Our roadways are filled with crappy drivers. It's an unfortunate fact that we take our lives into our hands every time we strap on a seatbelt and head out on the open road. But at least we all have passed the most basic test of driving skill, right?

Sadly, according to a recent test carried out by GMAC Insurance, a driver's license may not mean what we think it means. Apparently, one-in-five drivers would fail their driver's test if they had to retake it today. Such simple rules about what to do when approaching a yellow light and how much distance to leave in between the car ahead were answered incorrectly by a shocking three out of four drivers.

After three consecutive years at the bottom of the list, New York drivers managed to move up to 45th, leaving the District of Columbia to earn their spot as the worst drivers in America. Kansas drivers scored the highest. In other us-versus-them news, men managed to score a significant six-percent better than women, and drivers between the ages of 60 and 65 scored the highest.

Check out the complete press release after the break for more interesting tidbits, and feel free to take a simple test yourself at the GMAC Insurance website.
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GMAC Insurance Study: Nearly 1 in 5 American Drivers Unfit for the Road

7th Annual Survey Shows Kansas Drivers Remain Most Knowledgeable, Washington, D.C. Ranks Last


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (May 26, 2011) – Today, the 2011 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test results revealed that 1 in 5 drivers on the road today cannot meet the basic requirements to get a driver's license, meaning that 36.9 million American drivers - roughly 18 percent - would not pass the written drivers test if taken today. Kansas continued their reign in first place (82.9 percent average score), while New York was bumped from last by Washington, D.C. (71.8 percent average score). Take the test and view the full results at www.gmacinsurance.com.

"The GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test has become the benchmark for America's driving IQ," said Scott Eckman, chief marketing officer, GMAC Insurance. "All Americans need a refresher course when it comes to rules of the road and it begins with education. We're hoping this year's GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test results will inspire drivers to arm themselves with the knowledge they need to stay safe."

The average score of all drivers increased from 76.2 percent in 2010 to 77.9 percent this year, but results suggest that a great number of people on the road still lack basic driving knowledge, which can lead to dangerous driving habits. Eighty-five percent could not identify the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow traffic light, and only a quarter were aware of safe following distances.

Without critical driving comprehension, many drivers run the risk of increased accidents or near accidents, where they often come to the realization of their lack of knowledge on rules of the road. The GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test sets out to remind drivers to re-up their credentials before such events occur.

The seventh annual survey polled 5,130 licensed drivers ages 16-65, from 50 states and the District of Columbia. The 2011 test gauged driver knowledge by administering 20 questions taken from state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) exams. The test was administered online by TNS, the world's largest custom research agency. National data was weighted to percentage of state population, age, gender and ethnicity.

GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test Highlights

Males are better drivers? If driving knowledge is any indication of driving habits, men are better drivers than women. 1 in 4 women failed the test (27.2 percent versus 13.6 percent for male). Overall, males out-performed females with an average score of 80.2 percent versus 74.1 percent for females.

Northeast is worst driving region with average scoring at 74.9 percent. Midwest is best driving region with average scoring at 77.5 percent.

The older the wiser. Oldest drivers tested, ages 60-65, continued to have the highest average test scores at 80.3 percent.

Be careful in the Empire State and Beltway: · 1 of 3 (34 percent) of all drivers in New York and Washington, D.C. failed the test. The state with the lowest percentage of failures is Wyoming, with only 1 of 20 (4.5 percent) failing the test.

New York no longer last: New York moves to 45th after placing last three years in a row with a score of 75.3 percent

Biggest gains and losses: After ranking 24th place in 2010, Colorado moves to third place with an 82 percent average score. Arkansas plummeted 30 spots from tenth place in 2010 to 40th place this year. Their average test score decreased from a 79.8 percent average to a 76 percent average.

Think You're Smarter Than the Average Driver? Take the test.
Test your driving smarts at www.gmacinsurance.com, where you can take the survey, play a quirky driving game, and challenge friends to top your score. Facebook users can take the National Drivers Test Facebook quiz and challenge their friends, and Twitter users can follow the Drivers Test Twitter page for updates on state rankings and tidbits on safe driving habits.

For more information about GMAC Insurance or to find a local independent agent, call 877-468-3466, or visit www.gmacinsurance.com.

About GMAC Insurance Personal Lines Group
GMAC Insurance Personal Lines Group is one of the largest automobile insurers in the United States and is owned by American Capital Acquisition Corporation. GMAC Insurance Personal Lines Group offers property and casualty products, including personal auto, RV, motorcycle, commercial auto and homeowners insurance. With a nationwide network of claims professionals, local independent agents and brokers and a 24-hour, toll-free claims hotline available 365 days a year, GMAC Insurance provides superior claims service for its customers.

About TNS
The study was conducted by TNS, the world's largest custom research agency. TNS provides comprehensive industry knowledge within the Consumer, Technology, Finance, Automotive and Political & Social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specializing in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research. Delivering best-in-class service across more than 75 countries, TNS is part of Kantar, the world's largest research, insight and consultancy network. Please visit www.tns-global.com for more information.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      The Comeback Kid
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is it me or the answer for question #8 is wrong? Q: You may pass on the right of another vehicle when: 1. When traveling on a multi-lane highway carrying two or more lanes of traffic in the same direction 2. The other vehicle is making or about to make a left turn, when a lane is provided to pass on the right 3. Both answers are correct I answered 2 but the answer is 3. Since when are you allowed to pass a car using the right lane on a highway?
        Andre
        • 3 Years Ago
        @The Comeback Kid
        Its LEGAL to pass on the right, you just shouldn't
          Evan McMiller
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Andre
          problem is it shouldn't be unless it is a last resort. That's why we have morons that go 64 mph in the left lane on the freeway.
      Andre
      • 3 Years Ago
      I just took this test and got a 95%. Easy common sense stuff! And I would be scared to drive around anybody who gets less than an 80%
        Dawgz83948
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andre
        Ya the solid yellow light question is a killer huh..... I missed that one.
      The Angry Intern
      • 3 Years Ago
      1 in 5 seems a bit low, I would say it's closer to 1 in 3
        DrEvil
        • 3 Years Ago
        @The Angry Intern
        aaah come on, it has to be at least 1 in 3.5.
        budwsr25
        • 3 Years Ago
        @The Angry Intern
        I was thinking more like 1 in 2, But that is my opinion. I live in Michigan and there are a ton of bad drivers.
      Making11s
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd say that's a pretty conservative estimate. I bet half of all US drivers are unfit to drive.
      Jake
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test has become the benchmark for America's driving IQ," said the MARKETING guy for this company. Rolls eyes.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      BRKF06
      • 3 Years Ago
      95%. Happy enough with that.
      pinetree
      • 3 Years Ago
      This should not be surprising. Many states, such as Florida, simply don't place much importance on continued driver education. While you have to take a written and behind-the-wheel test before you get your very first license, there is no refresher testing requirement to get your license renewed. If you get a ticket, then sometimes you can take a driver education course to satisify your driving citation. I last took a drivers test when I was 15, almost 30 years ago. I'm sure some things have gotten rusty.
      Dawgz83948
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not surprised.
      wishdj
      • 3 Years Ago
      I was compelled to forgo my Indian drivers license and take the Australian NSW drivers license as I have just become a permanent resident of Australia. I was tensed despite having driven for 15 years, took 5 classes. My instructor scared me with the statistics - nearly 50% usually fail in my town during their first attempt. Anyway I took the test. Written 100% and driving 99%. It's just a matter of common sense, knowing rules, being safe and a bit of acting with exaggerated body and eye movements to prove to the examiner that you know where to look to be safe. I would be scared drive with anyone who scored anything less than around 92-94%. 90% is the pass mark here and certain mistakes like a single blind spot miss accounts to failing so it is not that easy to pass here. After passing I believe at least 1 in 3 or maybe 1 in 2 licensed drivers will fail. I would have failed if not for those 5 classes despite 14 years of driving in the harshest conditions in India (which may amount to nothing for many people!) and 1 year of permissible driving in Australia prior to getting permanent residency.
      Dennis Baskov
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't know about other parts of the country, but here in US Virginia people violate rules on regular basis like: breaking a solid line, changing lanes at an intersection, running not yellow but red lights(ultimate fail), run stop signs. All that I mentioned happens every single time I get on the road here. But about a quarter of a people on the road today failing a test would be no surprise to me, even if the driver test is common sense.
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dennis Baskov
        There are so many rules that it is tough to remember everything. That's part of it. People also break the rules, not because they don't know them, but because they don't care. As for the rest of the country, the same could be said about drivers in and around any major city in the country.
      Birdman330
      • 3 Years Ago
      And this is surprising?
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