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State driver test rankings: NC ranked 32

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GMAC has released their rankings for state driver rankings and NC has come in at #32 (although since there were so many ties the rankings are rather bizarre).

Rankings here

Could NC's drop be directly related to the number of Northeastern moving here? I say this because the bottom ranked states are in Northeast. This is not surprising to me because whenever I see someone on our roads with a New Jersey plate, for example, 9 times out of 10 they're driving terribly.

Here's a related story: Test scores are in: Northeast still has dumbest drivers

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The tiny state of Rhode Island still ranks rock bottom in terms of driving knowledge, according to a national test conducted by GMAC Insurance. Oregon drivers answered the most questions correctly.

The test revealed that about one in 11 licensed drivers in the United States would fail a state drivers test, according to GMAC Insurance.

Rhode Island ranked last year, also, with an average score of 77. Last year, Oregon's average score was 89, which still placed at the top of the rankings that year.

Based on average scores, northwestern states generally ranked highest while the bottom-ranking states were mostly in the northeast. One exception was Vermont, which ranked third. Washington state drivers ranked second. Drivers in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia ranked at the bottom, with D.C. finishing just ahead of Rhode Island.

I think it speaks for itself. When Northeasterners move here, they take their stupidity behind the wheel with them. Thus, our state and more specifically our states' roads absorbs their stupidity.

By the way, here's a copy of the test if anyone wants to test their knowledge: http://www.gmacinsurance.com/SafeDriving/2006/

And here's a copy of the rankings:

Average: 83.7 percent

1. Oregon 90.6

2. Washington 88.2

3. Vermont 87.5

4. Idaho 87.3 (Tie)

4. South Dakota 87.3 (Tie)

6. Montana 87.2

7. Nebraska 87.0

8. Kansas 86.8

9. Iowa 86.7

10. Wyoming 86.2

11. Wisconsin 86.1

12. Minnesota 86.0

13. Alaska 85.8

14. California 85.6

15. Indiana 85.2 (Tie)

15. Colorado 85.2 (Tie)

17. Michigan 85.1

18. North Dakota 85.0

19. West Virginia 84.8

20. Utah 84.5

21. Mississippi 84.4

22. Illinois 84.3

23. Tennessee 84.2

24. Texas 84.0 (Tie)

24. Kentucky 84.0 (Tie)

26. New Hampshire 83.9

27. Arkansas 83.8

28. Virginia 83.5

29. Arizona 83.4

30. Georgia 83.2 (Tie)

30. Louisiana 83.2 (Tie)

32. North Carolina 83.1 (Tie)

32. Maine 83.1 (Tie)

34. Ohio 83.0

35. Oklahoma 82.9

36. Alabama 82.8

37. Missouri 82.7 (Tie)

37. Delaware 82.7 (Tie)

39. Nevada 82.6

40. South Carolina 82.3 (Tie)

40. Florida 82.3 (Tie)

42. Pennsylvania 82.1

43. New Mexico 81.5

44. Connecticut 80.9

45. Hawaii 80.7

46. Maryland 79.5

47. New York 79.4

48. New Jersey 78.6 (Tie)

48. Massachusetts 78.6 (Tie)

50. Washington, D.C. 76.5

51. Rhode Island 75.1

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You have to be able to speak english before you can take the test.

Also, out of the top 13 rankings (excluding Washington) there is nothing to do in any of those states except sit and read a drivers manual for entertainment. They drink too much coffee in Washington and need reading material to get to sleep at night. They have run out of books.

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I hope you meant to say the Northeast Megaloplous ranks bad for poor driving :)

The rural northeastern (new england) states do not produce bad drivers unless you find slow drivers in the right lane a negative attribute. Too bad New York state gets a poor ranking because if you head upstate (north of I-84), they rank as well as the New England rural states. PA, like NY state, gets a similar ranking with Philadelphia and eastern PA getting the bad drivers from NJ and Phila.

3. Vermont

26. New Hampshire

32. Maine (tied with NC)

Then down the list a bit

37. Delaware

42. Pennsylvania

I dont know how well i can say this but when driving in NJ or Mass, its more important that you apply good judgement rather than always stick by the rule book. The problem i see with the northeast megalopolous is that everyone drives their own way thus there is no consistency. When i drove in Canada, everyone was on teh same page for the most part and I HAD TO MAKE sure i did the same thing to keep going with teh flow!

Edit: I just took the test, made a perfect score! :)

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I think the Northeast transplant thing might be overblown. It likely does depend where you are. I was recently in Boston, and believe it or not...the drivers were much better than down here! I think there might have been more of a police presence, which could have factored in. Maybe I caught it on a good day? Seeing how Bostonians have a umm...reputation, I was rather surprised.

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As a former Bostonian, I have an alternative hypothesis for why their states score so low on measures of national driving.

1. Far fewer northeasterners have licenses! Since something like half the people in New York City don't even have a driver's license, they've never had to study for this test. Also, when you look at other major cities in the northeast corridor, the need to know this stuff is simply a lot lower because walking and transit riding to work and everything else in life is simply much more common.

2. The Northeast is OLD! Boston's streets, in fact, are paved-over 17th-century cowpaths. Lots of "standard" engineering practice that has been applied uniformly across most of the sun belt in terms of signage, turn radii, lane width, and so on, is not nearly is uniform in older northeastern cities because there's no room to do 8-lane freeways or stuff that currently rates as best practice in engineering manuals. Therefore, while driving in North Carolina is a lot like driving in Atlanta or Texas or Oklahoma, it's just flat-out different in a lot of ways in the northeast.

Everybody who drives around NC knows that the Business 40/US 52 interchange in Winston is a harrowing experience. However, that interchange is an exception to most driving experiences because so many interchanges were built later according to more modern, safer (and anti-urban) freeway building practices. Intersections like this can be found all over the place up north.

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