According to a study by AAA, Americans spend roughly 70 billion hours driving each year. However, as anyone who has driven in different parts of the country knows, the particular state or city in which you are driving can have a significant impact on the quality of your ride.
From congestion to road quality to how much a gallon of gas costs, each state offers drivers different advantages and disadvantages.
To find out which state is the best overall for drivers, as well as which ones come out on top in a variety of other categories, Expertise.com compared 18 different metrics to determine which states are the best and worst for drivers in 2021.
To create our list of the best states for drivers, Expertise.com compared all 50 states based on 17 metrics, divided in three subcategories: Safety, Car Ownership and Repair Costs, and Traffic and Infrastructure Conditions.
Each metric was graded on a 10-point scale, and weighted based on importance. We determined each state’s weighted average, which was then used to calculate an overall rank, as well as ranks for each of the three sub-categories.
Below are the 18 metrics and their corresponding weights:
- Traffic fatalities per capita (2)
- Speeding-related fatalities (2)
- Seatbelt usage (1.5)
- Legal driving age (1)
- Car theft rates (1)
Car Ownership and Maintenance Costs
- Average gas price (2)
- Average annual car insurance premium (2)
- Average car repair cost (1.5)
- Average annual registration fees (1.5)
- Toll roads (1)
- Car dealerships per capita (1)
Traffic and Infrastructure Conditions
- Average commute time (2)
- Rush hour congestion (2)
- Weather conditions (average annual precipitation) (1.5)
- Road quality (1.5)
- Bridge quality (1)
- Infrastructure investment (1)
Best and Worst States for Drivers
Iowa ranks #1 as best state for drivers
With high scores, particularly in the safety and car ownership and maintenance cost categories, Iowa topped the list as the best state for drivers.
Across the country, California, notorious for heavy traffic, especially in the Los Angeles metro area, came in last place, making it the worst overall state for drivers.
New Jersey tops list of safest states for driving
With a rate of seatbelt usage, as well as a low rate of traffic fatalities per capita, New Jersey ranked number one as the safest state for drivers.
For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report https://www.expertise.com/research/best-states-for-drivers