Traffic

Washington ranked second-worst in the nation, and we can’t even blame Canada this time

Drivers navigate congestion on Interstate 5 through Bellingham. Washington was ranked the second worst state for driving in the United States, thanks to high ownership, maintenance and gas costs and poor traffic.
Drivers navigate congestion on Interstate 5 through Bellingham. Washington was ranked the second worst state for driving in the United States, thanks to high ownership, maintenance and gas costs and poor traffic. The Bellingham Herald file

It’s something nearly every Whatcom County driver likely has done at least once – some of us have probably done it more than others.

Living so close to the U.S./Canada border, it’s only natural that we blame our neighbors to the north when things go wrong on our local roads. How often do you see cars with white license plates and light blue letters and numbers racing past you on the interstate or turning left from the right-hand lane, right?

Unfortunately, we can’t blame Canada for everything goes wrong on our roads.

Washington was ranked the second worst state for driving in the United States, according to a list published by financial website WalletHub.com Wednesday.

The only state worse to drive in than the Evergreen State? You’d have to go Hawaiian Islands. Even Maryland (No. 48) and California (No. 47) ranked above us.

According to the list, WalletHub used “23 key indicators” of what made a positive commute to compile the list. Among variables considered were gas prices, rush-hour traffic congestion and road quality.

While Washington ranked 17th among the 50 states in access to vehicles and maintenance, it was 36th in safety, 39th in traffic and infrastructure and 45th in cost of ownership and maintenance. Washington also ranked 47th in both average gas prices and car theft rates, according to the list.

But we don’t need any lists to know that conditions out there can be treacherous:

So where should you go for good driving conditions?

According to WalletHub.com, things are not just bigger, but also better in Texas, which grabbed the No. 1 ranking. Kansas and Nebraska were Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, while Iowa and North Carolina rounded out the top five. Fortunately, if you can make it across Washington, conditions also are pretty good in neighboring Oregon (No. 6) and Idaho (No. 12).

A map of WalletHub’s final rankings is below:

Source: WalletHub
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