The Worst Roads in America in Each State

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Jeffrey Johnson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law and has worked in legal offices and nonprofits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman University and worked in film, education, and publishing. His professional writing has appeared on sites like The Manifest and Vice, and he is the author of a novel ...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jan 26, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • Rhode Island has the worst roads in America, and it received the lowest road condition ranking
  • Poorly maintained driving surfaces and accident frequency are a couple of indicators to predict how bad a route can be
  • The worse the roads are the more drivers can expect to pay for auto insurance

Who has the worst roads in America? Unbearable roads typically have potholes, uneven surfaces, and locals may even intentionally avoid driving on them because they are known for being high-risk accident locations. In this article, we will be providing an overview of the top 10 states with the worst roads. If you’re wondering how living in a state with the worst roads in the United States can impact your car insurance rate, keep reading to get your answer. 

Living and traveling in an area with the worst roads in the country doesn’t mean you have to settle for the worst rates. Enter your ZIP code and receive a free car insurance quote today. 

1. Rhode Island has the Worst Roads in America

Rhode Island’s roads are bumpy, narrow, and riddled with potholes, which is why it earned the number one spot for having the worst roads in the United States. Some of the state’s worst accidents have occurred on I-95N EXIT 3B. According to the Bureau of Transportation, Rhode Island has one of the lowest amounts of public road mileage, and its road conditions received the lowest score at 44.5%. Compared to other U.S. states, it also has one of the highest accident frequencies at 4.54%.  

StateMiles of Public RoadRoad Condition Transit CollisionsAccident Frequency
Alabama100,96288.1%82.72%
Alaska17,05076.9%12.57%
Arizona66,78281.4%1213.15%
Arkansas102,62279.7%62.77%
California175,58958.7%6243.70%
Colorado88, 95778.1%149 3.03%
Connecticut21,55664.9%733.76%
Delaware6,46181.7%545.67%
Florida123,09988.2%4123.52%
Georgia128,39796.8%1513.75%
Hawaii4,47556.4%563.33%
Idaho56,34796.9%122.42%
Illinois145,97580.8%5113.21%
Indiana96,96292.5%792.71%
Iowa114,74590.6%92.42%
Kansas142,20088.4%42.50%
Kentucky80,18092.0%442.64%
Louisiana61,41674.4%613.70%
Maine22,81577.7%02.77%
Maryland32,26988.0%1874.56%
Massachusetts36,76370.1%2045.09%
Michigan122,16477.2%169N/A
Minnesota139,59185.1%1672.64%
Mississippi77,47773.2%02.60%
Missouri132,09475.3%1253.03%
Montana73,57388.0%42.15%
Nebraska95,26289.9%02.90%
Nevada48,45887.4%1123.40%
New Hampshire16,17176.4%43.26%
New Jersey38,91953.0%3163.55%
New Mexico77,60569.9%232.59%
New York113,53374.7%1,0343.81%
North Carolina107,34889.1%1113.09%
North Dakota88,05093.4%02.35%
Ohio123,01483.4%2012.85%
Oklahoma116,06562.9%342.98%
Oregon79,26689.8%622.97%
Pennsylvania120,59071.5%4343.17%
Rhode Island6,01344.7%54.54%
South Carolina77,99281.3%63.29%
South Dakota82,50185.7%02.13%
Tennessee96,11694.6%312.84%
Texas314,64889.1%6053.99%
Utah48,91378.4%853.22%
Vermont14,25382.1%02.66%
Virginia75,36988.4%1153.41%
Washington80,65371.1%1503.21%
West Virginia38,85069.5%92.55%
Wisconsin115,60983.4%582.12%
Wyoming29,66680.4%01.85%
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Providence and Warwick are the cities primarily responsible for the state’s rocky road reputation. As a result, the average driver can expect to pay around $1,610 a year for auto insurance, over $200 more than the national average. 

2. Oklahoma Features the Second-Worst Roads in America

For years, Oklahoma has remained in the top 10 list of worst roads in the nation. Some of the most dangerous areas to drive are I-40 and Oklahoma State Highway 9. The average driver can expect to pay around $1,542 a year, over $150 more than the national average.

3. West Virginia Contains the Third-Worst Roads in America

Poor infrastructure, clay-filled soil roads, and uneven driving surfaces are primarily responsible for why the roads in West Virginia can be very dangerous for drivers. Since West Virginia is the only state entirely engulfed in the Appalachian Mountain region, its hilly terrains can be challenging to navigate for newcomers. One of the most dangerous roads to drive in West Virginia is SR-7. 

The average West Virginia driver pays around $1,378 a year for auto insurance, a little over $5 more than the national average. 

4. Mississippi Holds the Fourth-Worst Roads in America

Crooked letters and humpbacks aren’t the only hurdles you can expect to weather when it comes to Mississippi. Its drivers also face a series of challenges when traveling in the area due to its unpleasant road conditions. The most dangerous road to drive in Mississippi is I-55. 

Mississippi drivers pay around $1,800 a year for car insurance, over $400 more than the national average. 

5. Pennsylvania Holds the Fifth-Worst Roads in America

Although the state of Pennsylvania borders seven states–Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia–its roads are far from neighborly. Due to poor upkeep, a majority of the roads in Pennsylvania are in bad condition. The state’s most dangerous road is I-95.   

As a result, the average cost of car insurance for a Pennsylvania driver is around $1,433, which is over $60 more than the national average.

6. New Jersey has the Sixth-Worst Roads in America

Even though the condition of New Jersey’s rural interstate pavement is the best in the country, many of its roads are crumbling, which is how it earned the position of sixth-worst roads in America. In support of this statement, the Bureau of Transportation gave the state’s road conditions one of the lowest scores in the United States at 53.0%. 

Between poor road conditions and high congestion rates, no wonder the average car insurance rate is $1,592, over $200 more than the national average.

7. California Features the Seventh-Worst Roads in America

California is known for its abundance of valleys. Now it is also known for having one of the worst road conditions in the country. San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley contribute heavily to the reputation of the state’s roads.  So does I-80, which is the most dangerous road in the state. 

Drivers in the Golden State typically pay around $1,713 for car insurance, over $300 more than the country’s average. 

8. Missouri Contains the Eighth-Worst Roads in America

When Missouri, also known as the “Show-Me State,” came in eighth for having the worst roads in America, it showed the world that driving through this state wouldn’t be a walk in the park. The state’s most dangerous road is I-10.

Missouri drivers must consider many obstacles between the unpredictable Midwest weather and unacceptable road conditions. However, high car insurance costs aren’t typically one of them. The average cost of car insurance in Missouri is $1,334, over $35 less than the national average. 

9. Louisiana Holds the Ninth-Worst Roads in America

Louisiana has one of the largest volumes of ports for trade. But when it comes to traveling by car, its roads are far from impressive. Over 25 percent of Louisiana’s roads are in poor condition. Add lousy traffic to the mix and, it spells out disaster for locals and tourists alike. The most dangerous road in Louisiana is I-10.

Unfortunately, bad road conditions and unbearable traffic aren’t all you have to worry about if you plan on driving in Louisiana. The state also has many uninsured drivers, so state drivers typically have to pay about $2,225 for car insurance, over $850 more than the national average.

10. New Mexico Houses the Tenth-Worst Roads in America

New Mexico has earned its title as having some of the worst roads in the country. More than half of its roads are in poor condition, and the most dangerous road in the state is I-40. However, New Mexico drivers catch a break with affordable insurance costs.

The average auto insurance cost in New Mexico is $1,331, which is $40 less than the national average.

The Worst Roads in America By City

An examination of the list of top 10 states with the worst roads reveals that the worst roads in America may also be home to cities that are notorious for having terrible driving conditions. When 24/7 Wall St. listed the worst roads in America by city, we couldn’t help but notice that many of these cities contribute heavily to the reputation of the street’s roads.

Some of the worst roads listed were: 

1. Providence, Rhode Island

2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

3. Wheeling, West Virginia

4. Jackson, Mississippi

5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

6. Atlantic City, New Jersey

7. San Francisco, California

8. St. Louis, Missouri

9. New Orleans, Louisiana

10. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Most if not all of the cities listed are major cities, or capitals of their respective state. 

Having the Worst Roads in the Country Can Impact Your Insurance 

As we conclude our journey through the worst roads in America by state, there’s one major takeaway you should have: there is a relationship between road conditions and your car insurance costs. High-risk areas, such as metropolitan cities, populated neighborhoods, are more likely to result in higher insurance rates. If you live in one of the top 10 states with the worst roads in the country, shopping around for a good car insurance deal can help you save big on monthly expenses.  

Having the worst roads in America can impact your insurance rate, but it doesn’t have to impact your options. Enter your ZIP code to get a free insurance quote today.  

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