Mississippi, Oklahoma Make Life Miserable For Motorists

September 17, 2012

Back in May, we gave you our picks for the best (and worst) states for drivers. Now, another organization has compiled a similar list, and we're intrigued to see some overlap in the results.

Here at TCC, we based our rankings of U.S. states on five criteria: 

  • Gas prices
  • Miles driven per capita
  • Speed limits
  • Accident rate
  • Speeding tickets written

After crunching the numbers, we found Alaska to be the best state for drivers, followed by Utah, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. 

At the bottom: Louisiana, bested slightly by Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Now, the folks at CarInsurance.com has done something similar. In generating their rankings, though, they've focused on the cost of vehicle ownership. Their four criteria are:

  • Number of miles driven
  • Cost of gasoline
  • Cost of insurance
  • Average income

Ultimately, the website's staff took all that data and created what they're calling the Automotive Misery Index.

The least -- and most -- miserable states

If you live in the Northeast or the West, congratulations: those are some of the least miserable areas for drivers. CarInsurance.com rated New Hampshire as the best state, followed by Alaska, Connecticut, Colorado, and Washington.

At the other end of the scale, Mississippi ranked as the most miserable place for drivers. 

How is that possible, given the fact that Mississippi boasts some of the cheapest gas in the U.S.? It's for two reasons, really.

For starters, Mississippians put an average of 20,424 miles on their odometers each year, which is more than in almost any other state. (Wyoming residents are the only folks to best that total, with annual mileage averaging 22,543.)

But the key to Mississippi's rank is its income. While gas and insurance aren't exorbitantly pricey in the Hospitality State, they take a huge bite out of Mississippi's average income, which, at $36,821, is the lowest on the list. (FYI, Mississippi is one of only three states with an average annual income below $40,000 -- the other two being its neighbors, Tennessee and Arkansas.)

Mississippi is joined at the bottom of the list by other states from the South and one from the Midwest. Coming in at #2 is Oklahoma, followed by Louisiana, West Virginia, and Georgia.

Do you agree with the study's findings? Or do you think your state deserved a better (or worse) shake? Drop us a line, or leave a note in the comments below.

[via Marty Padgett]

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