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This is the Worst State in the U.S. to Drive In


Think the traffic is bad where you are? It could be worse — or better.

Hawaii license plate 2020
Although it’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth, Hawaii was deemed the worst state to drive for 2022.

And the worst place to drive? Hawaii.

That’s the stunning conclusion of a new study by, which measures 31 key metrics, including the cost of ownership and maintenance, traffic and infrastructure, safety, access to maintenance. The site’s survey says traffic congestion cost the average U.S. driver $865 in wasted time in 2022, sitting an average of 51 hours in traffic.

Ok, there days when it feels longer than that. And that’s because the World Economic Forum rates the United States 17th in road quality; good but not great.

Is your state at the top or bottom of the list?

Las Vegas Traffic
Nevada was also among the top 10 worst places to drive in the latest study.

Nevertheless, you might be pleased to know that if you live in Iowa, you reside in the best place to own and drive a car in the United States. It’s followed by Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Idaho, Texas, Tennessee, Kansas and Indiana.

Obvious, if you live in a state that begins with an I, it’s evidently a good place to drive.

Then, we have the other extreme; the 10 worst places to drive. They include New Jersey (no shock there), California, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, Missouri, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware Washington and, at number 50, Hawaii. That’s right, Hawaii. 

Other claims to fame

Texas border sign
Texas came in with the lowest average price for gas in the study.

But before you start feeling smug for living in one of the “good” states, keep in mind the states with highest percentage of rush hour traffic congestion include Florida, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and California. Those with the lowest are New Mexico, North Dakota, Maine, Mississippi and New Mexico. Congestion is 15 times worse in California during rush hour than than it is in West Virginia. 

Obviously, the report’s authors never drove the 101 or 405.

Then again, California has the fewest days of precipitation annually, followed by Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. At the other extreme, New Hampshire has the most days of precipitation, followed by Hawaii, West Virginia, Vermont and Alaska. 

It may not surprise you that Texas has the lowest average price for a gallon of regular gas at $2.65 per gallon, while Hawaii has the highest at $5.12 per gallon. That said, the state with the fewest car thefts per 1,000 population is Vermont, with a rate of 0.42, 12.5 times lower than Colorado, which has the highest rate at 5.24. 

Want affordable auto insurance? Living in Ohio, where the average is $1,023, 2.5 times less expensive than Florida, the state with the highest average ($2,560), is a good idea.


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