Iowa ranked as the best state to drive in, according to WalletHub’s recently released annual report. Oklahoma came in second after the Hawkeye State, followed by Kansas, North Carolina, and Texas, which took fifth place.
The 2022 report determines the most driver-friendly states in the U.S. WalletHub compared the 50 states across 31 key metrics. The data set ranges from average gas prices to safety issues like rush-hour traffic congestion, frequency of car thefts, to road quality.
Congestion, for example, can be a real safety concern as many drivers tend to allow their tempers to flare up — which can lead to hostile driving and even road rage. Aggressive driving is extremely common among U.S. drivers. According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2019 data, nearly 80% of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression, or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the previous 30 days.
West Virginia has one of the lowest shares of rush-hour traffic congestion, 6%, which is 14.5 times lower than in California, the state with the highest at 87%.
Other states where you can expect less traffic — and therefore likely fewer aggressive drivers — include North Dakota, Maine, Mississippi, and New Mexico —all of which ranked among the top five for lowest percentage of rush-hour traffic congestion.
When it comes to auto theft — another critical safety issue — the report finds Vermont has the fewest car thefts per 1,000 residents, 0.42, specifically, which is 12.5 times fewer than in Colorado, the state with the most at 5.24.
However, the Centennial State is not the only one where auto thieves abound. New Mexico ranked second for highest incidence of vehicle theft followed by California, Missouri, and Oregon.
In terms of overall rankings, Hawaii came in as the least driver-friendly state, followed by Rhode Island, Delaware, California, and Maryland.