Best and Worst States for Drivers: Pennsylvania Among the Best, New Jersey Among the Worst

We have all sat behind the wheel and argued that our state has the best or the worst drivers, without truly knowing. Well, now we do. According to a Bankrate.com ranking of best and worst states for drivers, Pennsylvania was one of the best states for drivers while New Jersey ranked as one of the worst states for drivers.

What factors did Bankrate.com consider for its ranking?

Bankrate.com, using data from various sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, FBI, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, created a ranking system to determine which states were the best and worst for drivers.

It assigned a score of zero to 10 (10 being the best) for each of the following categories:

  1. Average length of commuting, in minutes
  2. Annual insurance cost (Pennsylvania was about $40 higher than the national average; New Jersey was about $400 higher than national average of $887.)
  3. Annual gasoline spending (PA and NJ were both lower than the national average of $1,127.)
  4. Cost of car repairs (Both PA and NJ were close to national average of $392.)
  5. Car thefts per 100,000 people (Both states were much lower than national average of 199.6 per 100,000.)
  6. Car fatalities per 1,000,000 miles driven

Iowa led the pack, with the best score of 48 of out 60. California was dead last, with a score of 21. How did New Jersey and Pennsylvania stand up to this ranking scrutiny? Pennsylvania had the 16th best score, of 37.7; New Jersey came in 43rd with a score of 28.4.

Where do New Jersey and Pennsylvania rank for accidents?

Even though Pennsylvania ranked much higher than New Jersey, Pennsylvania’s car fatality rate was significantly higher than New Jersey’s. Pennsylvania’s car fatalities per 1 million miles driven were 1.2; New Jersey had 0.7. (The national average was 1.1 fatalities.)

In most cases, the longer you have to be on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident. However, this does not seem to be the case in our states.

The average commute time in Pennsylvania was 26.8 minutes (11th longest in the nation), compared to New Jersey’s average of 31.3 minutes (third longest). We could, instead, attribute part of the blame to Pennsylvania’s larger population.

Accidents Still Happen

Even though both Pennsylvania and New Jersey’s accident fatality rankings were relatively low — tied for 18th and for second lowest, respectively — accidents still happen far too often in our states. And most of these accidents result from human error.

To avoid an accident and injuries, you should always remember:

  • Avoid distractions
  • Never drive intoxicated or fatigued
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Always follow traffic laws
  • Always drive defensively

Even if you follow all of these tips, not everyone will. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you might be entitled to compensation.

To schedule a free consultation and to discuss your legal options for recovering compensation, call Cordisco & Saile today: 215-642-2335.