Study: Iowa best state to drive in, Hawaii is the worst

January 24, 2022

Land Line Staff


By sharing sovereignty with the federal government, all 50 states have their own characteristics, including driving environment. Wallethub has quantified those environments to rank the best and worst states in which to drive.

To determine the best states to drive in, personal finance website Wallethub analyzes each state using 31 metrics under the categories of cost of ownership/maintenance, traffic/infrastructure, safety and access to vehicles/maintenance. Based on those criteria, the best states to drive in are:

  1. Iowa
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Kansas
  4. North Carolina
  5. Texas
  6. Georgia
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Tennessee
  9. Illinois
  10. Indiana

And the worst states to drive in?

  1. Hawaii
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Delaware
  4. California
  5. Maryland
  6. Washington
  7. Colorado
  8. Michigan
  9. Missouri
  10. Wyoming

Source: WalletHub


A lot has changed in a year.

New Hampshire, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are no longer among the top 10 worst states for driving.

Michigan, Missouri and Wyoming are new to that list. Dropping off the top 10 best states list are Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Ohio and South Dakota. Those states have been replaced by Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

Accounting only for traffic and infrastructure, North Dakota holds the No. 1 spot while Maryland is last. Connecticut is the safest state to drive in. Montana is the least safe state for drivers. The cost of ownership and maintenance is cheapest in Tennessee. Meanwhile, drivers are spending the most in California, but Californians have the most access to vehicles and maintenance. Alaska has the least access to vehicles and maintenance.

Among the subcategories, there is a 15 times difference between the state with the lowest percentage of rush hour traffic congestion (West Virginia at 6%) and the highest percentage (California at 87%). Colorado has the highest car theft rate, while Vermont drivers are the least likely to have their car stolen.

California holds the top spot in several categories, including fewest days with precipitation, most auto repair shops per capita, most car washes per capita (tied with Florida and Texas) and highest average fuel prices. LL