Learn more about what one report found about some of the country’s best – and worst – places to own and operate a vehicle.
What makes a good place to drive? Well, WalletHub has developed 31 key metrics across four main categories for determining which are the best – and which are the worst – states in which to drive. In its 2021 annual report Best & Worst States to Drive, Wallet Hub compared states across the four categories of traffic and infrastructure, cost of ownership and maintenance, safety, and access to autos and auto maintenance. Some of the breakout metrics include road quality, rush hour traffic, the prevalence of auto mechanics, auto maintenance costs, and average gas prices.
So how did Pennsylvania and New Jersey rank? Well, according to the report, New Jersey is the 42nd best state to drive in according to WalletHub’s 31 key metrics — this means that it’s the 9th worst state in which to drive. This might come as a surprise to some urban New Jersey drivers, who could expect a much poorer showing, given the extent of some areas’ rush hours and the size of potholes to be found. Pennsylvania ranked a bit higher, despite climate challenges creating rough road conditions and dense traffic in packed cities like Philly, The slightly better ranking could even be a surprise to some of Pennsylvania’s rural drivers, who enjoy municipal care for roadways and not a lot of traffic, and would expect the ranking to be more generous.
Overall, the top five states to operate and own a vehicle in the United States are Iowa, Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, and Nebraska. These rankings are largely due to the sprawling countrysides that certainly helped out the rush hour statistics; and the states also have quality road conditions, relatively low gas prices, and manageable auto insurance rates.
What about the Worst States?
On the flip side of things are the country’s five worst states in which to drive: Hawaii (worst), followed by Rhode Island, Washington, California, and Colorado. The myriad of reasons for such low scores includes exorbitant gas prices (Hawaii, as you could imagine), rush hours from hell (California), and spotty road conditions (Colorado, due largely to inclement weather).
Read on for further facts on where to drive (hint: you’re not so bad off in Pennsylvania, and you’re practically doomed if you’re in New Jersey).
WalletHub reported that California is the state with the most auto repair garages in relation to its population. The state with the fewest? Hawaii.
While the report focused on intrastate competition for car ownership and operation quality, WalletHub did note some interesting country-wide statistics. Of the 195 countries on the planet, the United States ranks 17th in its road quality.
What about the Gas Prices?
As far as gas prices are concerned, where is the best place to drive if you want to save on your fill-up? Mississippi, at $2.91 per gallon. As noted above, Hawaii took the cake for the highest gas prices at $3.66 per gallon. Currently, Pennsylvania’s regular gas prices are $3.34 per gallon. New Jersey currently averages $3.22.
What happens when it comes to Insurance Coverage?
And where insurance is concerned, you’ll want to avoid Michigan for auto insurance rates — the yearly average quote is a whopping $2,611, in comparison to the state with the lowest average rate, Maine, whose car insurance weighs in at $845 (full coverage). Bankrate placed the Pennsylvania auto insurance average at $427 for the most basic coverage and $1,476 for full coverage. The group noted that the average annual premiums in Pennsylvania are beneath that of the national averages. This has to do with many factors, including the fact that the state requires all vehicle owners to have basic liability coverage, as well as the fact that the state’s insurance providers augment or decrease their premiums based on such driver factors like age and driving history. As far as New Jersey is concerned, Bankrate placed New Jersey auto insurance average at $847 for the state minimum coverage and $1757 for average full coverage.
So are there ways around accepting that Pennsylvania and New Jersey are some of the worst states to drive in in the country? Not really. While there is an influx of ride-sharing options, and private and public transportation options are always available, the winter weather makes it difficult for municipalities to keep up with repairing ice- and sleet-created potholes; and, despite options for public or shared transportation, in this pandemic-era period, many people are opting to take their own vehicle on the roads.
You can help improve the states’ standings in small ways like being a safe, defensive driver, and carpooling where available. Switch to a hybrid or electric automobile if it’s financially possible for you. Walk or bike to work, or work from home and hitch a ride with a friend you’re going out to meet for drinks. Together, we can make Pennsylvania a safer and more pleasurable place to drive, at least by a bit.
The most common types of injuries that result from motor vehicle accidents in NJ and PA
The following are common injuries associated with vehicular accidents. Though this list is expansive, it by no represents all of the types of injuries that can occur.
- Bruising/Contusions- It is important to note that even the most minor of car accidents can cause bruises. Even seat belts, which are designed to you from serious harm, can leave you with varying degrees of bruising.
- Whiplash- The myriad of forces that occur in a motor vehicle accident can cause your body to move in ways that can be very harmful and traumatic. An experience of pain or discomfort in the neck and back after a collision can mean that you have sustained whiplash; strains to your muscles and ligaments. These strains can be painful and take several weeks to recover, however, whiplash rarely results in permanent injury on its own.
- Neck/Back injuries– As is the case with whiplash, the intense and rapid force that your body sustains during a collision may cause serious damage to your body that may not be immediately apparent. These may include herniation or ruptures of the discs in your spine. This type of serious injury can be very painful and limit your mobility. Though not always permanent, these types of injuries often take a long time to heal.
- Concussions– During any collision, a concussion is a risk given that one can easily hit their head on parts of a car. In fact, sudden movement of the head with no impact can also cause a concussion. It is important to remember that prompt treatment for any kind of head injury is crucial.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries– These types of injuries are always serious and can have potentially life-altering effects. Any traumatic brain injury can change the way your brain functions, handles information, and processes emotions. Although, thanks to advances in modern medicine, one can recover from a brain injury to some degree, depending on the type and severity of the damage, treating it may be a lifelong process.
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder– With anyone who undergoes a situation of extreme stress – as is the case with a serious car accident – there is always the potential to develop emotional and mental conditions such as PTSD. Symptoms may include being scared of driving after an accident, avoiding certain sounds or images that are associated with the collision or even sleeping problems due to anxiety or nightmares.
If you have been involved in an automobile-related accident or injury, it is important that you are backed up by a personal injury lawyer.
Contact our Personal Injury Attorney for a free confidential consultation at our Bensalem, PA or Hamilton, NJ Offices
In the unfortunate event of going through a car accident, it is advisable to contact a personal injury lawyer who knows the paths available for you and your loved ones, you do not have to struggle with all the processes yourself when you can count on the expertise of a Personal Injury attorney. If all the steps are properly followed, the option of getting compensation is there for you, let an attorney at Cohen & Riechelson guide you from the beginning of your case.
Our team of attorneys has lots of experience dealing with car accident-related injuries and the corresponding compensation if applicable. Our conveniently located offices in Pennsylvania allow us to serve clients in Croydon, Bristol, Levittown, Langhorne, and Philadelphia, while our New Jersey offices cover towns throughout the state, including Hamilton, Trenton, Princeton, New Brunswick, Somerville, Edison, and surrounding cities.
Call 609-528-2596 after your incident resulting in accident injuries. Let’s discuss your options and explore the ways we can be of assistance.