According to a survey released last week by GMAC Insurance, Massachusetts drivers ranked 44rd out of 50 states and the District of Columbia on a test of basic driving knowledge like the definition of a flashing red light or when to stop for a school bus.
The test required a 70 to pass and Massachusetts motorists earned an average score of 73.8, just squeaking by and passing the test. Massachusetts drivers also scored last on a seat belt use study conducted last year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
However, poor driving test scores don’t necessarily mean a higher rate of fatal car accidents. In fact, data from the NHTSA show that Massachusetts had the lowest fatality-per-person rate of any state in 2007. While Idaho drivers scored highest on the driving test, it had a fatality-per-person rate that was about three times as high as Massachusetts!
The GMAC survey also discovered that drivers over age 35 performed better on the driving test than younger drivers and that men generally scored higher than women.