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These states have the best and worst roads in America

No matter where you live, bellyaching about potholes and road quality is an American tradition. It’s not hard to find people in every state who claim their roads are the worst, but Pennsylvania pesonal injury firm Munley Law recently studied data from the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics to determine which have the highest average rates of acceptable road quality.

Bad roads aren’t just an annoyance. They can wreak havoc on tires, suspension systems, and can cause vibrations that loosen cosmetic components. With 94.78 percent of its roads meeting the acceptable quality standard, Idaho was found to have the best roads in the country. Georgia wasn’t far behind, with 94.5 percent, and Tennessee came in third at 94.17. The complete list appears below.

The states with the best roads likely invest more in highway maintenance. Tennessee, for example, funds its highway improvements with vehicle excise taxes, and the burden of paying for roadwork is shared by federal, state, and local governments. The state has managed to go 45 years without needing to borrow money for road construction, indicating that its funding is stable and robust. Of course, there are exceptions in every state, such as my hometown of Knoxville; Tennessee’s roads have seen better days, despite I-40 seemingly being under construction since the early 1980s when I was born.

On the other end of the spectrum, New Jersey had the worst roads, with just 50.71 percent meeting the standard. Rhode Island had 51.51 percent and Connecticut landed at 58.14 percent. The law firm blames heavy traffic and bad weather, saying they contribute heavily to potholes and deteriorating road surfaces in those Northeast states.

Ranking states with the best and worst roads:

State 

Avg. % of acceptable roads 

Idaho 

94.78 

Georgia 

94.5 

Tennessee 

94.17 

North Dakota 

93.96 

Nebraska 

92.47 

Wyoming 

91.51 

Kentucky 

91.24 

Alabama 

90.77 

Montana 

89.6 

10 

Oregon 

89.44 

11 

Kansas 

89.23 

12 

Florida 

89.11 

13 

Nevada 

88.95 

14 

North Carolina 

88.06 

15 

South Dakota 

88.03 

16 

Texas 

87.78 

17 

Minnesota 

87.03 

18 

Ohio 

86.15 

19 

Iowa 

86.13 

20 

South Carolina 

85.32 

21 

Arizona 

84.79 

22 

Michigan 

84.57 

23 

Indiana 

84.14 

24 

Arkansas 

84.02 

25 

Virginia 

82.64 

26 

Utah 

82.45 

27 

Delaware 

82.24 

28 

Illinois 

80.02 

29 

Vermont 

79.11 

30 

Alaska 

78.49 

31 

New Hampshire 

78.38 

32 

Colorado 

78.2 

33 

Maryland 

78.1 

34 

Missouri 

77.96 

35 

Maine 

76.16 

36 

Louisiana 

75.74 

37 

Wisconsin 

73.86 

38 

Oklahoma 

73.85 

39 

New York 

73.74 

40 

Pennsylvania 

72.29 

41 

Mississippi 

72.16 

42 

New Mexico 

71.83 

43 

West Virginia 

71.3 

44 

Washington 

70.44 

45 

Massachusetts 

63.47 

46 

California 

59.65 

47 

Hawaii 

59.27 

48 

Connecticut 

58.14 

49 

Rhode Island 

51.51 

50 

New Jersey 

50.71 

 

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