South Florida

Florida is among the worst places to drive

Something to contemplate as you are idling on Interstate 95 behind a tanker truck or gripping the steering wheel in terror as ninja-motorcyclists weave past in 100 mph-plus packs:

Florida is one of the worst places in the country to be a motorist.

Not the worst — that distinction belongs to California, but ninth worst, which is pretty bad, considering the competition.

The rankings, released Tuesday, come courtesy of Bankrate.com. The study evaluated 50 U.S. states based on several factors that impact drivers, including commute time (we’re bad) , annual insurance premiums (ditto), gas expenditure, cost of car repairs, car thefts (more ditto) and auto fatalities. Click here for more information:

Iowa was the best place to drive due to its low insurance premiums, short commute times and less expensive auto repair costs. Ohio, Maine, Wisconsin and Vermont complete the top five states for drivers.

California received the lowest scores of all 50 states for average auto repairs and car thefts; that paired with lengthy commute times for drivers earned the state its last place designation. New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana and Wyoming round out the bottom five states.

“Transportation is the second highest cost many households face, but that burden doesn’t fall equally across states,” said Claes Bell, CFA, an analyst with Bankrate.com. “Americans should take into account their costs for insurance, gas and other factors, as well as safety concerns, when considering their daily travel options.”

Labor and parts data was provided by CarMD.com, gas spending was calculated with statistics from the Bureau of Transportation and the Oil Price Information Service and insurance costs were compiled from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Theft statistics came from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and fatal crash rates were from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Commute times were determined from the U.S. Census.

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