Friday, May 26th, 2006 at 1:23 pm in Safety.
You may hate insurance companies, but they do put out some fun statistics. GMAC Insurance released the results of its “National Drivers Test” just in time for Memorial Day. I can’t vouch for the study’s accuracy, but the findings don’t, unfortunately, defy common knowledge.
One in 11 drivers wouldn’t pass their driver’s test if they had to take it again. That’s the first national finding. California drivers moved way up to 14th place in the quality of its drivers this year. Similarly satisfying was finding almost the entire East Coast at the bottom of the list, in order: Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia and last and certainly least, Rhode Island in 51st place.
One thing I found rather surprising was that 24 percent of Americans surveyed send text messages _ a task I find difficult while walking _ while attempting to operate a large, four-wheeled machine. Luckily, only 20 percent like to fuss with their iPod while driving.
Not so odd were the cell phone users at 71 percent, eaters at 62 percent, while I would have thought more people apply makeup than 8 percent, the same percentage as people who change clothes while driving.
I once had an editor who claimed to have seen someone playing a violin while driving a convertible. I didn’t have the guts (stupidity?) to admit that I had occasion to use an electric shaver on the New York State Thruway. Maybe that’s why New York scored so low.
If you want to read the other stuff they’ve put out, I’ve posted it here: