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Driver-Ed Refresher

Traffic fatalities last year were the highest in a decade, and most of them were caused by bad driving. It stands to reason that better driver's education would help save lives.

A coalition of highway-safety advocates (including the National Association of Police Organizations and the National Sheriff's Association) are challenging Americans to retest their driving knowledge. Their effort is called "Drive for Life: The National Safe Driving Test & Initiative," and any drivers who think they don't need some reeducation on traffic rules might be advised to humbly take the test on the coalition's website: www.safedrivingtest.com.

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According to a poll commissioned by the coalition, drivers, not poor road conditions or vehicle-safety issues, remain the greatest threat to road safety. In fact, 7 of 10 respondents said people are driving less safely now than in the past.

Those drivers aged 26 to 44 admit to the most dangerous habits, such as speeding, eating, running red lights, talking on a cellphone, or driving while drowsy - all behaviors that have been documented as associated with crashes. And 91 percent of respondents admitted to engaging in at least one of a list of 10 such identified habits in the past six months.

That last figure is especially ironic, as more than half of those polled (57 percent) said "inattentive drivers" were the greatest traffic-safety risk.