The Nation's Dumbest Drivers by State

The Nation's Dumbest Drivers by State
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The Nation's Dumbest Drivers by State
How smart are drivers in America? Not very, according to the 4th annual GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test. 33 million licensed Americans would not pass a written drivers exam if taken today and may be unfit for the roads!

But where are the smartest and dumbest drivers? We count down the states that scored lowest to a new No. 1 dumbest-driver state and then reveal where the smartest drivers reside. So strap on your seat belts and see if your state is among the dumbest.

The national average score was 78.1%.
Average Score: 76.8%

Maryland residents' ranking plunged from middle of the pack in 2007 to the bottom 10 this year.

Random Fact:
Eighty-four percent of Americans could not identify the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow traffic light, and 73 percent could not properly identify a typical safe following distance from the car in front of them.
Average Score: 76.5%

West Virginia residents rank in the bottom 10 for the second straight year. In the first annual test in 2005, West Virginia ranked among the 10 smartest states.

Random Fact:
Nearly half (47 percent) of Americans don't know how many feet to signal before making right or left turns.
Average Score: 76.4%

Residents of the Bayou State have ranked in the bottom half every year. One positive this year was their average score improved 1 percent.

Random Fact:
Forty-three percent of Americans are unaware of the meaning of a diamond-shaped sign (warning sign).
Average Score: 76.3%

Residents of Hawaii may live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, but their driving skills could use some help.

Random Fact:
Fortunately, nearly all respondents (98 percent) know what to do when an emergency vehicle with flashing lights approaches, what to do when hydroplaning and the meaning of a solid yellow line.
Average Score: 75.7%

If Magnolia State residents don't have enough to worry about, they also have to deal with many poor drivers.

Random Fact:
Approximately three in five Americans believe that permit or license applicants should be required to take a standard, national written driver's test with questions applying to all 50 states.
Average Score: 75.5%

For the first time ever, Georgia residents fell to the bottom five. On the positive side, they too saw a slight improvement in their average score.

Random Fact:
Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that each state should have the same basic traffic safety regulations, such as speed limit, parking regulations and pedestrian right-of-way.
Average Score: 75.0%

For the fourth year in a row, Massachusetts has the fourth dumbest drivers in America.

Random Fact:
The Northeast had the lowest average test scores (76 percent) and the highest failure rates (19.8 percent).
Average Score: 74.0%

Empire State residents rank as the third dumbest, but that is a big improvement from last year when they ranked as the dumbest. Their average score saw the biggest improvement of any in the top 10.

Random Fact:
With age comes wisdom: The older the driver, the higher the test score. Drivers 35+ years old were most likely to pass.
Average Score: 72.9%

For the second time in three years, residents of our nation's capital rank as the second dumbest.

Random Fact:
Approximately two in three Americans believe that drivers should be required to re-take the DMV road test after a certain age.
Average Score: 69.9%

For the first time ever, New Jersey drivers rank as the dumbest. And to throw salt on the wound, they have the lowest average score ever. No score has been below 70 percent before.

Random Fact:
While average test scores between the genders were similar, women were more likely to fail the test than men (20 percent versus 13 percent)
Average Score: 84.0%

The home of Dorothy and the Jayhawks rises from fifth smartest to smartest in 2008. They just beat out Idaho and Nebraska which ranks second and third.

Random Fact:
The Midwest had the highest average test scores (81 percent) and the lowest failure rates.
Full State Rankings From GMAC
1. Multi-Tasking While Driving
2. Following Too Closely
3. Failure to Yield on a Left-Hand Turn
4. Incorrect Merging
5. Backing Up
Source: GMAC
We asked AOL users to share the best (and worst) excuses they have ever used to try and get out of traffic tickets. Some of their responses were doozies!

Click through our gallery as we highlight some of the funniest, strangest and most original excuses shared. But remember, if you don't speed, you won't have to be so creative yourself!

Best Traffic Ticket Excuses
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According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), preliminary crime data released by the FBI contains some positive news on the vehicle theft front. Not only is 2007 on track to be the fourth consecutive year of declining vehicle thefts, but if the preliminary figure of -7.4% holds, it will be the largest single year percent drop in thefts since 1999.

But that may be small comfort to the cities on this list. Click through our gallery as we count down the top 20 areas for vehicle theft in America.

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