NW REporter

Drivers here not the worst, but also not worthy of bragging rights

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Probably no one who has driven around Puget Sound or many other regions around Washington state would argue that traffic can be unpredictable. In fact, many may prefer expletives to describe it.

Study after study confirms those negative perceptions:

  • WalletHub declared Washington to be the 49th worst state for driving.
  • INRIX has Seattle on its list of the nation’s 20 worst cities for traffic.
  • QuoteWizard has Washington #25 for worst drivers in America.

It could be worse.

Hawaii has the dubious distinction of being the worst state for commuters, according to WalletHub, a personal finance website. The company used 31 metrics and four key measures to assess the states. The key measures were cost of vehicle ownership and maintenance (Washington was #47), traffic and infrastructure (Washington was #39), safety (Washington was #20), and access to vehicles and maintenance (Washington was #16). 

In another study, INRIX, a transportation firm based in Kirkland, analyzed 295 urban areas in the U.S. The firm calculated the “congestion cost” for the average U.S. driver to be $869 in wasted time during 2022, based on the overall average of 51 hours being stuck in traffic. In 2021, the figure was $564.

Among metro areas, Chicago topped the list, at 155 hours, followed by Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Miami, all with at least 105 lost hours.

A global comparison of cities had Chicago second, behind only London’s 156 hours of traffic delays. Seattle was 95th on that list. 

California was determined to be the state with the highest percentage of rush hour traffic congestion, with 15x more than the best (or least congested) state (West Virginia).

A study by QuoteWizard, which compared last year’s best and worst drivers by state, named Utah as the overall worst driving state. Rounding out the top 5 (worst 5) list were California, at #2, and then Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio.

The best drivers, according to QuoteWizard were #1 Connecticut, #2 Michigan, #3 West Virginia, #4 Delaware and #5 Arkansas.

QuoteWizard analyzed more than 10 million insurance quotes, using four factors for their evaluation: accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, and citations. Utah earned its ranking for being first in speeding, second in citations, fifth in accidents and eighth in DUIs. The consequence is drivers there could soon be paying more for their car insurance. 

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