2011 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test
The results are in for the 7th Annual GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test. This year, the test reveals that 1 in 5 drivers on the road today - roughly 36.9 million U.S. drivers - cannot meet basic requirements to earn a driver's license. Results are pooled from 5,130 survey participants representative of the U.S. Census drawn from all 50 states and the District of Columbia who completed 20 questions, taken from actual written Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) tests.
WHY DOES GMAC INSURANCE ADMINISTER THE TEST?The GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test encourages all drivers to educate themselves on the rules of the road in order to avoid future accidents. As one of the oldest automotive insurance companies in the nation, GMAC Insurance knows all too well the consequences of bad driving habits when a driver experiences that moment of truth after an accident. GMAC Insurance feels strongly that taking the test each year will help everyone keep safe driving top of mind.
WHAT CAN THE GENERAL PUBLIC DO?Individuals can log on to gmacinsurance.com to take the test themselves and see how they measure up.
- Overall, the test shows that nearly 1 in 5 drivers are Unfit for the Road
- The study projects that 36.9 million U.S. residents failed the 20-question, multiple-choice test with a score lower than 70% correct
- This is a 2% increase over last year
- National average score was 77.9%
Best and Worst
- Kansas scored highest with an average score of 82.9% correct. The Jayhawk State was ranked first for the second year in a row
- Washington, D.C. ranked last for the first time with the nation's lowest average score of 73.9% correct
- The Northeast region of the U.S. had the lowest average test score (74.9%), while the Midwest achieved the highest average score (77.5%)
Most (and Least) Improved
- Biggest Drop: Arkansas plummeted 30 spots from tenth place in 2010 to 40th place this year. Their average test score decreased from a 79.8% average to a 76% average
- Biggest Gain: Colorado climbed 19 spots from 24th place in 2010 to third place this year. Their average test score increased from 77.8% average to 82% average.
- New York and D.C. had the highest % of failures: 1 of 3 (34%) of all drivers in New York and Washington, D.C. failed the test
- State With the Lowest % of Failures: Only 1 of 20 (4.5%) of Wyoming drivers failed the test
Age? Gender? Scores by Sub-Groups
- Nearly 1 of 4 Women Failed the Test: The average test score was significantly higher among males (80.2%) than females (74.1%). More than twice as many women failed the test (27.2%) than men (13.6%)
- With Age Comes Wisdom: Older drivers achieved higher test scores than younger drivers
- Drivers Ed Pays Off: In 2011 there are strong indications that the very youngest drivers, ages 16-24, are beginning to perform more effectively on their driver's test, with less than 1 in 4 now failing the test
- How Soon We Forget: For the first time, adults ages 25-34 were significantly more likely to fail the driving test than any other age group, with almost 1 in 3 drivers ages 25-34 failing the test (32.1%), this represents a 5% increase in their failure rate since 2009 (27%)
The GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test
- For the seventh year in a row, GMAC Insurance partnered with TNS, the world's largest custom research agency, to conduct an online survey to test the knowledge of general driving safety rules among a nationally representative sample of licensed drivers in the United States
- Participants were administered a 20-question general driving test, similar to questions from state driving tests used to grant driver's permits or licenses
- A balanced sample from the TNS panel, representative of U.S. individuals aged 16-65, was used for this study. An online survey was designed to capture the survey responses
- A total of 5,130 surveys were completed, with a minimum of 100 surveys per state and Washington, D.C.
- National data was weighted to % of state, age, gender and ethnicity
- National weights were applied when analyzing data on a national level to account for share of voice (i.e., California had a higher % in weight value due to the size of its population, while North Dakota was lower). This was only applied when analyzing data on a total level
- The study measured at the 95% confidence level