Knowledgeable drivers? Georgia ranks 30th - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Knowledgeable drivers? Georgia ranks 30th

May 26, 2006

Albany-  The Memorial Day Holiday Travel weekend officially starts Friday at six.  The Georgia Department of Transportation estimates 18 traffic deaths and more than two thousand crashes this weekend.  Now a new traffic study reveals Georgia drivers' overall knowledge of the rules of the road isn't that great.  

A GMAC Insurance National Driver's test ranked Georgia drivers 30th for their road smarts, we put driver's to the test. Georgia drivers may be able to get around, but do they remember the rules of the road?

How often would you use your high beam headlights at night, A, whenever it is safe and legal, B, as little as possible or C, Only when on an unlit street?  Rosie Thomas answered, A, Whenever it's safe and legal.  She's right, but according to the GMAC Insurance National Drivers test 13 percent of Georgians failed a basic 20 question DMV test.

"In conducting surveys and in when we do our annual report to traffic safety, the questions that we're asked are questions that are addressed generally in the motor vehicle handbook for the drivers test," said Michele DeMott, Safe Communities Coordinator.

While many Georgia drivers have forgotten the rules of the road, they're also distracted.  The number one distraction, eating behind the wheel.

"I try and avoid eating, but I drink soda's," said Larry Adams.

"Trying to get from one place to another, I don't do it that often though," said Greg Robinson.

In Dougherty County, rear end crashes are the most prevalent and typically attributed to distractions.

"Far and away when we conduct our safety belt surveys, we see people on the phone, they're on the phone," said DeMott.

So it may not be that motorists don't know the rules... "No, we just fail to obey them," said Thomas. 

Michele DeMott recommends drivers take a refresher course, many times they can lower their insurance rates. You can also take a practice test on the state's Department of Motor Vehicles Web site to test your knowledge or at the GMAC INsurance National Drivers test on their web site at www.gmacinsurance.com.  

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