Drivers, we’re really good - and really bad

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Idaho drivers are safe and rude.

Letís break that down, shall we?

Take a few moments to read the constructive opinion piece on Page 5 today. It should serve as a friendly reminder that weíre too often unfriendly to our fellow motorists. Whatís really ironic is that so many of the Californians who have moved here or visit frequently are exactly the type of people we should be welcoming with open arms, not flipping off or tailgating, for crying out loud. Many are fairly young retired cops and fire fighters. If there were a population recruitment agency, it could do far worse than go to California and entice retiring first-responders to call North Idaho home.

So the first order of business is to drop that ugly anti-California attitude. The second is to pat ourselves on the back, because in addition to our propensity toward being rude drivers, weíre also safe drivers.

Thatís according to a study published last week on a site called 24/7 Wall St. (247wallst. com). According to the site, Idaho ranks 7th among states with the safest drivers. Some of the criteria used in the study include phone use rate while driving, speeding rate, 2016 motor vehicle death rate, and seat belt use. Idaho ranked 24th in phone usage rate, 4th in speeding rate, 15th in death rate, and tied for 11th in seat belt use.

The safest states, in order, were Montana at No. 1, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, Vermont, North Dakota, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota and Iowa.

The worst? Rhode Island, followed in descending order by Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland and Nevada.

California, by the way, ranked 39th, just above Nevada. Other Idaho neighbors and their ranking: Washington (17th safest), Utah (13) and Oregon (11).

You can see all the rankings and the methodology used in the study by going to: http://bit.ly/2yGMhbM

In the meantime, with rotten road conditions rapidly headed our way, now is the time for more consideration, not less, of our fellow travelers.

Slow down, obey the rules of the road and try to smile. Itís easier than hoisting an arm and middle finger.

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