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This year's study found that overall, the number of drivers who understood basic driving laws is on the decline. 20.1 percent of licensed Americans, or about 41 million drivers, would not pass a standard, written drivers test exam if they took it today.
Drivers in Idaho and Wisconsin fared the best, with an average test score of 80.6 percent. New York drivers came in dead last, with an average score of 70.5 percent. There were also some regional trends in the overall scoring. The Northeast had the lowest average test scores, while the states in the Midwest were home to the highest scores.
Still, researchers said drivers across the country need to improve their knowledge of road rules. "This year, scores are down. This reiterates the fact that each and every one of us need[s] to continually be brushing up on safe driving practices," said Wade Bontrager, senior vice president, Affinity Division, GMAC Insurance, in a statement.
Statistically, as in years past, men did better on the driving exam compared to women, but the divide between the two genders is considerably smaller this year; specifically when compared to last year. In 2009, 81 percent of males and 79 percent of females passed. In 2008, 87 percent of men and 80 percent of women passed the test.
GMAC also found that drivers 35 and older were most likely to pass the test. The age group with the highest failure rates was young adults, 18 to 24 years old.
For more information, read the GMAC news release.