Drivers Beware: The 5 best and worst states for driving in U.S.

Although gas prices keep going down across the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys, drivers are still spending time and money with their automobiles.

Rural states are the best for driving, according to new rankings from the financial company Bankrate, which collected data on the following categories:

  • Gasoline costs
  • Car repair charges
  • Fatal crashes and car thefts
  • Insurance premiums
  • Commute times

Pennsylvania and Ohio ranked among the middle of the pack for drivers. Ohio is home to some of the cheapest insurance premiums in the country, averaging just under $700 over five years. Pennsylvania has a low rate of car thefts, with 107.8 thefts per 100,000 people.

Those are all just average numbers, though, and drivers should take charge in order to save money with their own automobiles.

“The easiest thing to do is to call your insurance carrier and find out what you can do to lower your premium,” said Chris Kahn, a statistics analyst for Bankrate. “It might be as easy as raising your deductible, but in other cases, you can lower your premium by just parking your car inside your house if you have a garage instead of putting it out on the street. There’s some really simple things that you can do.”

Here are the five best states for driving, according to Bankrate’s rankings:

  1. Idaho
  2. Vermont
  3. Wyoming
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Minnesota

And the five worst states for driving, which consisted of more densely-populated areas, where traffic can make commutes longer.

46. New Jersey
47. Maryland
48. Texas
49. California
50. Louisiana

As gas prices go down closer to $2 per gallon, experts recommend using this opportunity to pad your savings account.

“Some of the easiest money to save is the stuff you’re not going to miss,” said Kahn. “So every time you fill up, take $20 and put it somewhere into savings. You won’t miss it, because that’s what you were spending last year.”

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