In case you needed empirical evidence that Texas has some of the worst drivers in the country, look no further than the GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test: The Lone Star state ranked an unimpressive 35th, falling ten spots from last year and 18 from 2008, meaning that by 2014, we will probably be too stupid to even figure out how to get the key in the ignition.
According to GMAC, "if taken today, 18.4 percent of drivers on the road -- amounting to roughly 38 million licensed Americans -- would not pass a written drivers text exam." And, proving again that men are better drivers, "males over 45 earned the highest average score" and "the average test score was significantly higher among males than females....Females also had a higher failure rate than males...." (Don't worry, ladies, women scored significantly higher than men on GMAC's Cooking and Cleaning test).
The biggest problem areas had to do with relatively unimportant stuff like safe following distance, what to do at a stoplight with a steady yellow, and the meaning of a solid yellow line. The test also showed that about a quarter of drivers "admitted to talking on a cell phone, selecting songs on an iPod or CD, adjusting the radio or eating while driving their vehicle." (And, driving the point home again, women were more likely to be engaged in those activities; they were also more likely to be "applying make-up and reading" while driving....we assume they weren't reading articles about how to be better drivers).
So how do you think you'd measure up? Would you be like one of the smarty-pantses in Kansas, or the Death-on-Wheels types in New York? Here are some questions, including Texas-specific ones, we're sort of sure appeared on the test:
1.) True or False: The term "one-way," when referring to driving direction on a street, is merely a suggestion
2.) When passing a car accident on a Houston freeway in rush hour, how many minutes should you stop to gawk at the damage and hold up miles of traffic so that the crying, terrified victims don't consider you impolite?
3.) True or False: In Texas, pickup trucks always have the right-of-way.
4.) How many six-packs is it okay for a male of average height and weight to consume before driving to the gun range?
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5.) True or false: HOV lanes are open to single occupants as long as the automobile's trunk contains at least one dead prostitute.
6.) True or false: Drivers in Houston never have to worry about potholes because, unlike in other cities, Houston is smart enough to cover potholes with giant slabs of metal that in no way could ever fuck up your car as much as the pothole itself.
Let us know how you score!