What makes a state a great place for driving? Is it lower gas prices, or fewer fellow travelers on the road? Or is it higher speed limits--whether it's on your way to a destination, or purely for the enjoyment of driving?
And what makes other states among the worst places to drive?
TheCarConnection looked at five sets of data to choose our best and worst states for driving. We chose the most recent data available from a range of sources--some neutral, some not so neutral. We normalized the data so that each represented a percentage of change from the average, and added up the scores to determine which states earned the lowest total.
The factors we considered included the following:
Gas prices: The average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline, on May 8, 2012, as surveyed by AAA.
Miles driven per capita: From 2009 Department of Transportation data.
Speed limits: Highest legal speed limits posted by states, via the IIHS.
Accident rate: Per 100 million miles traveled, from 2009 NHTSA data via the Census Bureau.
Speeding tickets: Correlated by Motorists.org from Web searches for "speeding"-related terms, state by state.
For the winners and losers, see the infographic below. Have a comment, or want a high-resolution version to share? Talk to us--tell us about the driving in your state on TheCarConnection's Facebook page, or let us know how they're driving in your state via Twitter @carconnection.
The Best States For Driving--And The Worst