Abels & Annes

Study shows Chicago drivers could benefit from reviewing the rules of the road

Over 20 percent of drivers in the United States, approximately 36.9 million of them, would fail a driving test if they had to take one today, Yahoo news is reporting. This is according to a new survey of motorists nationwide done by GMAC Insurance.

Our Chicago injury lawyers note that this statistic is actually an improvement compared to last year, when 38 million drivers were unfit to be on the road. Nationally this year the average score was 77.9%, compared to 76.2% in 2010. The results indicate that many drivers on the road could have dangerous driving habits, which could in turn lead to a higher number of Illinois traffic collisions.

Here are some of the highlights of the survey:

-85% of the drivers in the survey did not know the proper actions to take while approaching a yellow light;

-75% of motorists did not know safe following distances;

-Drivers in the Midwest scored the highest on the test, while drivers in the Northeast scored the lowest;

-The oldest group of drivers tested, ages 60 to 65, scored the highest on the test at 80.3%;

-Wyoming scored the highest of all states, where more than 95% of drivers passed the test; and
– Of major cities, Washington D.C. fared the worst on the test.

The annual GMAC drivers test was given to 5130 drivers from the 50 states. It’s a 20 question exam with questions taken from state department of motor vehicles exams.

As a lawyer that has been handling auto accident claims for many years, I can tell you that the results of this test does not surprise me. Every week I deal with personal injury cases where a driver involved either 1. did not know the rules of the road or 2. failed to obey the rules of the road.

Here are some of the rules that are most often violated:

My office often receives phone calls from drivers who have been injured when they failed to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic while making a left turn. They usually have similar excuses, such as the other driver came out of nowhere, or the other driver must have been speeding because otherwise they would have seen them. We always decline these cases. At the same time, we often represent drivers who were injured by motorists who failed to yield while turning left.

Some of the other most common violations I come across would be driving too fast for conditions and following too closely. Usually this rule of the road violation results in the driver rear ending the vehicle in front of them.

Another violation I often deal with, which can be the most deadly, is failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. So often motorists in urban areas are busy looking out for the danger of other vehicles, they forget to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians who are defenseless and can be severely injured by even a light impact.

The same can be said for bicycle accidents. In my experience, drivers turning left will often yield to oncoming motor vehicle traffic and forget to pay attention to bicyclists. Or drivers forget to look for bike riders when opening car doors. Even slow speed bike accidents can result in serious trauma.


If you have been hurt in an Illinois auto accident where another driver failed to obey the rules of the road, contact the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free case evaluation. Call 312-475-9595.