In our previous post, we began discussing the results of a recent GMAC Insurance survey, which concluded that New Jersey drivers are among the least knowledgeable drivers in the nation in terms of driver’s safety rules.
Critics of the survey note not only that New Jersey has made significant improvements in terms of decreased highway accidents, decreased fatal crashes, extremely high seat-belt use (96 percent), but also that population density in New Jersey is among the highest in the nation. They also point out that the number of drivers surveyed was a very small selection of the New Jersey population. Numerous safety efforts aimed at encouraging drivers to avoid distracted and drunk driving were also part of the criticism of the survey
GMAC representatives said the 85 percent of those surveyed weren’t able to indicate the correct action to take if they approached a steady yellow traffic light. Only 25 percent of individuals surveyed could identify safe following distances.
While some dismissed the survey results as inaccurate, others took them differently. According to Pam Fischer, former New Jersey Division of High Traffic Safety director, the point of the survey is to challenge drivers to become more educated on safe driving practices. Others concurred, saying that it is drivers’ responsibility to maintain updated knowledge of the rules of the road, to engage in safe driving practices, and to be aware of up-to-date vehicle technology designed to make motor vehicle operation safer, such as anti-lock brakes, traction control, and electronic stability control.
Source: Delaware Online, “NJ ranks among worst in nation on driver’s test,” Larry Higgs, 13 June 2011.