Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Aug. 9, 2022

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Washington nation’s 3rd worst for driving

By , Columbian staff reporter

No one likes to finish dead last, so let’s give a big thank you to Hawaii and Rhode Island.

Those are the only two states ranked worse to drive in than Washington, according to a WalletHub report released Tuesday.

To develop its 2020 rankings, the personal finance website examined 31 different factors, including gas prices, rush hour congestion, commute times, parking, auto maintenance costs, insurance premiums, traffic fatalities, vehicle thefts and road quality.

The study also considered more esoteric measures, such as car washes per capita and number of precipitation days. Believe it or not, Washington didn’t even finish in the bottom five for that rainy metric.

Washington, however, was ranked 48th for gas prices, 44th for uninsured drivers and road quality, 43rd for car thefts, 41st for commute times, and 40th for auto maintenance costs.

Driven to Despair

WalletHub’s 48th-place rating for Washington is based on how the state performed in four areas. The state was:

48th in Cost of Ownership & Maintenance

35th in Traffic & Infrastructure

19th in Safety

13th in Access to Vehicles & Maintenance

The report wasn’t all doom and gloom. Washington ranked near the top among the 50 states in a half-dozen measures, including:

• First for alternative fuel stations per capita and overall driving laws.

• Second for adults who always (or almost always) wear seat belts.

• Third for bridge quality.

• Fifth for reported wind and hail storms.

• Sixth for traffic fatalities.

There is still no way to put a smiley face on Washington’s No. 48 overall ranking.

In case the state’s rather dismal rating is enough to make you want to pick up and move, you might start looking for employment and housing in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was judged as the best to drive in, followed by Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas and Nebraska.

If you aren’t quite ready to reserve a U-Haul, then you can blame Washington’s poor showing on Seattle. In September, WalletHub ranked Seattle 94th out of the nation’s 100 largest cities for the best (or worst) for driving.

Columbian staff reporter

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