Survey Shows Most Knowledgeable Drivers in Kansas, Least in New York
WINSTON-SALEM, NC – May 27, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – The 2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test released today found that nearly 1 in 5 licensed drivers – roughly 38 million Americans – would not pass a written drivers test exam if taken today. Kansas drivers ranked first in the nation (82.3 percent average score); New York drivers ranked last (70 percent average score). Full results can be found at www.gmacinsurance.com.
The sixth annual survey polled 5,202 licensed Americans from 50 states and the District of Columbia, gauging driver knowledge by administering 20 questions taken from state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) exams. Additional questions explored distracting habits such as texting while driving.
Overall, findings indicate a number of licensed Americans continue to lack knowledge of basic rules of the road; the national average score decreased to 76.2 percent from 76.6 percent in 2009. Eighty-five percent could not identify the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow traffic light, and many remained confused by safe following distances.
“It’s discouraging to see that overall average test scores are lower than last year,” said Wade Bontrager, senior vice president, GMAC Insurance. “American drivers need to make safety a top priority and be aware of the rules of the road at all times. The National Drivers Test allows everyone to brush up on their driving knowledge with a brief refresher course.”
When analyzed regionally, the results reveal that drivers in the Northeast may not be as road-rule savvy as their Midwestern counterparts. The Northeast had the lowest average test scores (74.9 percent) and had the highest failure rate (25.1 percent). The Midwest region had the highest average test scores (77.5 percent) and the lowest failure rates (11.9 percent).
Results also indicate that the older the driver, the higher the score. Males over 45 earned the highest average test score. Males also out-performed females overall in terms of average score (78.1 percent male versus 74.4 percent female) and failure rates (24 percent female versus 18.1 percent male).
Additional questions from the survey reveal drivers conduct a variety of distracting behaviors behind the wheel; approximately 1 in 4 participants admitted to driving while talking on a cell phone, eating and adjusting the radio or selecting songs on an iPod. However, only five percent reported they text while driving. Overall, a significantly higher percentage of females than males reported engaging in the following distracting situations: conversation with passengers, selecting songs on an iPod or CD/adjusting the radio, talking on a cell phone, eating, applying make-up and reading.
Think You’re Smarter Than the Average Driver?
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 American Capital Acquisition Corporation
American Capital Acquisition Corporation is a newly formed corporation. The principal of ACAC was a founder of AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (AFSI) and Maiden Holdings, Ltd. (MHLD), and has had a long successful history in financial services.
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.