A recent Bankrate study analyzed various factors from cost of insurance to accident rates to identify the best and worst states for drivers. Florida ranked rather poorly, coming in 42nd out of the 50 states.

What factors did Bankrate consider when ranking states for drivers?

The researchers reviewed various criteria when determining how driver-friendly each state is. They analyzed data from national resources, such as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the FBI, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Their goal was to: “capture the overall experience of being behind the wheel in each state.” Below are the six primary factors they considered:

  1. Annual insurance cost
  2. Annual average fuel costs
  3. Average cost of a car repair
  4. Rate of auto theft (per 100,000 people)
  5. Average commute times (in minutes)
  6. Traffic accident fatalities (per 100 million miles travelled)

For each state, Bankrate assigned a score from 0 to 10 for each criterion, then ranked the states based on the total scores. (Sixty is a perfect score.)

Top Ten Worst States for Drivers

According to Bankrate’s findings, below are the top ten worst states to be a driver, in descending order:

  1. California (total score of 21.0)
  2. New Mexico (24.0)
  3. Nevada (25.7)
  4. Louisiana (25.8)
  5. Wyoming (26.0)
  6. Maryland (27.1)
  7. Georgia (28.4)
  8. New Jersey (28.4)
  9. Florida (28.5)
  10. Hawaii (29.2)

And how did Florida fare in each category?

StateCommute TimeInsurance CostFuel CostRepair CostCar TheftsCar FatalitiesTotal Score

One of the factors that really hurts Florida’s overall ranking is the insurance rates to which drivers are subject. They are astronomical. In fact, the average annual insurance premium for a Florida driver is nearly double that of drivers in the top-ranked state in the nation for drivers (Iowa). 

Underlying Factors that Contribute to Driver-Friendly States 

There are a number of things that can pose a challenge for drivers in some states. For instance, a higher population density translates to congestion and other obstacles. Long commutes can be attributed not only to traffic, but also to rural areas in which workers have to commute longer distances to work.

You can relocate to areas with a shorter commute to reduce your time behind the wheel and gas costs, keep your driving record clean to reduce insurance rates, and practice safe driving skills to reduce the risk of accidents – but in actuality, many of these factors are out of drivers’ control.

If you are in an accident in Florida, call our office and schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney at your convenience: 954-767-6500.