Rocky Mountain driving Photo Credit: eyecrave (iStock).

Photo Credit: eyecrave (iStock).

Colorado has been dubbed one of the worst places for drivers in the United States in a recent WalletHub report, thanks to factors like high rates of vehicle theft, poor road quality, and rush-hour traffic congestion.

In the WalletHub analysis, key metrics were compared across 50 states related to 'driver-friendliness.' Colorado was ranked as the 41st best state for the driving experience – or 10th worst.

Looking deeper into the categories included in the analysis, Colorado ranked the worst in vehicle theft rates – 49th. The Centennial State also performed poorly when it came to rush-hour traffic congestion – 40th – and road quality – 33rd. Colorado also underperformed when it came to high gas prices (33rd), car dealerships per capita (32nd), and annual car insurance premiums (41st).

While Colorado was ranked below average on many categories, that wasn't always the case. Colorado ranked 18th in number of repair shops per capita and 24th in traffic fatality rate. Colorado also ranked quite high – 6th – in the 'number of days with precipitation' category, thanks to the state's many blue sky days. Colorado is also known for having effective driving laws, ranking 8th nationally in this category. Though not one of the highly weighted factors in the analysis, Colorado ranked high in the number of alternative fuel stations per capita, ranking 2nd among the states.

It's also worth noting that while an overall ranking of 41st in driving is pretty bad, it's better than WalletHub's 2020 ranking for Colorado – 46th.

Factors included in the study were split into four categories: cost of ownership and maintenance, traffic and infrastructure, safety, and access to vehicles and maintenance. Among these categories were metrics like number of icy days, number of wind and hail storms, seatbelt wearing, and strictness of DUI punishment.

While many factors relevant to the driving and car ownership experience were included in this analysis, some criteria that Colorado may have performed well in, such as scenery along roadways, was not.

Frustrations on the roadways are something commonly discussed in Colorado, from never-ending construction to a perceived lack of driving skills among those operating vehicles.

Do you think the Colorado driving experience is one of the worst in the United States? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more about the methodology of the WalletHub study here

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee manages the OutThere Colorado digital publication as the Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to rock climb, trail run, and mountain bike. Follow along with his adventures on Instagram at @spence.outside


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(5) comments


Co drivers are overly aggressive. This is a native issue from what I see. They tend to yell and blame migrants whenever someone's does something they didn't want them too. It quite hilarious but also increases the danger to others on the road.


Having lived in 3 other states I'd say 90% of the bad drivers in Colorado are tourists. Driving while on pot doesn't help either.


Perhaps the analysis was based on cities in the front range.


All of the negatives with Colorado driving stem from the hoards of people moving here! Go back to where you came from.


And yet the states they come from don't have the driving issues you see in Colorado. Colorado natives always say this, yet to be honest the natives I have met are some of the worst drivers. Then they blame the weather, yet this doesn't account for all the crappy dry weather driving here. News flash, other states have bad weather. Drivers in Co are overly agressive and are really the root of poor driving. Even the best and most experienced drivers will make mistakes, add in poor weather and more mistakes will happen.

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