Georgia roads 9th best in U.S.

It's small consolation when you're parked on I-285 at rush hour.

But for the third straight year, Georgia placed ninth in state highway performance and cost-effectiveness, according to Reason Foundation's annual ranking released Thursday.

North Dakota ranked first, Rhode Island last. At No. 6, South Carolina was the only Southern state ahead of Georgia.

The study measured each state's interstate highways and state-controlled roads in 11 categories, including costs per mile, congestion, pavement condition, deficient bridges and fatalities.

Georgia ranked first in the condition of its urban and rural interstates, but 31st in fatality rates and urban interstate congestion.

Drivers in California and Hawaii have to watch out for the most potholes on urban interstates. Motorists in California, Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan and Connecticut are stuck in the worst traffic, according to the study.

Overall, state highway conditions are the best they've been in 19 years, the study found, but that's partly because of the recession.

"People are driving less, which has helped slow pavement deterioration and reduced traffic congestion and fatalities," the report states.

Click here for the full report.