Older Baby Boomers Win National Driving Test; Senior
Citizens Not Included in Testing
GMAC Insurance study finds about 1 in 5 unfit for
road; Kansas drivers most knowledgeable, men best women
June 3, 2011 Senior citizens could have won this
one the crown as the smartest drivers on the American roads but they
excluded people age 65 and older from the competition, giving the crown
to the baby boomers that are just about to become seniors. These
boomers, ages 60-65, repeated as the age group with the highest average
score in the 2011 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test.
These boomer drivers, the oldest age group tested, had an
average score of 80.3. Their victory may have been saved by age
The average score of all drivers increased from
76.2 percent in 2010 to 77.9 percent this year, but results released May
26 suggest that a great number of people on the road still lack basic
driving knowledge, which can lead to dangerous driving habits.
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).
But, the 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.
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.
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.
Other GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test
● 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.
● 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
● 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.