Poll: Older Drivers More Savvy About Traffic Laws

May 26, 2009

Are Washington drivers so polite that it causes traffic issues? That’s the question tackled by a recent poll by Pemco Insurance, examining whether drivers have a solid understanding of the laws governing four-way stops.

“We’ve all been at four-way stops when everyone seems to want everyone else to go first, leading to the awkward go-no-you-go situation,” said Jon Osterberg, Pemco spokesman. “What the poll showed is that the vast majority of Washington drivers have a solid understanding of the law, which makes us wonder what other factors lead to this behavior.”

According to the Revised Code of Washington driving laws, when two cars approach or enter an intersection at approximately the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right, a law that 89 percent of Washington drivers correctly identified in the poll.

The survey noted there is little confusion among drivers of all ages about who has the legal right-of-way at intersections. However, results indicated that drivers 55 and older are more familiar with the law than their younger counterparts — 96 percent of older drivers correctly identified the vehicle on the right as having the right-of-way, while 84 percent of those younger than 35 offered the correct response.

Additional poll results show that drivers are savvy to other common intersection foibles, but are less sure when it comes to the laws that govern these situations. Specifically, about two-thirds (65 percent) of drivers of all ages understand that it’s legal to turn right if the car directly across from you is passing straight through the intersection.

About three out of four people (76 percent) know that when drivers approach a roundabout intersection, they must travel all the way around the circle if they’re making a left turn, the poll revealed.

Pemco Insurance commissioned the independent survey that asked drivers in Washington state several questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 602 respondents, yielded an accuracy of +/- 4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Source: Pemco

Topics Washington Personal Auto

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