Sunday, June 04, 2006

Test scores are in: Northeast still has dumbest drivers

The tiny state of Rhode Island still ranks rock bottom in terms of driving knowledge, according to a national test conducted by GMAC Insurance. Oregon drivers answered the most questions correctly.

The test revealed that about one in 11 licensed drivers in the United States would fail a state drivers test, according to GMAC Insurance.

Rhode Island ranked last year, also, with an average score of 77. Last year, Oregon's average score was 89, which still placed at the top of the rankings that year.

Based on average scores, northwestern states generally ranked highest while the bottom-ranking states were mostly in the northeast. One exception was Vermont, which ranked third. Washington state drivers ranked second. Drivers in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia ranked at the bottom, with D.C. finishing just ahead of Rhode Island.

The 20-question test was based on questions asked in state driver's license examinations. A score of 70 or higher is required to pass a standard state test.

The failure rate for drivers in northeastern states was about 16 percent, according to GMAC Insurance. The failure rate for drivers in northwestern states was from one to seven percent.

The test and an accompanying survey were completed by 5,288 licensed drivers including at least 100 from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey asked about responses to specific driving situations.

(Cheat alert: The following paragraph includes some answers to the test.)

Approximately one in three drivers said they usually do not stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. At least one out of five drivers did not know that pedestrians in a crosswalk have the right of way. At least one in five also did not know that roads are most slippery when it first starts to rain after a dry spell.

State-by-state rankings

Take the test:

2006 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test

Source

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