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Editor at Large

Idaho is No. 1 and we're No. 42

Idaho is No. 1 and New York is No. 50.

We’re not talking about potato production.

And we’re not talking about the percentage of conservatives who live in those states.

We’re talking about ranking the states in terms of who has the most-courteous drivers.

Idaho, where one figures that traffic jams are not an issue, tops the list, followed by New Mexico, Oregon, Montana and Alaska – rural states, to be sure.

New York drivers are the rudest, followed by South Carolina at 49, Arkansas at 48, Louisiana at 47 and Wisconsin at 46. (That counters the theory that rural states have more courteous drivers.)

Pennsylvania checks in on the politeness meter at a dismal 42, while New Jersey ranked 32. On the other hand, Pennsylvania motorists fared well in terms of not tailgating and fewer incidents of driver aggression.

The results are based on a survey done for kars4kids.org, a nonprofit that launched a campaign this summer to promote better driving habits. For the survey results, click here.

Perhaps not surprisingly in America, female drivers are much more courteous than their male counterparts. And older motorists (51-plus) are more courteous than younger drivers.

Other highlights for Pennsylvania motorists:

-- They only rate a “C” when it comes to using turn signals. (That grade seems about right.)

-- They get the same mediocre grade with respect to whether or not they would steal someone’s parking spot.

-- They rate a “D” for speeding up to stop someone from passing them. (This happens to me a couple times a week.)

-- And they get a “D” for letting a car merge in front of them in heavy traffic. (It’s been my experience that Pennsylvania drivers are more courteous than that.)

For more on kars4kids and its campaign for better driving, click here.

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Michael Drabenstott July 5, 2017 8:58 pm

I see Montana is 4th. It reminds me of a time 20 years ago in Helena. I was crossing the street -- jaywalking, actually -- with my sister when a car approached from the left. Accustomed to East Coast drivers, I retreated to the curb. My sister moved forward and said, "Oh, he'll stop." And he did. And waved us across with a smile. Culture shock!

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