What are the worst cities and states to drive in?

January 19, 2021

Tyson Fisher


As the world gets closer to getting out of the pandemic, traffic congestion will likely increase. Two reports show which cities and states are the worst when it comes to driving.

Worst states to drive in

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, WalletHub released its annual Best and Worst States to Drive In list. The personal finance website looked at four key categories when ranking the states: cost of ownership/maintenance, traffic congestion and infrastructure, safety and access to vehicles/maintenance.

The top 10 worst states to drive in are:

  1. Hawaii.
  2. California.
  3. Washington.
  4. Maryland.
  5. Delaware.
  6. Rhode Island.
  7. Pennsylvania.
  8. New Hampshire.
  9. New Jersey.
  10. Colorado.

The top 10 best states to drive in include:

  1. Texas.
  2. Indiana.
  3. North Carolina.
  4. Iowa.
  5. Tennessee.
  6. Kentucky.
  7. Maine.
  8. Idaho.
  9. South Dakota.
  10. Ohio.

Source: WalletHub

Accounting only for traffic congestion and infrastructure, WalletHub ranks Massachusetts as the worst state. Montana is considered the best state when it comes to traffic/infrastructure. However, there is a two-way tie for states with highest percentage of rush hour congestion: Florida and Massachusetts. There is a five-way tie for states with the lowest percentage: Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.

Cities with highest traffic congestion

Navigation company TomTom recently published its traffic index, which ranks cities based on traffic congestion. The index includes 416 cities in 57 countries on six continents.

In the United States, the cities with the worst traffic congestion include:

  1. Los Angeles.
  2. New York.
  3. Miami.
  4. San Francisco.
  5. Baton Rouge, La.
  6. San Jose.
  7. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
  8. Seattle.
  9. Honolulu.
  10. Riverside, Calif.

Of the 80 U.S. cities analyzed, those with the least amount of traffic congestion are:

  1. Greensboro-High Point, N.C.
  2. Syracuse, N.Y
  3. Dayton, Ohio.
  4. Little Rock, Ark.
  5. Winston-Salem, N.C.
  6. Akron, Ohio.
  7. Worcester, Mass.
  8. St. Louis.
  9. Cleveland, Ohio.
  10. Richmond, Va.

Compared to 2019, traffic congestion in 2020 was down across the board in all 80 U.S. cities, likely the result of the pandemic.

Although Los Angeles has the most congestion in the United States, it ranked only 85th worldwide. The 10 cities across the world with the worst congestion are:

  1. Moscow.
  2. Mumbai.
  3. Bogota.
  4. Manila.
  5. Istanbul.
  6. Bangalore, India.
  7. Kiev, Ukraine.
  8. New Delhi.
  9. Novosibirsk, Russia
  10. Bangkok.

Of the more than 400 cities analyzed, only 13 experienced an increase in traffic congestion last year. That includes four cities in Taiwan, three in Turkey and two in China. LL

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