This holiday season, drivers traveling through Rhode Island, Hawaii, Wisconsin, California, Massachusetts, South Dakota, New Jersey, Louisiana, Michigan and New York are in for the bumpiest rides. Weather conditions and low infrastructure budgets have led to potholed and hazardous roads in these states, according to a new ConsumerAffairs study.
Those traveling through the Midwest, Upper Great Plains and South – particularly Kansas, Alabama, North Dakota, Kentucky, Florida and Idaho – should experience smoother travel than road warriors in parts of the Northeast.
As for the middle-of-the-road states, drivers may still have complaints worth voicing this holiday travel season. Interestingly, a plurality of survey respondents rated their roads “terrible,” even in states that would appear to have quality road conditions on paper.
ConsumerAffairs data scientists compared four factors to determine which states have the worst roads: dollar amount spent per mile of roadway, percentage of “poor” road conditions, annual motor crash fatalities and 1,027 email survey responses.
“Survey data is always biased, but politically distributed highway budgets are doubly so,” according to ConsumerAffairs Vice President of Data and Analytics George Earl.
Each factor was normalized, rescaled and weighted, assigning greater or lesser importance to some data points. Next, ratings from each dimension were combined to produce the final scores.
“In this scenario, public opinion must clearly be weighted higher than spend. Especially since there’s no other way to know if that money was effectively utilized,” Earl said.
To see where each state ranks in the study, check out the full report: www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/us-road-conditions.html.