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2020's best & worst states to drive in

While the results are based on automobiles, truckers can judge for themselves whether they agree with the findings since they share the same roads and highways

With U.S. traffic congestion costing American drivers $87 billion in 2018 and the U.S. ranked 17th in the world in road quality, the personal-finance website WalletHub just released its report on 2020's Best & Worst States to Drive in as well as accompanying videos. To determine the most driver-friendly states in the U.S., WalletHub compared the 50 states across 31 key metrics. The data set ranges from average gas prices to share of rush-hour traffic congestion to road quality.

Best States for Driving Worst States for Driving

1. Iowa                                            41. Montana

2. Tennessee                                 42. Alaska

3. North Carolina                          43. New Jersey

4. Texas                                         44. West Virginia

5. Nebraska                                   45. Maryland

6. Georgia                                      46. Colorado

7. Virginia                                      47. California

8. Indiana                                      48. Washington

9. Arkansas                                   49. Rhode Island

10. Alabama                                 50. Hawaii

Best vs. Worst

  • Mississippi has the lowest share of rush-hour traffic congestion, 17.00 percent, which is five times lower than in California, the state with the highest at 85.00 percent.
  • Mississippi has the lowest average regular gas price, $2.21 per gallon, which is 1.7 times lower than in Hawaii, the state with the highest at $3.66 per gallon.
  • Vermont has the fewest car thefts (per 1,000 residents), 0.40, which is 13.6 times fewer than in Alaska, the state with the most at 5.42.
  • California has the most auto-repair shops (per square root of the population), 1.529352, which is 7.2 times more than in Hawaii, the state with the fewest at 0.213839.
  • Maine has the lowest average car insurance rate, $845, which is 3.1 times lower than in Michigan, the state with the highest at $2,611.

Methodology

To help drivers identify the states that provide the best commuting conditions, WalletHub compared the 50 states across four key dimensions: 1) cost of ownership & maintenance, 2) traffic & infrastructure, 3) safety and 4) access to vehicles & maintenance.

WalletHub evaluated those dimensions using 31 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best for drivers.

Finally, WalletHub determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the following scores to rank-order our sample.

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