As the holiday season approaches, it makes sense to find out what states are the worst (and best) to drive through.
The research team at ConsumerAffairs analyzed government reports and recent email surveys to score every state on pavement roughness, road spending per capita and local sentiment.
Louisiana was ranked as the state with the eighth worst roads. Rhode Island has the worst roads, followed by Hawaii, Wisconsin and California.
To determine which states had the worst roads, the study focused on four main factors:
- An email survey: ConsumerAffairs surveyed 1,027 people across all 50 states via email between Oct. 30 and Nov. 8, 2021. The survey asked respondents in all 50 states to rate their roads on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being terrible and 10 being excellent. Survey respondents were allowed to explain why they chose their rating.
- Percentage of roads in poor, fair and good condition: The study considered the percentage of roads the Federal Highway Administration graded as being in poor, fair and good condition. States scored worst for having a higher percentage of roads in poor condition. ConsumerAffairs also considered overall congestion by the state as judged by urban versus rural road mileage.
- Motor crash fatalities on roads per mile: The total number of fatal motor vehicle crashes in each state was sourced from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
- Amount spent per mile of road: ConsumerAffairs calculated the dollar amount each state spends per mile of road with data obtained from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The study states that Louisiana has 1,634 bridges and over 3,410 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 9.3 percent in the state, and drivers pay an average of $667 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair.
According to the email survey, one resident said there are “potholes everywhere” in Baker. In Opelousas, one resident said “The roads are patched and repatched numerous times! There are used tire stores all over this small city and they always have customers!”
A Keithville resident said their streets are “weather worn” and that “age is showing problems.”
Why are Louisiana roads so bad?
Louisiana’s streets leave much to be desired because of a lack of funding. The study says Louisiana’s pavement failure is likely caused by a “combination of traffic, moisture, and climate,” according to recent data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Poor Louisiana road conditions are thanks to:
- Out-of-date transportation systems
- Not enough state or local funding
- Congestion and lack of safety features
States with the best roads
The states with the best roads are highly rated by the people who drive on them. These states also have more funding for maintenance and infrastructure.