Archive for Sunday, May 31, 2009

State ranks fourth for road-savvy drivers

May 31, 2009

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On the street

Generally speaking, do you think Kansans are smart drivers?

Yeah. … I don’t have a lot of experience driving elsewhere.

More responses




Test yourself

A traffic light with a flashing red signal means?

A. Yield B. Stop C. Caution (The correct answer is B.)

Congratulations, Kansas drivers, for landing a spot in the road-rules final four.

Kansas ranks No. 4 among the 50 states and District of Columbia when it comes to its residents correctly answering questions on actual written driver tests, the kinds administered at Department of Motor Vehicles offices nationwide.

But don’t be too proud. The lofty ranking actually represents a slight decline from a year ago, when Kansas topped the list of “most knowledgeable drivers” compiled by GMAC Insurance.

“When we began this campaign five years ago, we embarked on a mission to help drivers become more aware of the rules of the road,” said Wade Bontrager, a senior vice president at GMAC Insurance. “We’ve seen the results ebb and flow, and this year scores are down. This reiterates the fact that each and every one of us need to continually be brushing up on safe driving practices.”

Two states tied for the top spot this year: Idaho and Wisconsin, with survey respondents recording average scores of 80.6 percent correct. Montana was third at 80.5 percent, followed by Kansas at 80.4 percent.

A year ago Kansas drivers scored an average of 84 percent, the highest average posted during any of the past three years.

Bringing up the rear this year: New York, with an average of 70.5 percent — barely above the 70 percent needed to receive a passing grade.

GMAC didn’t release detailed results from its 20-question test, but did compile some observations:

• Men remain more likely than women to pass, with men recording average scores of 81 percent while women average 79 percent. The gap was wider in 2008, with men averaging 89 percent and women averaging 80 percent.

• In terms of regions, states in the Midwest posted the highest average scores, while states in the Northeast rated lowest.

• Ongoing trouble spots for drivers: Questions regarding yellow lights and safe driving distances. On the flip side, “almost all drivers answered correctly what a solid yellow line meant,” GMAC said.

The results come from the GMAC National Drivers test, in which 5,183 drivers were given questions taken from DMV tests.

Comments

davidsmom 5 years, 10 months ago

There is a vast difference between knowing the rules and practicing the rules.

davidnta 5 years, 10 months ago

When I'm in Kentucky, people don't use their turn signals to turn or switch lanes. Also I found myself one of the very few people who would stop for an ambulance or a police car as they are driving by.

So as far as a comparison between Kentucky and Kansas goes, I would say that Kansans are better on the road.

Sharon Aikins 5 years, 10 months ago

Amen, davidsmom. My biggest beef with Lawrence drivers is how they turn onto four lane streets. Very few of them turn into the correct lane and then signal to move to the other. It does seem like turn signal usage has improved though. But there are always those weaving through traffic trying to gain one car's length, usually finding themselves sitting next to someone they passed at the next stoplight. I've had people moving here from large cities tell me that it was easier to drive there than in Lawrence.

classclown 5 years, 10 months ago

Kansas ranks No. 4 among the 50 states and District of Columbia when it comes to its residents correctly answering questions on actual written driver tests, the kinds administered at Department of Motor Vehicles offices nationwide.

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Considering that Kansas allows you to take an "open book" test, you would think that Kansas would be number one. Even with having the answers with them when they take the test, Kansans can only do eighty percent?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

Jeez, it's an open book test-- sure, some people will have trouble with any written test, and that may not be at all indicative of how good a driver they are. But still, most people should score 100% on this test, so an average of 80% or so is kinda scary.

classclown 5 years, 10 months ago

If you had bothered to read the article, you would know who came in 50th.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

"Ongoing trouble spots for drivers: Questions regarding yellow lights and safe driving distances. On the flip side, “almost all drivers answered correctly what a solid yellow line meant,” GMAC said."

Would have been nice if at least that one had 100% correct.

I also agree with davidsmom - as someone who's driven in probably two-thirds of the states in this country, I can tell you that Kansas (and Missouri) drivers are among the worst. It just makes it more ridiculous that they actually do know the rules they ignore.

Confrontation 5 years, 10 months ago

It must be the rest of Kansas that is making up for Lawrence. This town is full of idiots who feel that they are entitled to drive however they want.

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