KSNF/KODE — Traffic, road conditions and the cost of vehicle maintenance are all things that can make drivers grip the steering wheel a bit tighter. These conditions vary across states for a variety of reasons, including population, weather, and government investments.
Personal finance website, WalletHub took a look at all 50 states to determine which are the best — and the worst — to drive in. To rank the states, WalletHub used four qualifications for comparision: Cost of ownership and maintenance, traffic and infrastructure, safety, and access to vehicles and maintenance.
Researchers then broke those qualifications down into things like average gas prices, the share of rush-hour traffic congestion, number of days with precipitation, road quality, traffic fatality rate, car theft rate, and auto-repair shops per capita.
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As for the worst states to drive: Missouri took 45th place just behind Maryland and Rhode Island. Washington took 49th place behind Hawaii. The state ranked 47th among all states for its cost of vehicle ownership and maintenance and 39th among states for traffic and infrastructure.
On the other hand, Kansas and Oklahoma made the top 10 list, regarding best states to drive in. Oklahoma even made the top 5, coming in at 4th place. The Sunflower State (Kansas) took 9th. Near the middle of the pack is the state of Arkansas which is ranked 35th by WalletHub.
Hawaii, one of the most desirable vacation destinations, came in dead last thanks to the high cost of car ownership, state of the infrastructure and limited access to vehicles and maintenance, the study found.
Top 10 Best And Worst States To Drive In
According to WalletHub, these are the ten worst states to drive in:
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
As for the 10 best states to drive in, as listed by WalletHub:
- North Carolina
WalletHub asked experts how states can reduce the number of traffic fatalities. Arman Sargolzaei, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Southern Florida said the vast majority of U.S. traffic accidents are entirely or partially due to human error.
“A shift in responsibilities from the human driver to self-driving cars can potentially reduce accidents,” said Sargolzaei.
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Shannon Roberts, an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst also said the biggest risk for drivers continues to be not wearing a seat belt or being under the influence while driving.
“Whatever states can do to encourage seat belt usage and discourage driving after drinking/drug usage would help prevent traffic fatalities,” said Roberts.
You can find the full report by WalletHub, HERE.