The 5 Worst States for Drivers

The 5 Worst States for Drivers

Some Northern Virginia businessmen are so exasperated with traffic congestion that they are pushing for a tax increase for improved highway and bridges.
By Millie Dent

Folks in California and Washington might want to consider installing extra security devices on their cars. Bankrate says that California ranks as the worst state in the nation for car theft, with Washington not far behind. California has 431 car thefts per 100,000 people, while Washington has 407. The national average is 220.

Theft isn’t the only problem facing car owners. Bankrate also looked at data for other factors including fatal crashes, average commute times, gasoline and repair costs and insurance premiums to create a comprehensive ranking of the best and worst state for drivers. 

Louisiana was named the worst state for drivers overall, mainly because of its above-average rate of fatal crashes. The Bayou State has 1.5 fatal crashes per 100 miles driven, while the national average is 1.1. Not surprisingly, it has the highest car insurance costs in the country. The state’s five-year average for a car insurance premium is $1,279, almost $300 more than the national average of $910.  

Related: The Amazingly Stupid Things Smartphone Users Do While Driving

Thanks to its low gas and insurance costs, below-average theft and short commute times, Idaho ranks as the best state for drivers overall. Annual gas costs come to $733, more than $200 below the national average. Car insurance costs are typically around $656 and car thefts occur at a rate of 95 per 100,000 people. The average commute time for individuals each way is 19.5 minutes, nearly five minutes below the national average.

Here are the five best and the worst states for drivers:

5 Worst States for Drivers

1. Louisiana

2. California

3. Texas

4. Maryland

5. New Jersey 

5 Best States for Drivers

1. Idaho

2. Vermont

3. Wyoming

4. Wisconsin

5. Minnesota 

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The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.

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Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”

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