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The 10 worst states for driving

Here are the 10 states where automotive expenses consume the highest percentage of household income.

By MSN Money Partner Sep 12, 2012 5:44PM

This post comes from Des Toups at partner site


Image: Car on road. Copyright: Brand X, SuperStockNo one likes paying for gas and insurance. But some drivers feel the pinch more than others.


The price of gas in the U.S. can range from well under $3 a gallon to twice that. A year of comprehensive, collision and liability coverage can cost the same driver as little as $889 or as much as $2,589 -- even more, depending on the ZIP code. And the number of miles an average driver travels can be as little as 9,800 miles a year in Alaska or more than twice that in Wyoming.'s Automotive Misery Index looks at the geographical variables in car ownership, weighing each state's household income against the cost of gas, number of miles driven and price of full coverage for a 2012 Honda Accord EX.


Each factor can greatly skew the cost of car ownership. (Post continues below.)

Drivers feel high gas and insurance prices most in Mississippi, a rural state where distances are long and incomes are low, but gasoline and insurance also cost more than average. A 40-year-old driving a 2012 Honda Accord EX a typical number of miles for the state would pay 11.6% of his income for gas and insurance.


In comparison, New Hampshire's relatively high paychecks, low cost of insurance and shorter commutes mean the same driver would shell out just 4.4% of his household income.


The 10 states where automotive expenses consumed the highest percentage of household income were:


Rank  State               Gas & Insurance   Income    Misery Index

1.        Mississippi      $4,287                  $36,821   11.6%

2.        Oklahoma       $4,816                  $45,018   10.7%

3.        Louisiana        $4,504                  $42,813   10.5%

4.        West Virginia  $4,292                  $41,999   10.2%

5.        Montana          $4,005                 $41,286    9.7%

6.        Georgia           $4,268                 $44,082    9.7%

7.        Michigan         $4,274                  $46,597    9.2%

8.        Wyoming         $4,828                 $52,848    9.1%

9.        Kentucky         $3,860                 $42,302    9.1%

10.       Arkansas        $3,411                 $37,856    9.0%


You can see the complete Automotive Misery Index here.


How we calculated the Misery Index calculated costs for a 2012 Honda Accord EX four-door sedan with an EPA combined fuel economy rating of 27 miles per gallon. Gasoline prices came for the AAA Fuel Gauge Report on Sept. 1. Household income data were derived from the 2010 U.S. Census. Annual mileage per licensed driver was supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Insurance rates were averaged from six carriers in 10 ZIP codes per state for a 2012 Honda Accord driven by a 40-year-old male with no violations or accidents commuting 12 miles to work, carrying a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage, bodily injury liability limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 in property damage liability coverage. The report was commissioned by from Quadrant Information Services.


More from and MSN Money:

Sep 13, 2012 1:43PM
Half the people driving in broward county florida can't reach the steering wheel.When all you can see are two hands on the wheel and no head watch out.
Sep 13, 2012 8:52AM
I live in Wyoming, and my personal "misery index" would be through the roof if I lived in New York or California.
Sep 13, 2012 12:57AM
Poll must be wrong because I don't see Ohio on the list anywhere.
Sep 13, 2012 9:11PM

Isn't it amazing how MSN once again has a story that basically says that all of the "fly over" states are miserable and need to have guidance from the "refined and educated" liberal states!  Please, do me a favor, and leave us alone!  I would much rather drive a car  for hours on the highway in Wyoming than 10 seconds on a NYC street!

Sep 13, 2012 8:57PM

All you whiners.  The places you mention have nothing on Massachusetts, particularly the Boston area.  Getting around in, or through Boston is a non-stop game of chicken.


The best way to negotiate traffic in the Boston area is with a beat up, rusted out four wheel drive pickup with a snowplow mounted on the front, even in the middle of summer.  It screams out, "I dare you to cut in front of me!", and there are no takers.


To be courteous is considered to be a sign of weakness, and the predators are always ready to pounce and exploit your weakness.  Put on a turn signal to change lanes and the person behind in the lane you want to change to will speed up to block your move.


So, you have to make your move, then use your turn signal.  Never, never, telegraph your intentions.  You must take the enemy by surprise.


Sep 13, 2012 9:12PM

I can see from the comments here that there are plenty of horrible drivers in every state. 


I think the police who sit in the shadows of the overpasses and ticket some poor slob for going a few miles an hour over the speed limit should concentrate on pulling over the drivers that are causing traffic delays and consequently more accidents. (You know, the moron in the passing lane that has 2 blocks of traffic backed up behind them and is oblivious to the situation.)


They should pull them over, beat the piss out of them and throw them in jail!  Seriously!!!

Sep 13, 2012 9:54PM
The only reason to write an article like this is to avoid writing an article about price gouging at the pumps.
Sep 13, 2012 6:14AM
The reason many of the states are included isn't because of the driving, it's because of the weather. Hail damage is expensive, and a lot of the listed states are in tornado alley or an area known for hurricanes.
Sep 13, 2012 10:44PM

I don't know where you polled and figured but you so called experts are full of ****. Why don't you try your estimate with an older car and somethibng the poor can afford? You are so fricking stupid you have no idea how the world is or who the real people are who are in it. Get a clue and get a frickin life you frickin wannabes. Your idea of the news and reports has nothibng to do with the real world. Try McAllen Texas where 90% of the drivers have no insurance and have no idea how to drive their older cars without texting and rearending others. Why don't you do a piece on people who throw their garbage out the window everywhere they go? Do a piece on something else. You are definetely no good at this one!

Sep 13, 2012 11:55PM

The worst state is intoxication, tied with distraction.


So, lay off the beers, and what's worse, the cell phones.

Sep 13, 2012 9:26AM
Come to Tennessee.  They don't know what the "fast" lane means, no one knows what the turn signal indicator is for, you ain't seen horrible til you visit the numbskull state of TN!
Sep 13, 2012 10:58PM
I've worked in 48 states (not Hawaii or Alaska) and the worst, worst, worst are in Wyoming (as a city, Boston IS the worst).  Oblivious drivers, with an attitude of I own the road, get out of my way.  They don't even know why they're crappy drivers.  At least drivers in Texas know they're assh***s.  And Californians actually know what a turn signal is... most places, it is an indication to other drivers that they should speed up to cut you off.  And yes,there are many drivers up and down the east coast that shouldn't even be in a car, but they're easy to manipulate or anticipate.  And most of all, no matter where you are, beware the Asian lady in a big SUV and the teenage kid with a window sticker showing anyone pissing on anything...
Sep 13, 2012 9:10AM
Clearly the "Misery Index" has nothing to do with how terrible the drivers are in an area. If so, every state in the Mid-Atlantic corridor would top this list. If you live here, you simply can't deny it.
Sep 13, 2012 3:35PM
Auto drivers from Oregon and Northern California must come from the same family tree branch. they speed up on the freeways to pass then they either slow down or go on the off ramp.  I can't tell you how many times that happens every day  Off the freeways on the four lanes I drive in the outer lane and cars speed up and go around my  car and then slow down. I watch the traffic in the inner lane speed past and stop at the next red light and I catch up to them at the light and off they go. The next light its the same thing. I often joke that the drivers are in a great hurry and only if they would just knew where they were going would be a help.
Sep 13, 2012 9:29PM
I agree with the last guy. Ohio drivers are the worst. I drive a big truck and they always stay in my blind spot instead of just passing. then after five miles when they finally do, they slow down. Bad drivers all around, they are.
Sep 13, 2012 10:16PM
You made a mistake.... Rhode island drivers are the worst around here. they should go back to drivers school. Many never use their blinkers. and never look left or right to go across over to the other side. Many don't understand english Rhode island and Massachusetts should do something about the problem They are the cause of many accidents. many on the 195 and 95 interstate they drive like they are crazy
Sep 13, 2012 2:55PM

if you counted the amount of time wasted in traffic multiplied by the hourly wage this list would be vastly different.


yeah we make a lot more up here in New Jersey, but driving is a whole different kind of miserable compared to Mississippi.  What's a Mississippi traffic jam? Having another car in front of you at the stop sign?


at least we don't have to pump our own gas (there's a law against it).

Sep 13, 2012 10:08PM
As someone who just left the DC area after 10 years I agree the roads are miserable and the driver the worst in particular in the District itself where any moron seems to be able to get a license. I would adopt the road policy they have in Australia where police ticket you for going too slow (they have a minimum speed on freeways as well as Mx) and better still they ticket you for driving in the middle or outside lane when the inside lane is available! I-95 would move at twice the speed if slow people stuck to the right hand lane rather than the middle becuase they are scared of the trucks!
Sep 13, 2012 10:53PM
I am shockingly surprised that Utah is not up there for worst drivers!  I am guaranteed to die from a traffic accident if I continue to live in Utah.
Sep 13, 2012 10:54PM

I'm surprise that California didn't make the list. It is really expensive out here. My daughter was here recently from Las Vegas, and she was

shocked how much we pay for gas. We were over the $4.25 mark, and she filled up her tank at $3.50 a gallon! Couldn't believe it.

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