The Best and Worst States for Driving

Drivers tend to fare better in states that share one key characteristic. Find out what it is.

The Best and Worst States for Driving Photo (cc) by gustaffo89

Drivers tend to fare better in states with large amounts of rural space.

That’s partly because smaller communities generally have lower costs of living and partly because they have fewer residents, a Bankrate analysis shows.

Bankrate explains:

Some parts of the country are clearly better suited for cars than others. Tightly packed communities, especially those designed when horse carts were the primary way to get around, weren’t built to be negotiated by a stream of gas-chugging vehicles.

Rural locations are much better. In fact, states that are known for their open spaces did extremely well in Bankrate’s ranking of the best states for drivers.

Bankrate ranked states based on the website’s analysis of six factors, which were weighted equally:

  • Number of fatal crashes
  • Number of car thefts
  • Car repair costs
  • Gasoline spending
  • Insurance premiums
  • Commute time

The analysis is based on data from several federal agencies as well as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the Oil Price Information Service and CarMD.

Idaho came out on top due to low gas and insurance costs, below-average thefts and short commute times, according to the Bankrate.

The five best states for drivers are:

  • Idaho
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming
  • Wisconsin
  • Minnesota

Among the worst-ranked states, Louisiana came out last primarily due to having the highest car insurance costs and an above-average fatal crash rate.

The five worst states for drivers (with the worst ranked at the bottom) are:

  • New Jersey
  • Maryland
  • Texas
  • California
  • Louisiana

To see where your state ranked, click on the first link above.

If you need help finding new or better auto insurance (or an auto loan), be sure to visit the Money Talks News Solutions Center.

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