Morgan Pritchett
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WalletHub Study Names Best and Worst States to Drive In for 2020

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A traffic jam

With unlimited data and podcasts covering all sorts of topics, getting stuck in traffic isn’t nearly as bad as it was 20 years ago. However, it’s still a pain that no one actively looks to deal with. In cities like Los Angeles or Austin, traffic is just a way of life. But when looking at states as a whole, California and Texas are on opposite ends of the spectrum on WalletHub’s “Best and Worst States to Drive In” 2020 study.


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To determine which states were the best and worst to drive in, WalletHub compared all states across four key dimensions: Cost of Ownership & Maintenance, Traffic & Infrastructure, Safety, and Access to Vehicles & Maintenance. Within those four metrics, WalletHub then broke those down into 31 weighted, relevant metrics. Just a handful of these included average gas prices, number of icy days, bridge quality, driving laws, and likelihood of collision with deer.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 best states to drive in:

  1. Iowa
  2. Tennessee
  3. North Carolina
  4. Texas
  5. Nebraska
  6. Georgia
  7. Virginia
  8. Indiana
  9. Arkansas
  10. Alabama

The worst 10 states to drive in included the following:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Washington
  4. California
  5. Colorado
  6. Maryland
  7. West Virginia
  8. New Jersey
  9. Alaska
  10. Montana

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For a better perspective, the highest score (out of 100) was achieved by Iowa with 64.44 while the worst state to drive in, Hawaii, only got a total of 38.77. Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Idaho, and Iowa were all praised for their low rush-hour traffic congestion. Hawaii was dinged for having a high average gas price, high auto maintenance costs, very few car washes per capita, a high car theft rate, and few auto repair shops per capita. I guess when it comes to the Aloha State, you’re better off walking!