What are the Worst and Best States to Drive In?

on Tuesday, 05 January 2021.

We know at Anderson Behl that driving can sometimes be a real chore and we do encounter our fair share of bad traffic and serious congestion here in the Bay Area too. But, if you drive in California, you're living through the very worst conditions available. And on the other hand, driving in Iowa provides the best motoring experience the country can offer.

If you're a driver in California, you're already familiar with high state taxes, backed-up traffic and smog and now you can now add another designation for the Golden State--the worst place in the U.S. to be a driver, according to a new study. With long commutes, an explosion in car break-ins and high insurance costs to cover it all--California fails its driving test in almost every category!

On the other end of the range, Iowa is reportedly the best state for car owners overall, according to Bankrate.com study that studied six different factors, including the cost of fuel, insurance costs, car break-ins and auto-related deaths. By weighing each category equally, Iowa was able to come out #1.

Will this mean that more people will move to Iowa based on these results? That is not likely, because the states with the most traffic congestion are highly-populated for a reason. People want to live in California and New York and that's why they are lousy places to drive in.  

Here are the reasons for these very different ratings:

Driving conditions: California commuters average approximately 26 minutes one-way, compared to Iowa's comparatively short 19-minute drive. (New York has the most stressful average commute at roughly 33 minutes, according to Bankrate.com.)

Costs: Insurance costs a whole lot more in California than it does in Iowa, where you will find some of the lowest average premiums in the nation. Repairs are also more pricey in the Golden State according to data from CarMD, averaging $895 in California compared to $637 in Iowa.

Crime: California has the country's highest auto theft rate, with 437 cars stolen for every 100,000 residents. In Iowa, a mere 139 vehicles were stolen per every 100,000 people, while Vermont has the lowest theft rate with just 28.4 vehicles stolen per each 100,000.

Safety: Iowa and California are pretty much the same when it comes to driving deaths, with about one fatal accident per 100 million miles driven. Massachusetts is by far the safest state in which to drive, while South Carolina is the most deadly in the U.S., according to Bankrate.com.

Sources: Bankrate.com, CarMD, Forbes

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