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You might be enraged by your local potholes, but the roads are probably worse elsewhere. Sitting in traffic is frustrating—and a waste of gas money—so take some comfort in this report the worst roads in the country. Hopefully your state isn’t on it. But if it is, well...you can feel validated in your rage.
This ranking looks at the total miles of public roads in addition to the percentage of “acceptable” miles, which were culled from the Bureau of Transportation’s most recent data data from 2020, then compared to the existing data from 2015. The ranking also considered each state’s fatalities on the road. For both rankings, each state was given a normalized score—up to 10—and then their scores were averaged.
The worst roads in the United States
These five states have the worst roads:West Virginia (.06/10)New Mexico (1.43/10)Arizona (2.4/10)Mississippi (2.65/10)Hawaii (3.13/10)
The researchers actually called West Virginia’s score “pitiful,” pointing out that only 70% of the roads in the state are acceptable. Mississippi, however, at least had some improvement on its highways between 2015 and 2020—but not enough to keep it out of the bottom five.
The best roads in the United States
Here are the states with the best roads:Iowa (8.3/10)Minnesota (8.16/10)Virginia (7.96/10)North Dakota (7.55/10)Vermont (7.28/10)
If you live in Iowa, congratulations: 91% of your roads are in good condition—and that’s a 9% improvement from 2015. In North Dakota, a whopping 93% of roads are in acceptable condition, but it didn’t take the top spot because there were 1.07 highway fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
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Some other states saw dramatic improvement in the five-year comparison, too. Connecticut, for instance, had 22% better roads in 2020 than 2015, while Wisconsin was up 10% and Maryland was up 12%. Unfortunately, some saw declines, like Wyoming, which went down 11%, and Michigan, which went down 13%. Here are some tips for handling road rage, because if you live in West Virginia, you might need it.