If there is any upside to many people in Maryland working in a virtual environment during this COVID-19 pandemic is that we are not spending as much time on the roads. That being said for those that still are spending a lot of time on the roads it appears as if Maryland is one of the worst states to drive in today. Here is information via WalletHub:

With U.S. traffic congestion costing U.S. drivers $88 billion in 2019 but driving reduced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Best & Worst States to Drive in, as well as accompanying videos.

To determine the most driver-friendly states in the U.S., WalletHub compared the 50 states across 31 key metrics. The data set ranges from average gas prices to rush-hour traffic congestion to road quality.

Driving in Maryland (1=Best; 25=Avg.):

  • 49th – Share of Rush-Hour Traffic Congestion
  • 22nd – Car Theft Rate
  • 16th – Auto-Repair Shops per Capita
  • 42nd – Avg. Gas Prices
  • 44th – Auto-Maintenance Costs
  • 28th – Car Dealerships per Capita

Overall: Maryland ranks 47th in the nation

Source: WalletHub

For the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-states-to-drive-in/43012

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Here is a short video on this topic:

I reached out to WalletHub about how Maryland ranked in previous years and this is what they sent me:

Yes, we’ve been publishing the study every year since 2018. Please see Maryland’s ranks below. However, note that we have been updating the methodology every year, and don’t recommend direct comparisons between reports.

2018: 48
2019: 41
2020: 45

I still find looking at the past and present interesting so I went ahead with publishing those numbers as well in this post.


My family down in Tennessee will be happy to see that their state made the Top 5. For my family up in Pennsylvania, y’all are in nearly the same boat (ranked 44th) as we are here in Maryland.

Scott E

2 COMMENTS

  1. Living in a horrible place to drive isn’t bad at all when that place is also great for walking, biking, and/or public transit. We previously lived in RI, which ranks 45th worst to drive (comparable to Maryland’s 47th) and we were definitely crunched by RI’s super high car taxes, very limited parking, miserable traffic, etc. However, we were eventually able to ditch the car entirely by using RI’s decent-enough public transit to get around and walking the rest of the way to our destinations. It was no NYC, but buses ran every 15 minutes by our apartment (40 minutes on weekends) and we had sidewalks up and down every street. Driving was something people chose to do there, not an absolute necessity, and most households had at most one car.

    Upon moving to central Maryland, we found far fewer options. Most main roads have no crosswalks– let alone basic sidewalks– and public transit routes run far too infrequently to be reasonable for anyone except the desperate. Intersections with crosswalk signals have generally been programmed to optimize car traffic over anyone else. This includes programmed crossing times that are far too short even for me as an able bodied adult (I usually pick up the kids and run).

    We’ve since gotten around this by moving within bicycling distance of work and using an electric assist bike to complete the vast majority of errands. I don’t personally enjoy driving, but we have also purchased one car because some errands here are simply unrealistic without a vehicle (even though some areas of Howard County have as much as 20% of households with no car whatsoever). Our ability to travel by anything other than car here in HoCo has been made possible by our good steady income, being very intentional about living close to work, and being willing to dare roads where my bicycle is legally allowed but only grudgingly tolerated. Not everyone has those same options or risk tolerance.

    In other words, it’s one thing to live in a place that is horrible to drive, and it’s quite another to live in a place that is horrible to drive AND where driving is realistically the only option for most.

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