asked if testing should be standardized, if rules should be the same in every state, if you should have to retake an exam, and if so, after what age and how often. While this is sure to spark a healthy debate, it’s all in the name of bringing safe driving procedures to the forefront in our minds.”
These findings reveal:
Think you’re smarter than the average driver?
The GMAC Insurance survey was administered by TNS, a leading market information resource and the world’s largest provider of custom research and analysis.
TNS also is a leader in social and political polling and a top supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and Internet, and TV and radio audience measurement services. The national sample was comprised of 5,524 licensed drivers in the United States, aged 16-60+, balanced to the latest U.S. Census data and included at least 100 respondents from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Seventy percent or higher was considered a passing test score.