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Top 6 Best and Worst States to Drive In

Is YOUR state one of the worst to drive in? Let’s find out!

While many folks love their cars, driving in them is something else, especially if you live in a city that’s known for traffic. You get behind the wheel, start the engine, and commute to work deciding it’s gonna be a good day. Until you’re forced to sit in a traffic jam.

But there are other things that can ruin a perfect trip in the car: gas prices, road hazards, and basically everything that can make driving less enjoyable. There’s no denying that drivers in certain areas of our country experience these issues more often than others, and there is also new data that reveals which people have it the best, and the worst.

Without further ado, here are the top 6 best and worst states to drive in!

Photo by Pushish Images at Shutterstock

Bets states for drivers

1. Ohio

According to the latest data, Ohio ranks as the best state for drivers. Although the Buckeye State boasts an average percentage of traffic-related deaths and ranks middle-of-the-road in the driving quality evaluation, Ohio is one of the most affordable places for drivers.

On average, Ohio is the second-cheapest state for car repairs and has the second-cheapest annual full-coverage car insurance premiums in the country. Plus, research shows that Ohioans are more likely to wear their seatbelts compared to residents in most other states.

2. Iowa

In terms of safety and weather, Iowa belongs in the middle of the pack. According to driving quality standards, the state ranks sixth-best on the list; it is also ranked the fourth-cheapest state for drivers. These two characteristics make Iowa one of the best US states for drivers overall.

The annual full-coverage car insurance in Iowa costs $467 less than the national average. On top of this, its residents pay an average of $356.57 yearly on auto repairs, which is less than the amount spent by residents from other states.

3. Utah

Utah stands in the top 10 best states for driving quality, safety, and weather. The state boasts fewer bridges in bad condition, fewer traffic-related deaths per year, and less time spent in a traffic jam than in 44 other states.

While gas prices in this state tend to be higher than the average, Utah drivers pay an average of $368 less for full coverage car insurance compared to drivers in most other states.

4. Idaho

Idaho ranks third place in terms of auto insurance premiums costs, with the average full coverage insurance costing about $629 less per year than the national norm. When it comes to driving quality standards, this state ranks second.

Idaho has the lowest percentage of bad road conditions, and its residents spend the fewest hours in traffic congestion than the national average.

5. Indiana

Indiana is a pretty safe place to drive around, at least according to recent data. In fact, this state ranks in the top 10 best states for driving quality, weather, and safety. But that’s not all. Indiana received a high mark under the cost of maintenance and ownership category, which includes auto-maintenance costs, average annual car insurance premium, and average gas prices.

For instance, Indiana drivers spend an average of $420 less than the national average on annual full-coverage car insurance. The state also has one of the lowest rates of traffic-related deaths and one of the highest rates of seatbelt use in the country.

6. Texas

According to recent data, Texas is one of the safest states to drive in. The metric included criteria like traffic fatality rate and traffic indiscipline indicators like phone use, aggressive acceleration, speeding, poor turning, and harsh braking.

Texas also boasts great access to vehicles and maintenance, which includes auto-repair shops per capita and car dealerships per capita. On top of that, this state ranks among states with the lowest average gas prices and the fewest days of precipitation.

Photo by SAHACHATZ at Shutterstock

Worst states for drivers

1. California

Surprising or not, California keeps ranking as the worst state for drivers. While the Golden State ranks reasonably well for safety and boasts some of the best weather in the country, it came in seventh place for worst driving quality.

But that’s not all; it is also the most expensive state for drivers in the whole country, ranking the most expensive state for vehicle repairs and gas and also the eighth most pricey state for car insurance.

Plus, California sees the most DUI citations of any state per year, with 120,262 in 2019.

2. Louisiana

Driving in Louisiana is quite pricey. The average car insurance rates in the state are the highest in the US, coming in at $2,724 for full coverage, which is $1,050 more expensive than the national average.

In addition to being one of the least affordable states for drivers, Louisiana also has a high rate of traffic-related deaths and significant urbanized congestion.

According to recent data, the overall car accident death rate in Louisiana is 1.43 per 100 million miles traveled. When it comes to careless driving, the state has a pedestrian death rate of 2.54 per capita, as well as a cyclist death rate of 0.47 per capita.

3. Rhode Island

Despite being the smallest state in the country, Rhode Island has become a big headache for those who drive there. In fact, it ranks as the fifth worst state for driving quality standards and the fourth worst for drivers overall.

The state has a high number of bridges and roads in disrepair, and its residents spend more time stuck in traffic than drivers in most other states, on average. On top of that, Rhode Island drivers spend more money on their car insurance, paying an average of $344 more for annual car insurance than drivers in the rest of the country.

4. Maryland

Not only is Maryland a dangerous state to drive in, but also an expensive one. This is primarily due to poor road quality and high car insurance costs. Maryland drivers typically spend hundreds of dollars more annually for full coverage car insurance than drivers in 40 other states.

The state’s infrastructure quality came to rank worse than the national average, not to mention that the urban congestion rate is pretty high there. In fact, Maryland ranks dead last in the traffic & infrastructure category, covering everything from road quality and rush-hour traffic to the increase in highway travel and the number of icy days.

5. Colorado

Here’s another state that you may want to think twice before driving in. The weather conditions aren’t an issue in Colorado. In fact, in terms of driving-related weather metrics, this state is one of the best places to drive in. However, Colorado is one of the most expensive states for drivers.

Its residents contend with high auto insurance costs and gas prices. For instance, the annual full coverage car insurance premiums cost on average $342 more than the national average.

Colorado drivers also deal with a higher level of traffic congestion and poorer road quality than the national average.

Photo by RAW-films at Shutterstock

6. Hawaii

Despite its globally famous natural beauty, Hawaii ranks as one of the worst states to drive in. Here’s one reason: the state is one of the worst places for speeding-related fatal car accidents.

In fact, about 48% of fatal crashes in Hawaii involved speeding, so you may want to be very careful when driving in there. As a result, this state has the highest percentage of speeding-related fatal crashes in the country.

Its residents also deal with one of the highest average gas prices and auto maintenance costs. When it comes to careless driving, the fatality rate of pedestrians is 2.36 per capita and 0.28 for cyclists.

So if you decide to go biking in this beautiful state, be sure to pack your protective gear. We recommend this Retrospec Bike-Helmet from Amazon.

You may also be interested in Most Adventurous Road Trips to Take in the US!

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