Are Maryland Drivers Dumb?

Maryland drivers are ranked just behind Washington, D.C. as the dumbest drivers in the country, ranking 49th in driver knowledge a new GMAC Insurance study. Last year, Maryland ranked 20th.

Statistically, it is a remarkable shift that could not be the result of mere chance. There are two possible explanations for the disparity. The first is that the rest of the nation is working hard on learning about driver safety and Maryland is just not keeping up. This appears to be the view of the “Take Everything at Face Value” Baltimore Sun, which draws with ease meaningful conclusions from this study.

The second is that this GMAC Insurance study uses the same rigorous methodology as my mom’s study on the efficacy of Vitamin C (her kids did not get sick much) and the only reason GMAC Insurance puts out this silly study is to attract publicity from idiots like me and, more importantly, the Baltimore Sun, reminding everyone that GMAC Insurance still exists.

I mean, really, what happened in the last year to our driving abilities?

You know, this is the kind of garbage that makes us ignore real studies when they do come out.

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  • Joe

    I agree with you that the methodology is suspect. For example, the use of each states’ driver’s test makes the survey as much about the difficulty of the test as it is about the competence of the test taker.

    However, you say “[s]tatistically, it is a remarkable shift that could not be the result of mere chance.” Actually, as I posted on the Sun blog, it probably is the result of chance. As best I can calculate (we don’t have complete information on the survey and my statistics skills are rusty) the 95% confidence interval is +/-8% which means that any comparison between two states (even the highest: Kansas at 83%; versus the lowest: DC at 73%) is not statistically significant and thus may be due to chance. This is also true for comparisons from year to year.

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