WV splits the difference of best/worst states to drive

WV splits the difference of best/worst states to drive

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – A new study from WalletHub has found that West Virginia fits right in the middle of the worst and best states to drive in the nation.

To achieve their results, WalletHub compared all 50 states across 4 different dimensions made up of 31 key “indicators of a positive commute.” These dimensions were Cost of Ownership & Maintenance, Traffic & Infrastructure, Safety and Access to Vehicles & Maintenance.

According to their findings, West Virginia ranks 25th in the nation. The mountain state’s best metrics were Cost of Ownership & Maintenance and Traffic & Infrastructure, while its worst metrics were Safety and Access to Vehicles & Maintenance.

Other notable findings include, ranking West Virginia number 1 in “% of Rush-Hour Traffic Congestion” and “Auto Maintenance Costs,” ranked 48 in “Days with Precipitation” and 47 in “Car Washes per Capita.”

Overall Rank  State Total Score  Cost of Ownership & Maintenance  Traffic & Infrastructure  Safety  Access to Vehicles & Maintenance 
1 Iowa 62.61 7 9 35 19
2 Georgia 61.41 2 32 29 9
3 Ohio 61.38 3 28 36 7
25 West Virginia 55.23 14 19 38 46
48 Delaware 47.50 44 36 11 49
49 Washington 47.48 47 39 20 16
50 Hawaii 40.28 50 43 6 38
Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that state, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric.

As for those 31 indicators, they were graded on a weighted 100-point scale and used to calculate the overall score and rankings.

Regarding the below metrics, WalletHub said, “for metrics marked with an asterisk (*), the square root of the population was used to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across states.”

Cost of Ownership & Maintenance – Total Points: 30

  • Average Gas Prices: Triple Weight (~12.86 Points)
  • Average Annual Car Insurance Premium: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
  • Auto-Maintenance Costs: Double Weight (~8.57 Points)
  • Total Extra Vehicle Operating Costs per Driver: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
    Note: Additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) are the “result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor,” according to transportation research firm TRIP.

Traffic & Infrastructure – Total Points: 30

  • Share of Rush-Hour Traffic Congestion: Double Weight (~6.00 Points)
    Note: This metric refers to the share of urban interstates experiencing congestion during peak hours.
  • Increase in Vehicle Travel on Highways (2022 vs. 2000): Half Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Number of Days with Precipitation: Full Weight (~3.00 Points)
  • Number of Icy Days: Full Weight (~3.00 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the mean number of days with a minimum temperature of 32 degrees F or lower.
  • Number of Strong Wind & Hail Storms Reports: Full Weight (~3.00 Points)
  • Average Commute Time by Car (in Minutes): Double Weight (~6.00 Points)
  • Road Quality: Full Weight (~3.00 Points)
  • Bridge Quality: Half Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Roadway Miles per 1,000 Persons: Full Weight (~3.00 Points)

Safety – Total Points: 30

  • Traffic Indiscipline: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
    Note: This is a composite metric that measures incidents due to poor behavior: phone use, speeding, aggressive acceleration, harsh braking, and poor turning.
  • Share of Adults Who Always or Nearly Always Wear a Seatbelt: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Traffic Fatality Rate: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Change in Traffic Fatality Rate (2020 vs. 2019): Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Car Theft Rate: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Larceny Rate: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Strictness of DUI Punishment: Half Weight (~1.36 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Strictest & Most Lenient States on DUI” ranking.
  • Strictness of High-Risk Driving: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “States with the Highest & Lowest Insurance Premium Penalties for High-Risk Drivers” ranking.
  • Driving-Laws Rating: Half Weight (~1.36 Points)
  • Share of Uninsured Drivers: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Likelihood of Collision with Animals: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Animal Loss Claims per Total Number of Drivers: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)

Access to Vehicles & Maintenance – Total Points: 10

  • Car Dealerships per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Auto-Repair Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Car Washes per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Gas Stations per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Alternative Fuel Stations per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Parking Lots and Garages per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)