One of our insurance companies, Unique Insurance Company, sent us a copy of a Forbes report listing the 10 best states and the 10 worst states for drivers. We thought our readers would find the results interesting.
The 10 best and 10 worst states for drivers, according to Forbes
Using recently published studies on infrastructure/safety, legal rights, gas prices and insurance rates, Forbes determined the 10 best states for motorists, which makes for pleasant reading. Using the same studies, Forbes also published the painful reading for the 10 worst states.
The 10 Best
No. 1 South Carolina
Motorists in South Carolina enjoy the nation’s lowest gas prices and an excellent track record on infrastructure/ safety. The Palmetto State ranks much better than the others in low insurance rates and motorist legal protections too.
No. 2 Nebraska
With high rankings for infrastructure/safety and motorist legal rights, the Cornhusker State fares better than its Midwest neighbors. One downside is higher than average gas prices.
No. 3 Missouri
The Show Me State really does. Missouri scores above-average ratings in all four categories, including the third-lowest average gas prices.
No. 4 North Dakota
Maybe it’s due to low population and its reputation as the state least visited by tourists, but North Dakota grabs the top ranking in infrastructure/safety. The Peace Garden State gets marked down only for higher-than-average gas prices.
No. 5 Mississippi
The state’s lingering reputation as a haven for sketchy plaintiff lawyers might be a reason for its higher-than-average insurance rates. But the Magnolia State fares well in other categories, including the eighth-lowest gas prices.
No. 6 Texas
The nation’s fourth-lowest gas prices---all those oil wells, all those refineries--helps make the Lone Star State a Mecca for motorists. The only offsetting note is higher than average insurance rates.
No. 7 Kansas
Except for high insurance rates, the Sunflower State fares well in all the categories. This includes a No. 3 showing for infrastructure/ safety.
No. 8 (tie) New Hampshire
The Granite State has the nation’s fifth-lowest insurance rates. This augments average and above-average showings in the other three categories.
No. 8 (tie) Wyoming
With “Equal Rights” as Wyoming’s official motto, it’s not surprising the state ranks No. 1 in legal protections for motorists. It earns seventh place for infrastructure/safety and ties overall with New Hampshire.
No. 10 Tennessee and Arizona
The two states tied for 10th place on this list feature the same strengths: Lower than average gas prices and insurance rates. The Volunteer State is light on legal protections for motorists while the Grand Canyon State is just average for that and infrastructure/safety.
The 10 Worst
No. 1 California
Despite its reputation as a car-culture haven, the Golden State is by far the worst of the 50, with low rankings in each of the four categories. From highway congestion and poor legal protections to the high cost of gasoline and insurance, the nation’s most populous state has it all.
No. 2 Illinois
The Land of Lincoln is also a Disaster for Drivers, garnering low marks, like California’s, in all four categories. The lowest grade is in legal rights for motorists.
No. 3 New York
The Empire State fares a lot better than California and Illinois in insurance rates, which were pretty close to the national average. But that is more than canceled out by rock-bottom expenditures on road maintenance and sketchy legal motorist protections.
No. 4 Michigan
Ironically the center of America’s remaining auto manufacturing is none too friendly to end-use customers. The Wolverine State really chews up motorists on insurance, with the country’s second-highest average rates.
No. 5 Alaska
Despite all that oil production, Alaska has the nation’s second highest gas prices, as well as the next-to-worst rating for infrastructure/safety. But the self-styled Last Frontier does rank in the top one-third in legal protections for drivers.
No. 6 Maryland
In the Chesapeake State gas prices are below the national average. But that’s canceled out by the third-worst ranking for driver legal protections, and the eighth-worst for infrastructure/safety.
No. 7 (tie) Connecticut
Tiny Connecticut ranks in the bottom fifth on three of the four criteria: infrastructure/safety, gas prices and insurance rates. But as befitting the self-anointed Constitution State, Connecticut affords above-average legal protections to drivers.
No. 7 (tie) Rhode Island
Even smaller Rhode Island is tied with Connecticut for motorist misery, giving lie to the state’s official motto, “Hope.” The Ocean State gets the absolute bottom spot for infrastructure/safety and is ranked below average in each of the other categories.
No. 9 Louisiana
The flooding and oil spill are bad enough, but Louisiana doesn’t treat motorists too well, either. The Pelican State has the nation’s highest insurance rates and fourth-worst legal environment for drivers. One bright spot: the sixth-lowest gas prices.
No. 10 Washington
High gas prices and low legal protections ensure a spot for the Evergreen State. Below-average insurance rates aren’t low enough to make up for the state’s other problems.