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Survey Finds 1 in 5 Drivers in the U.S. Cannot Meet Basic Requirements to Get a Driver’s License

According to an annual survey conducted by GMAC Insurance, one in five drivers in the United States can’t meet the basic requirements needed to obtain a driver’s license. This means approximately 36.9 million drivers in the country, about 18%, wouldn’t be able to pass the written driver’s test if they were to take it today.

Overall, Kansas ranked the best, with its drivers earning an average score of about 82.9 percent; while Washington, D.C., came in last with an average score of 71.8 percent. Nationally, the average score of all drivers improved; and rose from 76.2% last year to 77.9% this year. A score below 70% was considered failing. However, the results still imply that a large number of drivers do not possess basic driving law knowledge, which may produce unsafe driving habits. For example, 85% of drivers surveyed were not able to identify the correct action to take when coming upon a yellow light, while only one-fourth of drivers knew the correct safe following distances. Without this critical driving knowledge, many drivers on the road are at an increased risk of being involved in car accidents in Portland and across the nation.

The survey sampled 5,130 licensed drivers between the ages of 16 and 65, from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. Driver knowledge was gauged by asking 20 questions taken off exams from each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

When a driver does not know the rules of the road (and it appears as though many do not), everyone from bicyclists to pedestrians to other motorists, are at a greater risk of suffering serious injury in a car accident. Don’t be ashamed to admit you need a refresher course when it comes to the rules of the road. Educate yourself so you have the knowledge you need to stay safe when driving in Oregon.


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