Georgia in WalletHub’s top 10 best states to drive in

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Triple Team Traffic's Mark Arum says he's seeing lighter than normal rush hours but, "the crashes we do see are way more severe. Just horrific crashes."

Some might say interstate traffic has improved during the pandemic, considering so many are working from home. Atlantans stuck on Ga. 400 or the Downtown Connector last week might disagree, however.

There is more to having a good commute than just time spent in traffic. To help drivers identify 2022′s best and worst states to drive in, financial website WalletHub compared the 50 states across four key dimensions: cost of ownership and maintenance; traffic and infrastructure; safety; and access to vehicles and maintenance.

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WalletHub evaluated those dimensions using 31 relevant metrics, each graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best for drivers.

“A large share of the cost of driving comes from owning a vehicle and includes less visible costs such as the depreciation of the vehicle — it is stunning how much the value of a new car depreciates in only a few years,” said Ralph Buehler, Ph.D., professor and chair of urban affairs and planning, School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech Research Center. “Similarly, for older cars, while cheaper in depreciation, repair costs can be quite pricey and add up over time.”

For Georgians, vehicle cost and maintenance — as well as access to vehicles and maintenance — were the two dimensions that helped propel the state into the No. 6 spot overall. The Peach States No. 8 in each of those categories.

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The state’s overall score of 60.04 was hurt by finishing 39th for traffic and infrastructure, and 27th for safety. Among the key metrics, Georgia ranked:

  • 26th – car theft rate
  • 18th – auto repair shops per capita
  • 19th – average gas prices
  • 5th – auto maintenance costs
  • 6th – road quality
  • 16th – car dealerships per capita

Iowa came out on top this year, with an overall score of 62.04. It was followed by Oklahoma, Kansas, North Carolina and Texas, in that order.

The country’s worst state to drive in, once again, was Hawaii, with an overall score of just 41.02.