People who regularly drive in the Cincinnati area have their own opinions about traffic safety in Ohio. Whether you hate driving here or think it isn’t too bad, most of us have horror stories about reckless motorists, gridlock and poorly maintained roads.
Overall though, the Buckeye State is one of the better states in which to own a vehicle and drive. That’s according to a study conducted by Wallethub that ranked the states by driveability. The study named Ohio 10th overall — not the top, but far from the bottom. To compare, Michigan was ranked 38th and Kentucky was 6th.
How did Ohio rank so high?
Wallethub came up with its rankings by looking at state-by-state data in four categories:
- Cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle (gas prices, average annual car insurance premiums, repair costs)
- Traffic and infrastructure (level of rush-hour congestion, number of days with precipitation, number of days with icy roads, road and bridge quality, etc.)
- Safety (frequency of bad behaviors like distracted driving, speeding, aggressive acceleration and sudden braking; share of uninsured drivers; traffic fatality rate; etc.)
- Access to vehicles and maintenance (number of dealerships, gas stations, mechanics, car washes, etc. per capita)
Ohio ranked below average in safety (37th) and traffic/infrastructure (32nd), though it did well in access (7th) and cost (5th). The last two categories seem to have boosted Ohio’s overall ranking and somewhat camouflaged problems with the state’s infrastructure and driving culture. While access to reasonably priced repair shops and gas stations matters, they have less impact on traffic safety than drivers who take their legal responsibilities seriously and roads and bridges that are in good repair. These are the things that can raise or reduce the risk of serious car accidents.