Many drivers fail written tests, but that number may be higher than you realize. Recent results from CarInsurance.com show that half of 500 drivers failed to pass a test given to them. So, if you’re driving down the road and look at a driver next to you, one of you couldn’t pass. The test involves questions such as signs and rights of way. Most questions missed by test takers include when to stop for pedestrians and buses. Only two women and one man received perfect scores. Women averaged 78%, men 71%, and drivers under 40 scored worse, with an average of 67%.
The first driver’s license was issued in Mannheim, Germany in 1888. The first license in the US was 25 cents and a driver could get one by mail, without needing to pass any safety or skill tests. In 1903, Massachusetts and Missouri issued driver’s license tests, however they didn’t start testing until many years later. South Dakota waited until 1954 to mandate driver’s licenses, with tests starting in 1959. So, although the license is as old as vehicles, testing did not become common until more recently. Graduated driving systems have also altered the way licenses are given to teenage drivers, and the test to get those licenses have not changed much during the past decade. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the test was “weak,” especially when compared with other countries. There are 25 questions that take 25 minutes, and minimum passing requirements are 70-85%. Many states report a majority of its drivers failing the test. Missouri had 61% fail the written portion, while Mississippi had 60% fail, with Florida at 58%. Most drivers can re-take the test after waiting a day.
Considering failure rates for written and road tests, and surveys of drivers in each state, the NHTSA found that driving tests are mostly the same. The easiest tests were found to be in Arkansas, West Virginia, and Iowa. Many fail due to poor preparation, and a driving instructor advises that driving students read the road rules manual for their state and take practice tests.
For those struggling to pass, the good news is you can keep trying and failures will not be on your driving record. One driver in South Korea took the written test 960 times before passing. Autonomous cars could change the need for driver’s tests in the not-too-distant future, as well, according to news reports.
An investigation revealed that thousands of vehicles currently for sale in Central Florida have open safety recalls. Federal law prohibits the sale of new automobiles with open recalls, but there are currently no regulations concerning used vehicles. At one dealership in Orlando, the news organization found eight cars that had recalls without completed repairs when a CarFax report was run. When they asked the seller, they said the car was in good shape and ready to go. Florida has the third highest number of cars for sale over the internet with open recalls, according to news reports.
Drivers often feel more uncomfortable driving at night, when it is harder to see other cars on the road. Since it is already difficult to see the road ahead, it makes it worse when headlights are cloudy. Over time, sunlight, ozone, and pollution cause headlights to become hazy, and they pose a very serious threat to drivers and others on the roadway. There are some do-it-yourself kits that restore headlights. Drivers should also replace their wiper blades if they become ineffective and check windshield washer fluid, according to news reports.
A new form of transportation was introduced by Toyota at the Geneva Motor Show. The i-ROAD is an electric, completely enclosed two-seater with three-wheels. The “active lean” technology that’s part of the vehicle allows it to automatically balance the vehicle when its going through a corner or traveling over certain surfaces. They developed it to compete with the motorcycle, with more comfort, stability, and safety. The vehicle can only drive 30 miles at a time, however it can be re-charged at a conventional power supply in about three hours, according to news reports. Two can sit inside and no helmet is required.
A soccer player for Real Madrid was caught driving speeds over 130mph close to Madrid, Spain in an Audi that was given to him by the automaker. The 25-year-old appeared in court on Thursday. He was caught speeding by a radar trap, yet police could not pursue him due to safety reasons. However, they were able to get his license plate number. According to news reports, there were other vehicles speeding with him including Audis and Porsches, however another report said his was the only vehicle. He faces up to six months in jail and might lose his license for up to four years, according to news reports.
Many automobile speedometers say that a car can go up to 140mph, however cars often can’t get over 110mph. Why do so many vehicles put the maximum miles per hour so high, even if a vehicle can’t realistically go that speed? Many automaker marketing departments want to give drivers the illusion they can travel at high speeds because many Americans want to think they can go this fast, and this might mean the engine is better. Also, automakers often purchase one type of speedometer and use it across several different vehicle models to save money. Cars often can’t, and shouldn’t reach high speeds and freeway speed limits aren’t often higher than 75mph, according to news reports.
Snowy conditions throughout many areas are causing dangerous winter driving conditions. The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging drivers to winterize their vehicle. Drivers can do this by having fresh antifreeze, oil, and a good battery available at all times. Avoid driving roads that are not safe enough to avoid sliding off the road. Always inspect your vehicle prior to a trip, and make sure they tires, brakes, windshield wipers and wiper fluid are in good condition. Preparing an emergency kit with a flashlight, first-aid kid, medications, shovel, cables, foods, water, sand, clothing will also be helpful during an emergency, according to news reports.
A driver in Orangeburg County, South Carolina parked in the middle of the highway while intoxicated on Saturday. The motorist blocked traffic, and when officers pulled up to the vehicle, the driver drove away. They only made it one mile, although, when they stopped in the middle of the road again. The driver told police he drank liquor after taking medication. Two liquor bottles, half-empty, were discovered in the car. He was charged with public disorderly conduct and for having open containers, according to news reports.
Red Cross advises drivers to put together an emergency kit for your car, especially during winter storm season. In case you get stranded, an emergency kit can become incredibly valuable and potentially save your life. The kit should include blankets, hats, gloves, dry clothes, and socks. Flashlights, bottled water, non-perishable food, extra batteries, and a battery-powered radio are also highly advised. They also recommend putting a shovel in your car and a bag of sand or cat litter in case you get stuck, according to news reports.
Drivers in Michigan may not be able to avoid fines if a child passenger under the age of four is not in a proper safety seat. A bill was sent to the House to be considered which would fine the driver up to $103 if a child passenger is not in their safety seat. They can avoid this fee easily by buying a safety seat. The bill was passed by the state Senate 35-1, which also states that judges will no longer by required to wave court penalties. Michigan currently requires that children under 8 be placed in a booster seat, according to news reports.