And the worst drivers in the country are…
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And the worst drivers in the country are…

New Yorkers. Surprise!

Don’t feel bad, though, New Jerseyans. According to GMAC Insurance’s 2009 National Drivers Test, New Jersey ranked 49th in driving skills so we have almost the worst drivers in the country. Last year the Garden State ranked 50th so somewhere along the way we improved. My theory? It’s because some percentage of our bad drivers made aliyah and now they’re contributing to the Jewish state’s reputation for having the worst drivers in the world. (Side note: an Israeli tour guide – who was originally from Saddle Brook, N.J. – on a recent trip said that Israeli drivers are like New York drivers but with attitude.)

Not that having the worst drivers in the country is something to be proud of, but I feel a little cheated by these results.

I discussed this poll with a friend last night and we came to another conclusion about why Jersey drivers are worse: New Jersey drivers can speed. New York drivers (in the city anyway) cannot. Think about it. When do you ever get the opportunity to speed in the city? Between all the lights, the taxis, and the pedestrians walking out into the road whenever they feel like, you’ve got to go at a snail’s pace. Unless you’re on one of the highways, of course.

Another reason for New Jersey’s bad driving? Road rage. This state practically invented the jughandle. Making a left turn should not be as difficult as it is here. And don’t get me started about merging on and off the highways. You’ve got to drive as maniacally as everybody else in order to avoid getting creamed.

And really, are the majority of the people from New York state bad drivers? Or is this test basing its conclusions just on New York City?

On the other hand, perhaps I am looking at this the wrong way. Perhaps New Jersey drivers are simply more skilled because we deal with these problems more regularly than New York drivers and then we go drive in New York on top of all that.

Yeah, that must be it. I now submit to you that rather than having the second worst drivers in the country, New Jersey has the toughest drivers in the country. Where’s that test, GMAC?

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