Study Finds Iowa the State with the Best Driving Experience
What factors contribute to a positive driving experience? For most motorists, these would be safety, good road conditions, and accessibility to car repair and maintenance. WalletHub compared all 50 states in the U.S. to see which states were the most driver-friendly, and Iowa took top honors overall for being the best state to drive in the country.
The study compared all 50 states across 31 key measurements within four categories: cost of ownership and maintenance; traffic and infrastructure; safety; and access to vehicles and maintenance. Iowa garnered the top total metric score of 62.04, ranking fifth in cost of ownership and maintenance, seventh in traffic and infrastructure, 38th in safety, and 22nd in access to vehicles and maintenance.
According to the WalletHub’s metrics, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Carolina and Texas followed Iowa as states with the most positive experience for motorists. The worst states were Hawaii, Rhode Island, California, Delaware and Maryland.
Aside from the overall ranking, the personal finance website also ranked states within some of the 31 measurements. For example, California has the highest percentage of rush hour traffic congestion, followed by Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and Florida. States that ranked lowest in percentage of rush hour traffic congestion were West Virginia, North Dalota, Maine, Mississippi and New Mexico.
Traffic congestion tests the patience of motorists and wastes their time and money. In its report, WalletHub indicates Americans spent an average of 36 hours in traffic in 2021, which amounted to a cost per driver of $564 factoring gas, lost productivity and more.
According to other measurements, West Virginia, the state with the lowest percentage of rush hour traffic congestion, also has the lowest auto maintenance costs, along with Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Georgia. Meanwhile, Oregon, Hawaii, Delaware, Massachusetts are states that have the highest auto maintenance costs.
Vermont is the fifth state with the highest auto maintenance costs; on the other hand, the state has the lowest car theft rate, followed by Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho and Massachusetts. Colorado, New Mexico, California, Missouri and Oregon have the highest car theft rate.
If your car is in need of repair, you will easily be able to find help in California, which, according to the study, has the most auto-repair shops per capita, followed by Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois and Florida. You will have a harder time finding an auto-repair shop in Hawaii, Delaware, Alaska, Mississippi and North Dakota.
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