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Despite Massive Snow Blast, Iowa Best State for Drivers

by | January 15, 2024

Check out the news in recent days and you’ll endure a blizzard of pictures of semi trucks and other vehicles that have slid off the road in Iowa in the wake of a recent snow storm. That said, a new study shows that if you’re a driver, Iowa is the place to live.

Iowa state patrol truck stuck snow

Winter storms have made driving treacherous in Iowa. However, Iowa is considered the top place to drive in 2024.

Everybody’s gotta live somewhere and for some reason, and something that’s a thumb’s up for one person is two thumbs down for another. But those inconsistencies didn’t stop from compiling a list of the best and worst states to drive in for 2024.

Now if your idea of good place to drive is curvy, winding roads with no law enforcement, then the choice of Iowa isn’t going to make much sense. However, WalletHub used 31 indicators of a positive commute to compile a list that puts the Hawkeye State on top and Hawaii, somewhat fittingly, at No. 50.

“When people think about the costs associated with owning a vehicle, things like regular maintenance, insurance and gas typically come to mind,” said Cassandra Happe, WalletHub analyst.

“What many people don’t realize is that traffic congestion can also be extremely costly because of the amount of time it wastes, which is why the best states for driving tend to be sparsely populated. Factors like safety and the quality of roads are key too.”

Straight and flat

Rush hour congestion graphic Wallet Hub 2024

Well, if sparse, straight and flat make for a good commute, then Iowa’s a good place to start. WalletHub noted Iowa’s rural nature, especially since it helps give it one of the lowest rush-hour traffic congestion rates in the country. And those commutes are typically less than 30 minutes long.

Iowans also don’t write as many big checks for vehicle maintenance as other Americans as their gas prices and car insurance rates are among the 10 lowest on average. Insurance rates are low, in part, because the vehicle theft rate is low, WalletHub noted.

Georgia, which is less straight and less flat and also much more expensive for car insurance came in second in the rankings. Part of the Peach State’s allure is the number of gas stations, which ranks No. 1 per capita. Also it’s home to the ninth-most alternative fuel stations per capita. Those gas stations are home to the third-lowest gas prices in the country as well as the third-lowest car maintenance costs.

What else to know

The researchers turned up a bunch of interesting facts as they worked to determine the best place to drive in 2024, including:

  • West Virginia has the least rush-hour traffic congestion — 14.5 times less than California, which has the most.
  • Texas has the lowest average gas price — 1.8 times lower than California, which has the highest.
  • New Hampshire has the fewest car thefts per capita — 11.7 times fewer than Colorado, which has the most.
  • California has the most auto-repair shops per capita — 7.8 times more than Hawaii, which has the fewest.
  • Ohio has the lowest average car insurance rate — 5 times lower than Florida, which has the highest.

Kansas has lowered its traffic fatality rate significantly, and residents speed less often than people in many other states. Oklahoma has strict punishments for DUI and good-quality roads, and Alabama has low precipitation and lots of gas stations relative to its population.


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