St. Louis — Results from the fourth annual GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test are in. The survey polled 5,524 licensed Americans from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is designed to gauge driver knowledge by administering 20 actual questions taken from state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) exams.

Of those surveyed, 16.4% failed. This means that if extrapolated to the population as a whole, 33 million licensed Americans would not pass a written driver’s test if taken today.

Overall, findings from the 2008 survey indicate that an alarming number of licensed Americans continue to lack knowledge of basic rules of the road. While the national average score improved slightly to 78.1% – from 77.1% in 2007 – in general, geographical regions ranked similarly to previous years, with the lowest average test scores in the Northeast. Across the board, respondents continued to have difficulty on questions about yellow lights and safe following distances, as 84% could not identify the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow traffic light and 73% could not properly identify a typical safe following distance from the car in front of them.

"It's encouraging to see that scores are beginning to get better, but there is still a lot of room for improvement," says Wade Bontrager, VP of marketing for GMAC Insurance, Maryland Heights, Mo. "To do this, we all need to make safety our top priority, review the basic road rules, and put them into practice every day. By announcing these results and offering a venue to learn proper procedures, it's our goal to help people become more knowledgeable, and therefore, safer drivers."

Source: GMAC Insurance Group

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