My 15-year-old nephew got his learner’s permit this month and has already blown past a stop sign onto a busy arterial.
Luckily the incident passed without major consequence… the biggest problem for him being a seriously fuming father in the passenger seat.
While experienced drivers might assume it’s the 15- and 16-olds we need to watch out for, a new study proves that about 1 in 5 U.S. drivers couldn’t pass a driving test. While that’s disturbing, I can’t say it’s particularly surprising considering how many people can’t even figure out how to use a left turn signal.
According to GMAC Insurance, which conducted the survey, the results mean that some 37 million people on the road lack basic driving knowledge, which obviously leads to dangerous driving situations for the remaining 160 million or so of us good drivers.
It’s not like the study asked particularly difficult questions, either. For example, a full 85 percent of people could not identify the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow traffic light. (If you think the answer is “speed up,” congratulations. You are one of the 37 million.)
Women scored worse than men in the study, with 27 percent failing the test against 13.6 percent men. The oldest age group surveyed performed the best overall, with over 80 percent of 60-65 year-olds passing. Young people were among the worst performers. Minimum driving age of 18, anyone?
The Midwest performed best geographically, and the Northeast had the worst scores. So, putting this information together, if you’re ever up in Rhode Island, you might want to steer clear of all the young women on the road. (Perhaps it’s best if they ride with you.)
Personally, whatever the age, sex or location of the driver, I’d be happy if they just learned to use their turn signals. That is truly my biggest annoyance on the road.
What is your biggest annoyance while driving?