4
Why Colorado Is One of the Worst States for Drivers
Thinkstock file photo

Why Colorado Is One of the Worst States for Drivers

Good news for everyone who regularly bitches that Colorado is a terrible state for drivers: Now there's evidence to back you up.

A new report from Bank Rate ranks Colorado the eighth-worst state in the country for drivers. And according to data analyst Adrian Garcia, who authored the piece, the reasons mostly have to do with unimpressive scores in the main three metrics used by the site.

Continue Reading

"The problem with Colorado," Garcia says, "is that costs are high, driving quality is only fair, and it's not as safe as it could be."

The complete roster is below, along with source references and a description of the methodology used to determine how the states were ordered. But Garcia provides specific details about what led to Colorado's lousy finish.

"We looked at seven factors related to cost, driving quality and safety," he explains. "For cost, we looked at insurance premiums, the cost for repairs and maintenance and gas prices. For driving quality, we looked at commute times and road conditions. And for safety, we looked at two data sets from the federal government — the fatality rate and the theft rate."

In a handful of categories, Colorado's scores were actually higher than the national average, though not by much. The fatality rate in the state, based on 2016 data, came in at 1.17 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, as compared to 1.18 nationally. The average price for a gallon of gas circa 2017 was $2.35, a skosh less than the countrywide figure, $2.39. And while drivers who live in Denver may have a hard time believing it, the average commute time in Colorado, 25 minutes, is a full sixty seconds less than the equivalent national number, 26 minutes.

That's where the good news ends.

Why Colorado Is One of the Worst States for Drivers (2)
Thinkstock file photo

Nationally, 22 percent of roads are considered to be in poor condition, Garcia points out. In Colorado, it's 24 percent — and with the failures of Proposition 109, aka Fix Our Damn Roads, and Proposition 110, known as Let's Go Colorado, the prospects for piles of cash suddenly materializing to address the issue could hardly be dimmer.

Colorado drivers also pay more to maintain their vehicles. The average annual cost for parts and repair here is $376 versus $365 nationally. And folks here pay a lot more for insurance: $1,547 per annum, nearly $200 more than the $1,365 average for all fifty states. "That's a significant one," Garcia emphasizes.

On top of that, Coloradans are much more likely to have their car stolen than are residents in other parts of the U.S. The national average is 237 thefts per 100,000 residents. In Colorado, it's 390.

How can drivers in our fair state improve their situation without doing something drastic, like moving? Garcia offers some best practices: "You should always shop around for insurance. And you can try to get out from behind the wheel. Use public transportation — and some employers offer benefits like free bus passes. You can also set up carpools that will let you use toll lanes."

In other words, Colorado drivers will be happier, safer and have more money if they stop driving. Continue to see the complete Bank Rate list, sorted from the best states for drivers to the worst — including seven that landed even lower than Colorado.

Number 1: North Dakota
Safety score: 5.1
Cost score: 17.1
Driving quality score: 18
Total score: 41.2

Number 2: Iowa
Safety score: 5.5
Cost score: 18.15
Driving quality score: 17.2
Total score: 40.85

Number 3: Ohio
Safety score: 7
Cost score: 20.1
Driving quality score: 11.6
Total score: 38.7

Number 4: Minnesota
Safety score: 7.8
Cost score: 15.6
Driving quality score: 15
Total score: 38.4

Number 5: Nebraska
Safety score: 4.9
Cost score: 15.3
Driving quality score: 17
Total score: 37.2

Number 6: Indiana
Safety score: 6.1
Cost score: 15.9
Driving quality score: 14.4
Total score: 36.4

Number 7: Kansas
Safety score: 3.4
Cost score: 15.75
Driving quality score: 16
Total score: 35.15

Number 8: Wyoming
Safety score: 6.7
Cost score: 8.7
Driving quality score: 19.2
Total score: 34.6

Number 9 (tie): South Dakota
Safety score: 5.8
Cost score: 12.15
Driving quality score: 16.4
Total score: 34.35

Number 9 (tie): Vermont
Safety score: 9.5
Cost score: 15.45
Driving quality score: 9.4
Total score: 34.35

Why Colorado Is One of the Worst States for Drivers (3)
Thinkstock file photo

Number 11: Wisconsin
Safety score: 7.2
Cost score: 17.55
Driving quality score: 9
Total score: 33.75

Number 12: Idaho
Safety score: 5.2
Cost score: 12.75
Driving quality score: 15
Total score: 32.95

Number 13: New Hampshire
Safety score: 8.2
Cost score: 17.55
Driving quality score: 6.8
Total score: 32.55

Number 14: Maine
Safety score: 8
Cost score: 15.75
Driving quality score: 8.6
Total score: 32.35

Number 15: North Carolina
Safety score: 5.9
Cost score: 13.65
Driving quality score: 11
Total score: 30.55

Number 16: Tennessee
Safety score: 2.9
Cost score: 14.25
Driving quality score: 12.6
Total score: 29.75

Number 17: Missouri
Safety score: 2.8
Cost score: 16.5
Driving quality score: 10.2
Total score: 29.5

Number 18: Utah
Safety score: 5.3
Cost score: 9.3
Driving quality score: 14.4
Total score: 29

Number 19: Virginia
Safety score: 8.5
Cost score: 14.1
Driving quality score: 6.2
Total score: 28.8

Number 20: Kentucky
Safety score: 2.7
Cost score: 10.35
Driving quality score: 15.6
Total score: 28.65

Number 21: Arkansas
Safety score: 2.6
Cost score: 13.2
Driving quality score: 12.8
Total score: 28.6

Number 22: Alabama
Safety score: 2.5
Cost score: 13.65
Driving quality score: 12
Total score: 28.15

Number 23: Illinois
Safety score: 7
Cost score: 12.9
Driving quality score: 7.4
Total score: 27.3

Number 24: Arizona
Safety score: 2.5
Cost score: 14.1
Driving quality score: 10.6
Total score: 27.2

Number 25 (tie): Montana
Safety score: 2.6
Cost score: 6.9
Driving quality score: 17.6
Total score: 27.1

Number 25 (tie): Oklahoma
Safety score: 2.3
Cost score: 14.4
Driving quality score: 10.4
Total score: 27.1

Number 27: Oregon
Safety score: 2.1
Cost score: 8.7
Driving quality score: 15.2
Total score: 26

Number 28: Michigan
Safety score: 6.1
Cost score: 9.45
Driving quality score: 10.2
Total score: 25.75

Number 29 (tie): Mississippi
Safety score: 3.9
Cost score: 12.75
Driving quality score: 8.4
Total score: 25.05

Why Colorado Is One of the Worst States for Drivers (4)
Thinkstock file photo

Number 29 (tie): South Carolina
Safety score: 1.3
Cost score: 13.95
Driving quality score: 9.8
Total score: 25.05

Number 31: Alaska
Safety score: 0.5
Cost score: 10.35
Driving quality score: 13.8
Total score: 24.65

Number 32: New Mexico
Safety score: 1.4
Cost score: 13.2
Driving quality score: 9.4
Total score: 24

Number 33: Pennsylvania
Safety score: 7.2
Cost score: 12.3
Driving quality score: 4.2
Total score: 23.7

Number 34: West Virginia
Safety score: 4.8
Cost score: 10.95
Driving quality score: 7.8
Total score: 23.55

Number 35: Delaware
Safety score: 6.5
Cost score: 8.4
Driving quality score: 8.6
Total score: 23.5

Number 36: Massachusetts
Safety score: 9.5
Cost score: 12.45
Driving quality score: 1.4
Total score: 23.35

Number 37: Nevada
Safety score: 2.5
Cost score: 5.7
Driving quality score: 15
Total score: 23.2

Number 38: Florida
Safety score: 3.6
Cost score: 7.2
Driving quality score: 10.6
Total score: 21.4

Number 39: Georgia
Safety score: 3.8
Cost score: 6.75
Driving quality score: 10.8
Total score: 21.35

Number 40: Texas
Safety score: 3.4
Cost score: 12.3
Driving quality score: 4.8
Total score: 20.5

Number 41: Louisiana
Safety score: 2.8
Cost score: 10.35
Driving quality score: 6.2
Total score: 19.35

Number 42: New York
Safety score: 9.4
Cost score: 5.85
Driving quality score: 3.8
Total score: 19.05

Number 43: Colorado
Safety score: 3.2
Cost score: 7.35
Driving quality score: 8
Total score: 18.55

Number 44: Rhode Island
Safety score: 8.9
Cost score: 4.2
Driving quality score: 5.4
Total score: 18.5

Number 45: Maryland
Safety score: 7
Cost score: 7.05
Driving quality score: 4.2
Total score: 18.25

Number 46; Washington
Safety score: 5.7
Cost score: 7.5
Driving quality score: 4.6
Total score: 17.1

Number 47: New Jersey
Safety score: 8.8
Cost score: 6.15
Driving quality score: 1.8
Total score: 16.75

Number 48: Connecticut
Safety score: 6.8
Cost score: 2.55
Driving quality score: 5.6
Total score: 14.95

Number 49: Hawaii
Safety score: 3.8
Cost score: 5.1
Driving quality score: 2.6
Total score: 11.5

Number 50: California
Safety score: 3.6
Cost score: 1.8
Driving quality score: 1
Total score: 6.4

Methodology

"The 2018 Bankrate Best State for Drivers Study was compiled using seven measures related to cost, safety and driving quality. We used the most recently available data for all 50 states from government sources, research organizations and industry groups. For our analysis, we gave cost a 45 percent weighting, driving quality a 35 percent weighting and safety a 20 percent weighting.

"Traffic fatality data was obtained through the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS); vehicle theft data was obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2017 Crime in the United States report; average cost of parts and labor was provided by CarMD.com through the 2018 CarMD Index; gas prices were provided by GasPrices.AAA.com; auto insurance premiums data was obtained through Insure.com; commute times were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau; and road condition data was provided by TRIP."

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send: