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Survey ranks states with dumbest drivers

So, where does your state score? (NC is 13th best, so I don’t feel bad). Guess we need to invest in more public transporation; it’s clear that some of our fellow citizens don’t need to be on the road. (CNN):

When faced with a written test, similar to ones given to beginning drivers applying for licenses, one in ten drivers couldn’t get a passing score, according to a study commissioned by GMAC Insurance. The GMAC Insurance National Driver’s Test found that nearly 20 million Americans, or about 1 in 10 drivers, would fail a state driver’s test if they had to take one today. GMAC Insurance is part of General Motors’ finance subsidiary, GMAC.

More than 5,000 licensed drivers between the ages of 16 and 65 were administered a 20-question written test designed to measure basic knowledge about traffic laws and safety. They were also surveyed about their general driving habits. Drivers in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states did worst. Twenty percent of test-takers failed there. The state of Rhode Island leads the nation in driver cluelessness, according to the survey. The average test score there was 77, just eight points above a failing grade. Those in neighboring Massachusetts were second worst and New Jersey, third worst.

Northwestern states had the most knowledgeable drivers. In those states, just one to three percent failed the test. Oregon and Washington drivers knew the rules of the road best. In Oregon, the average test score was 89.

According to the study, many drivers find basic practices, such as merging and interpreting road signs, difficult. For instance, one out of five drivers doesn’t know that a pedestrian in a crosswalk has the right of way, and one out of three drivers speeds up to make a yellow light, even when pedestrians are present, the study said.

Here is the full list, by state.

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Pam Spaulding