Every time we look up, it seems, there's a survey about this or a study about that, or a finding about some other thing that makes us want to lie down in a dark room with a cold compress on our foreheads.

The most-recent example came courtesy of something called the 2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test, which pronounced New York drivers as the worst in the whole United States of America.

The test determined that our state's drivers know little about the rules of the road.

This insight was determined as the result of an online survey given to 5,202 licensed drivers from throughout the U.S., with at least 100 people responding from each state and the District of Columbia.

This whole "worst in the nation" assertion was based on 20 questions gauging drivers' knowledge of such topics as merging, flashing yellow lights and yield signs, and texting while driving.

Our response to that?


Determining the nation's worst and best drivers by dint of a 20-question survey makes no sense at all.

For instance, a newspaper editor might do better than a NASCAR driver on a test based on a careful study of street driving rules. But trust us, you wouldn't want the editor behind the wheel of any car at the Daytona 500.

When we asked a few of our local residents about their state's ranking, some were quick to blame New York City's reputably aggressive drivers.

"They don't know anything," said longtime area driving instructor Pat Grasso, who also submitted that the GMAC rankings are arbitrary.

"There are a lot of poor drivers in New York City," said Carol Davis of Morris, "but you can't judge (the state) by one place."

In case you're curious about which state ranked highest in the GMAC questionnaire, it's Kansas.

Yes, Kansas, where the main traffic risk is probably driving into a silo while counting corn husks at the side of the road.

Give us a break.

Say what you will about New York City drivers _ and those of us who occasionally drive into the metropolis _ it takes guts, cunning and nerves of steel to wedge into the cash toll lane going into the Holland Tunnel.

Seemingly defying the laws of physics to parallel park into an impossibly small spot in the Lower East Side? Let's see some Kansan do that.

And we'll match our rural drivers on two-lane roads in Delaware and Otsego counties with any that Dorothy encountered when she returned to Kansas from Oz.

The next survey we hope to read is about how dumb a lot of these surveys can be.

We'll gladly believe that one.

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