• Jun 3, 2010
GMAC Insurance just completed its annual survey of driver knowledge, and the results don't look good. Of those questioned, New York drivers proved to know the least about the rules of the road, with 20 percent failing the written exam and 85 percent not knowing basic information like what to do when approaching a yellow light. The trend continued for most of the North East with the region managing the lowest average test score of 74.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the Mid-West took the highest average test score by region with 77.5 percent average. It turns out Kansas drivers are the most knowledgeable of traffic laws. The state's residents managed to pull down an average test score of 82.3 percent. GMAC surveyed a total of 5,000 licensed drivers from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. for its research, and looked into distracted driving issues as well.

GMAC didn't provide average test scores for the entire nation, but we can guess they're nothing to brag about. Our country's approach to driver's education is outdated and underfunded at best, and hand-me-down at worst. Bi-annual testing, behind-the-wheel training (complete with an understanding of vehicle control in emergency situations) and law-enforcement for infractions other than speeding would be a good place to start. It ain't gonna be cheap, but it certainly would be worth it in lives and insurance costs.

[Source: CBS News | Image: New York DMV]


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  • 85 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      How gullible have we've become as American consumers to start finger pointing & siding-up with the with the big corporate and big companies... Where their greed & living cost racketeering won't just stop in N.Y...... the brainwashed zombies are crying about "taxes" while these corporations & banks who jacked up our cost of living expenses sky high..., And they're still pulling the politically lobbied strings on American government... tax loopholes-theirs., offshore banking-their., increase consumer rates-ours...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hmm In my experience the states with younger drivers are worse. NY you have to be 18 to get a license or 17 with drivers ed. 16 you can only get a learners permit and drive with an adult in the car and are banned from driving at night.

      Most states i have been to are worse then ny. IN florida regularly people cut off 4 lanes of traffic to get off an exit, They run lights and other things. Not all drivers in florida are over 50 there are a lot of really young drivers who think they can do what ever they want.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So they asked less than 100 people per state these questions, and that is supposed to represent the entire state? I didn't do so well in statistics class this semester, but that just seems stupid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My semi-scientific test is to go to a used book store to count the books about vehicular design and history. Alas, the northeast was virtually bereft of books on this subject. Hence, the scores. In my experience, slowest drivers were in Iowa and Maryland, most belligerent Boston area, where folks pull out of drives and side streets, and cross multiple lanes without looking. I always thought I could do okay with a Boston brake shop, 'cause I was on them constantly there. And stupid? It's everywhere.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wasn't in that part of the state but it wouldn't surprise me, Wisconsin traffic was slow.

        On the bright side they didn't seem to have discovered laser or instant on radar yet.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Did you notice that curve speed limits on the WI side of the Mississippi river were lower than those on the IA side?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I took a 7000 mile road trip last year that travelled through 19 states, if I recall correctly.

        I passed more cashiers in blue in the 6 hours I was in Maryland and Ohio than the entire rest of the trip combined.

        In terms of pigs per mile, Maryland was far and away the worst, Ohio and Iowa tied for second, Wisconsin a distant third, and no place else was even close.


      • 4 Years Ago
      The dumbest driver is the one driving a toyota knowing they are putting other peoples lives in danger or driving with kids in a toyota.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've got to dispute this. New Jersey drivers aren't even allowed to pump their own gas.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Everyone knows that New Yorkers are the worst drivers, and in general the worst people, in the county... that is, everyone knows that except for the people who live in New York. New Yorkers are under the delusion that they are the best at everything ever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      the general public these days just dont care about driving. they have other more important things to do in the car like eating, shaving, talking on the phone, or putting on make-up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a Missourian I have to say that Illinois drivers are the bane of my road going existence.
      • 4 Years Ago
      And there goes downstate, dragging us down again!

      Though seriously, I dont know where they got these figures. Being from WNY and currently residing near detroit, I have to say that it seems like MI drivers are much more stupid than NY drivers. All I can think is that once people get into a city and try to drive they completely lose touch with what they're doing, hence with the population (dis?) advantage of NY, it sort of skews the results
        • 4 Years Ago
        What about the up-staters who think the left lane is the slow lane? And those who think they should slow down and take their time while passing the only 18-wheeler on the road?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm not a New Yorker but I need to defend those folks just a bit.

        See, the extreme high popoulation-density areas such as NY would always have higher proportion of "dumb" drivers. The sheer volume of wanna be drivers results in more lenient approach to giving out licences. Sad, but true. And frankly, comparing traffic in NY with Mid West....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, I think everyone from Yonkers and eastward should not be counted with the rest of us New Yorkers. CNY till I die!!!!
        Bill
        • 4 Years Ago
        WNY drivers also have a huge advantage in winter driving skills as compared to downstate- And ESPECIALLY compared to down South !
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not sure how crdible is the test actually. They need to revise it, change the format and make it a tad tougher. Also the driving test is a joke. I have seen a whole lot dumb folks pass the test and totally Fail on the street.

      Anyways, I was expecting Los Angeles to be a bit higher up than NYC.
      • 4 Years Ago
      sorry to disappoint, democrats!
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