California: The Worst State for Drivers

The golden state is the worst state for drivers, according to a new study released by “On average, California drivers face longer commute times than drivers in all other states besides New York and Massachusetts”

[c]. Overall, Americans spend an average of 17,600 minutes (12 full days) driving. Moreover, owning a vehicle is costing Americans an average of $8,558 a year. The best states for drivers were mostly concentrated in the Midwest and Northeast (less densely populated and lower cost of living). The worst states for drivers included Southern states, such as Louisiana and Florida, and densely populated East Coast states. At the end of the study, California was deemed the worst state for drivers. This study measured six criteria: fuel expenses, insurance costs, car thefts, and auto-related fatalities.

Fuel Expenses

Due to its busy roads and big cities, Californians commute (on average) 28.9 minutes to work. When compared to other states, such as Iowans that have a short 19-minute average commute. Annual fuel spending (on average) for a Californian is $1,260.

Insurance Costs

Californians spend (on average) $895 on insurance, one of the highest insurance costs in the nation. New Jersey is the state with the most expensive insurance costs, averaging $1,300 a year. Furthermore, car repairs tend to be pricier in California, according to data from CarMD” [a].

Auto Theft

On average, 437 cars are stolen for every 100,000 residents, the nation’s highest auto theft rate. In addition, “In Iowa, only 139 vehicles were stolen per 100,000 populations, while Vermont had the lowest theft rate with just 28.4 vehicles stolen per 100,000” [b].

Driving Safety

On average, there is 1 death for every 100 million miles driven. Moreover, “Massachusetts is the safest state in which to drive, while South Carolina is the deadliest, according to” [b].

The study also states, “States with high population density will generally present more congestion and other obstacles for motorists” [a]. Moreover, the article suggests that road congestion can be a sign of the need for public transportation in the state. In Atlanta, voters approved of a half-cent sales tax for the expansion of rapid public transit, in order to alleviate traffic congestion. Since transportation is the second highest household expenditure, providing lower-cost options to gridlocked cities is essential for the levitation of congestion and the affordability of transportation. In addition, “Unfortunately, the overwhelming trend, especially in denser urban areas, is longer and longer commutes and greater and greater distances between where people work and where they live” [a]. These findings contributed to California being deemed the worst state for drivers.

worst state for drivers

Ways to avoid traffic (according to

  1. Timing: If your work allows it, arrive an hour before morning rush hour and leave an hour before afternoon rush hour.
  2. Apps: Many apps (such as Waze) analyzes traffic and suggests alternative routes to avoid heavy traffic congestion.
  3. Radio: Most radio stations provide live traffic updates, in order to alter your route, if necessary.
  4. Alternatives: Many times traffic jams start while you are on the road, keep in mind alternative routes.
  5. Public Transportation: If your route allows it, public transportation can save a lot of time and money.
  6. GPS Tracking: A professional GPS tracking can also provide alternative routes and foresee the time to destination.
  7. Biking or Riding a Motorcycle: If your commute allows it (and you are traveling alone), consider riding a bike, motorcycle, or scooter to work.

 Driving a car is a great responsibility in all states. Make sure to always be paying attention to your driving and alert of your surroundings. Avoid distractions by checking traffic and alternative routes prior to driving. Moreover, install a GPA system that updates traffic and routes automatically, without having to manually play with it. Furthermore, “Make adjustments before you begin your trip. Address vehicle systems like your GPS, seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems before hitting the road. Decide on your route and check traffic conditions ahead of time” [e].

worst state for drivers

As a general rule, if you cannot devote your full attention to driving because of some other activity, it’s a distraction. Take care of it before or after your trip, not while behind the wheel” [e].

Remember to drive safely this holiday season!

 Have a serious injury and need legal advice? Contact Howard Blau.


[a]: Hand, O. T. (n.d.). California is the worst state for drivers. Retrieved December 20, 2016, from / 2016 / 12 /13/autos/ worst -state- for- drivers/

[b]: @. (n.d.). The Best And Worst States For Drivers. Retrieved December 20, 2016, from

[c]: Schiavone, R. (2016). California is the Worst State in the Nation for Driving, New Study Finds. Retrieved December 20, 2016, from

[d]: M. (n.d.). 8 tips to help you avoid traffic jams. Retrieved December 20, 2016, from

[e]: AAA Exchange. (n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2016, from worst state for drivers