Florida, Georgia among worst states for drivers, study finds

Bankrate.com report ranks Florida No. 38, Georgia No. 39

By Francine Frazier - Senior web producer
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Florida and Georgia might not be the worst states for drivers, but they're pretty close, according to data compiled by Bankrate.com.

Measuring safety, cost and driving quality, Georgia was 12th from the bottom and Florida was 13th in the site's rankings of best and worst states for drivers.

California ranked as the very worst state in the country for drivers, a position not unfamiliar to The Golden State, which ranked dead last in Bankrate’s 2016 report, as well.

North Dakota earned the No. 1 position as best state for drivers due to low car repair costs, low auto insurance premiums and high safety scores.

California ranked poorly due to a high percentage of roads in poor condition, long commute times and high rates of theft and fatal crashes. Hawaii, Connecticut, New Jersey and Washington comprise the other bottom five spots in the rankings.

“Most of us are still getting behind the wheel every day, but what driving costs in both time and money varies widely depending on where we live,” says Adrian Garcia, data analyst for Bankrate.com. “In areas where commute times are long and car ownership costs are high, it may make more sense to skip the luxury of your own vehicle and opt for public transportation, a carpool or a bike ride to work."

The 2018 Bankrate Best State for Drivers Study was compiled using seven measures related to cost, safety and driving quality. The site said it used the most recently available data for all 50 states from government sources, research organizations and industry groups. For the analysis, the site gave cost a 45 percent weighting, driving quality a 35 percent weighting and safety a 20 percent weighting.

Traffic fatality data was obtained through the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS); vehicle theft data was obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2017 Crime in the United States report, average cost of parts and labor was provided by CarMD.com through the 2018 CarMD Index; gas prices were provided by GasPrices.AAA.com; auto insurance premiums data was obtained through Insure.com; commute times were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau; and road condition data was provided by TRIP.

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