New York drivers ranked last in the 2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test. The test found that nearly 1 in 5 licensed drivers roughly 38 million Americans would not pass a written drivers test exam if taken today. Kansas drivers ranked first in the nation (82.3 percent average score); New York drivers ranked last (70 percent average score). The national average score decreased to 76.2 percent from 76.6 percent in 2009.
The results were reported by state, age and sex. Some specific questions involving safe following distances and yellow lights posed particular difficulty. Seventy-three percent of drivers could not properly identify a typical safe following distance from the car in front of them. Eighty-five percent of drivers did not know the correct answer of what to do at a traffic light displaying a steady yellow signal (stop if it is safe to do so).
In good news, nearly all respondents (97 percent) know what to do when an emergency vehicle with flashing lights approaches, what to do when hydroplaning and the meaning of a solid yellow line. When analyzed regionally, the Northeast had the lowest average test scores (74.9 percent) and had the highest failure rate (25.1 percent). The Midwest region had the highest average test scores (77.5 percent) and the lowest failure rates (11.9 percent).
Results were more favorable for older and male drivers. Males over 45 earned the highest average test score. Males also out-performed females overall in terms of average score (78.1 percent male versus 74.4 percent female) and failure rates (24 percent female versus 18.1 percent male). Additional questions from the survey reveal drivers conduct a variety of distracting behaviors behind the wheel. Conversation with other passengers is the leading distraction while driving, with more than half of all drivers engaged in this activity (52 percent).
Approximately, a quarter of drivers admitted to talking on a cell phone, selecting songs on an iPod or CD, adjusting the radio or eating while driving their vehicle. Only five percent of participants reported they text while driving. Approximately 1 in 4 participants admitted to driving while talking on a cell phone, eating and adjusting the radio or selecting songs on an iPod. However, only five percent reported they text while driving.
Overall, a significantly higher percentage of females than males reported engaging in the following distracting situations: a conversation with passengers, selecting songs on an iPod or CD/adjusting the radio, talking on a cell phone, eating, applying makeup and reading. The sixth annual survey polled 5,202 licensed Americans from 50 states and the District of Columbia, gauging driver knowledge by administering 20 questions taken from state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) exams.
The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims including those involving auto accidents. For over 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and surrounding areas. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit for their help. To learn more, watch our videos.