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New report says Utah is not the worst state for driving, and it's not even close

Skyline of downtown Salt Lake City with the Towering Wasatch Mountain range in the background
Skyline of downtown Salt Lake City with the Towering Wasatch Mountain range in the background
Deseret News archives

Anyone who worries about driving in Utah may rest a little easier thanks to a new WalletHub report that ranked the Beehive State as the 26th worst place to drive.

Utah placed ahead of Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and South Carolina within the top 30.

The report listed Texas as the best state for driving, along with Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and North Carolina.

Hawaii bottomed out on the list, followed by Washington, Maryland, California and Connecticut.

Wallethub compared all 50 states for its rankings, which reviewed average gas prices, share of rush-hour traffic congestion and road quality, among at least 20 other factors.

Utah ranked 41st in the country for its road safety, but 15th for the cost of vehicle ownership and the state's traffic rankings, which includes the length of commute and road congestion.

Right now, it takes Utahns under an hour for their morning commutes, according to a recent Deseret News report. A population boom over the next 30 to 40 years could balloon that time to at least an hour and 40 minutes.

Utah has recently avoided "bad driving" lists. For example, all Utah cities were absent from WalletHub’s 2017 report on the best and worst cities to drive in. That list, however, compared the country’s 100 largest cities. No Utah city's population ranks among the top 100.

Similarly, a study from Zendrive said Utah was the eighth least-distracted states when it comes to driving, with drivers only spending 4.23 percent of their day looking at their phones while driving. The least-distracted state, Oregon, spent 3.69 percent of the day on their phones, according to the study.

However, a 2016 study from the car insurance information company QuoteWizard ranked Utah as the worst state in the country for driving thanks to the Beehive State's high number of accidents and speeding violations.