Results from the 2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test rank Washington drivers 11th in the nation for their driving knowledge.
Washington drivers had an average score of 79.4 percent (70 percent or higher is a passing score); 13.8 percent of Washington respondents failed the test. In 2009, the state ranked 18th.
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 exams. 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.
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. About 85 percent could not identify the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow traffic light, and many remained confused about safe following distances.
"It's discouraging to see that overall average test scores are lower than last year," said Wade Bontrager, senior vice president at 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."
Additional questions on the survey explored distracting habits such as texting while driving. The findings reveal drivers conduct a variety of distracting behaviors behind the wheel; approximately one in four participants admitted to driving while talking on a cell phone, eating and adjusting the radio or selecting songs on an iPod. However, only 5 percent reported they text while driving.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
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