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Top 5 Best and Worst States for Driving in 2018

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Car-related costs for repairs and average car insurance rates, road conditions and traffic vary widely by state. But which is the best state for driving? And which are the worst states? What we found was that no one state aced or failed every metric. Instead, states may perform well in one category and come near the bottom in another.

Read further to see the top and bottom states based on the following eight motoring metrics:

    • Insurance costs: Percentage of annual income spent on car insurance
    • Traffic fatalities: Deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled
    • Extra costs associated with road conditions: Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist
    • Traffic congestion: Public road mileage and the number of registered vehicles
    • Gas: Average regular gas prices
    • Roads: Percentage of roads in poor/mediocre condition
    • Uninsured drivers: Percentage of uninsured motorists
    • Car repair costs: The average cost of car repairs (both parts and labor)

If you don't see your state in the top five and bottom five here, find where your state ranks in our complete "Best and worst states for drivers" ranking.

Rank No. 1: Minnesota

Utah road

  • Insurance Spent: 1.69% of median income spent on insurance
  • Uninsured drivers: Estimated percent of uninsured drivers is 11.5%
  • Traffic fatalities: Annual traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is 0.66
  • Gas Price : Average gas price is $2.49
  • Car Repair Costs: Average car repair costs parts/labor is $363
  • Road Conditions: Percent of roads in mediocre/poor condition is 52%
  • Annual Extra Vehicle Repairs/Operating Costs: Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist is $250
  • Traffic Congestion Score: Public road mileage divided by number of registered vehicles gives traffic congestion score of 17

 

Rank No. 2: Vermont

Minnesota road 

  • Insurance Spent: 1.60% of median income spent on insurance
  • Uninsured drivers: Estimated percent of uninsured drivers is 6.8%
  • Traffic fatalities: Annual traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is 0.85
  • Gas Price : Average gas price is $2.47
  • Car Repair Costs: Average car repair costs parts/labor is $360
  • Road Conditions: Percent of roads in mediocre/poor condition is 45%
  • Annual Extra Vehicle Repairs/Operating Costs: Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist is $424
  • Traffic Congestion Score: Public road mileage divided by number of registered vehicles gives traffic congestion score of 19.3

Rank No. 3: Nebraska

New Hampshire roads

  • Insurance Spent: 1.62% of median income spent on insurance
  • Uninsured drivers: Estimated percent of uninsured drivers is 6.8%
  • Traffic fatalities: Annual traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is 1.05
  • Gas Price : Average gas price is $2.56
  • Car Repair Costs: Average car repair costs parts/labor is $364
  • Road Conditions: Percent of roads in mediocre/poor condition is 59%
  • Annual Extra Vehicle Repairs/Operating Costs: Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist is $282
  • Traffic Congestion Score: Public road mileage divided by number of registered vehicles gives traffic congestion score of 9.5

Rank No. 4: Ohio

Virginia road

  • Insurance Spent: 1.76% of median income spent on insurance
  • Uninsured drivers: Estimated percent of uninsured drivers is 12.4%
  • Traffic fatalities: Annual traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is 0.95
  • Gas Price : Average gas price is $2.51
  • Car Repair Costs: Average car repair costs parts/labor is $349
  • Road Conditions: Percent of roads in mediocre/poor condition is 42%
  • Annual Extra Vehicle Repairs/Operating Costs: Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist is $212
  • Traffic Congestion Score: Public road mileage divided by number of registered vehicles gives traffic congestion score of 37.3

Rank No. 5: Maine

Vermont road

  • Insurance Spent: 2.34% of median income spent on insurance
  • Uninsured drivers: Estimated percent of uninsured drivers is 4.5%
  • Traffic fatalities: Annual traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is 1.07
  • Gas Price : Average gas price is $2.63
  • Car Repair Costs: Average car repair costs parts/labor is $344
  • Road Conditions: Percent of roads in mediocre/poor condition is 53%
  • Annual Extra Vehicle Repairs/Operating Costs: Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist is $245
  • Traffic Congestion Score: Public road mileage divided by number of registered vehicles gives traffic congestion score of 22.5

Rank No. 51: Arkansas

California road

 

  • Insurance Spent: 2.95% of median income spent on insurance
  • Uninsured drivers: Estimated percent of uninsured drivers is 16.6%
  • Traffic fatalities: Annual traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is 1.51
  • Gas Price : Average gas price is $2.69
  • Car Repair Costs: Average car repair costs parts/labor is $374
  • Road Conditions: Percent of roads in mediocre/poor condition is 39%
  • Annual Extra Vehicle Repairs/Operating Costs: Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist is $308
  • Traffic Congestion Score: Public road mileage divided by number of registered vehicles gives traffic congestion score of 9.9

Rank No. 50: Florida

Oklahoma road

  • Insurance Spent: 3.56% of median income spent on insurance
  • Uninsured drivers: Estimated percent of uninsured drivers is 26.7%
  • Traffic fatalities: Annual traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is 1.44
  • Gas Price : Average gas price is $2.61
  • Car Repair Costs: Average car repair costs parts/labor is $376
  • Road Conditions: Percent of roads in mediocre/poor condition is 26%
  • Annual Extra Vehicle Repairs/Operating Costs: Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist is $128
  • Traffic Congestion Score: Public road mileage divided by number of registered vehicles gives traffic congestion score of 53.0

Rank No. 49: Louisiana

Louisiana road

 

  • Insurance Spent: 5.19% of median income spent on insurance
  • Uninsured drivers: Estimated percent of uninsured drivers is 13%
  • Traffic fatalities: Annual traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is 1.53
  • Gas Price : Average gas price is $2.43
  • Car Repair Costs: Average car repair costs parts/labor is $374
  • Road Conditions: Percent of roads in mediocre/poor condition is 62%
  • Annual Extra Vehicle Repairs/Operating Costs: Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist is $408
  • Traffic Congestion Score: Public road mileage divided by number of registered vehicles gives traffic congestion score of 31.4

Rank No. 48: Connecticut

Wisconsin road

  • Insurance Spent: 2.33% of median income spent on insurance
  • Uninsured drivers: Estimated percent of uninsured drivers is 9.4%
  • Traffic fatalities: Annual traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is 0.92
  • Gas Price : Average gas price is $2.75
  • Car Repair Costs: Average car repair costs parts/labor is $411
  • Road Conditions: Percent of roads in mediocre/poor condition is 73%
  • Annual Extra Vehicle Repairs/Operating Costs: Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist is $294
  • Traffic Congestion Score: Public road mileage divided by number of registered vehicles gives traffic congestion score of 67.4

Rank No. 47: California

Mississippi road

  • Insurance Spent: 2.28% of median income spent on insurance
  • Uninsured drivers: Estimated percent of uninsured drivers is 15.2%
  • Traffic fatalities: Annual traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is 0.99
  • Gas Price : Average gas price is $3.53
  • Car Repair Costs: Average car repair costs parts/labor is $365
  • Road Conditions: Percent of roads in mediocre/poor condition is 68%
  • Annual Extra Vehicle Repairs/Operating Costs: Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist is $586
  • Traffic Congestion Score: Public road mileage divided by number of registered vehicles gives traffic congestion score of 78.6

Methodology

US road map

No matter where you live, you can save money on coverage by doing a car insurance comparison of at least three different companies. That’s because each insurer uses its own formula when deciding what you pay, so the price for the same policy can differ by hundreds of dollars. You should shop your policy at renewal time each year, and also if you’ve moved, had an accident, bought a car or home, had a change in your credit score, got married or added a driver to your policy.

Methodology:

Weighted rankings were calculated based on the following:

  • Percentage of annual income spent on car insurance: 20%
  • Deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled: 20%
  • Annual extra vehicle repairs/operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing per motorist: 15%
  • Traffic congestion: 15%
  • Average regular gas prices: 10%
  • Percentage of roads in poor/mediocre condition: 10%
  • Percentage of uninsured motorists: 5%
  • The average cost of car repairs: 5%

Sources:

  • Average annual cost of insurance
  • CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to field rates from six major insurers in 10 ZIP codes of each state
  • Median household income
  • 2016 U.S. Census data
  • Deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2016
  • Traffic congestion
  • Federal Highway Administration 2010 data for number of registered vehicles and 2013 data for public road mileage
  • Gas prices
  • American Automobile Association, April 11, 2018
  • Percent of roads in poor/mediocre condition
  • Estimated cost per motorist in the state to repair roads and bridges
  • U.S. Department of Transportation, 2016
  • Uninsured motorists
  • Insurance Information Institute, 2015 (posted in 2017)
  • Repair costs
  • CarMD, 2017

Note: Some of these data points did not include the District of Columbia. In those cases, we gave the district the median rating in the weighted average.

 

 

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