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It might come as a surprise to some, but seat-belt use has gone up in America over last year, resulting in an all-time high at 86 percent.
How many times have you cursed the driver who just cut you off for being an idiot? Or the one that sailed by you on the highway doing 50 over the speed limit. You’ve known it all along – nobody knows how to drive (except you, of course). And now there’s proof – the 2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test survey found that nearly 1 in 5 licensed drivers wouldn’t pass a written drivers test exam if taken today. And when you crunch the numbers, that’s a lot of idiots – around 38 million Americans.
Its sixth year running, the survey polled 5,202 licensed Americans from 50 states and the District of Columbia. Drivers were asked to answer 20 questions that were taken from state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) exams. The findings show that 20 percent of currently licensed drivers would have failed the test, and the average score of 76.2 percent is down slightly 76.6 percent in 2009. The findings overall indicate that most motorists lack basic rules-of-the-road knowledge.
Some scary stats include the one where 88 percent of the drivers polled couldn’t identify the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow traffic light (and no, it’s not gunning the gas pedal and ripping through it). Other interesting findings show that men scored better than females on both average scores (78.1 percent male versus 74.4 percent female) and failure rates (24 percent female versus 18.1 percent male), and the older the driver, the better the score. Kansas drivers ranked highest (82.3 percent average score) while New Yorker came in last.
You can test your own driving smarts at www.gmacinsurance.com, where you can take the survey, play a driving game and challenge friends to top your score.
The Click It or Ticket seatbelt safety campaign is in full force, and this summer, the focus of law enforcement officers will be on night time drivers who fail to buckle up. That’s right – justice never sleeps!
One of the most successful highway safety campaigns in U.S. history, the Click It or Ticket message this year is that seat belts need to be worn at night as well as during the day. The reasoning behind the added twist is based on data that shows that drivers are less likely to wear seat belts after dark because it’s more difficult for police to spot whether or not they’ve buckled up. There are numbers to back this up – in 2008, 64 percent of the people killed in accidents after 6 p.m. were not wearing their seat belts. Compare that to 48 percent of drivers not wearing a seat belt that died in daytime accidents.
Other interesting stats to note, courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shows that 38 people not wearing seat belts die in car crashes daily, and the highest rate of unbelted death are among young men and pickup truck drivers.
Use of seat belts in cars gained popularity in the 1960s, about a decade after studies debunked the popular belief that most car-accident fatalities were caused by the accordion-like collapse of their cars. It took several more years before seatbelts became optional items in most cars and even longer before they were mandatory. Even though wearing them was the law, it didn’t mean that drivers used them. By 1980, 11 percent of Americans used them. Compare that to 84 percent of drivers who use them today.
[Source: Kicking Tires]