Drivers in New England have their opinions about other drivers from other states in New England. Mainers tend to think Massachusetts drivers are "Massholes," while some  Massachusetts drivers think Mainers are Maniacs. When it comes to traveling the highways and roads of New England, we really don't like each other very much. But what exactly makes a New England state a bad place to drive in?

Each year, WalletHub looks to answer that question by compiling data for all of the states in the country using four key dimensions:

  1. Cost of Ownership & Maintenance
  2. Traffic & Infrastructure
  3. Safety
  4. Access to Vehicles & Maintenance

The 2022 list was released in January, so the most recent data is for 2021 and the results pretty much correlate to what I thought they would be. Let's take a look at where each New England state ranks for each the four dimensions and where they rank overall.

Cost of Ownership & Maintenance


New Hampshire wins for the lowest cost of ownership for vehicles and maintenance on them. I mean, they are tax-free New Hampshire, so that math checks out.

1. New Hampshire
2. Maine
3. Vermont
4. Massachusetts
5. Connecticut

Traffic & Infrastructure

Freeway Traffic
Digital Vision.

Maine comes in first for the New England state with low traffic numbers and the best infrastructure. Have you seen all the construction going on this summer?  Massachusetts comes in last in New England and 49th in the country. Ouch.

1. Maine
2. Vermont
3. Connecticut
4. New Hampshire
5. Rhode Island
6. Massachusetts


Auto accident involving two cars on a city street

This is the category that addresses how people drive on the road, based on number of accidents, distracted driving, OUIs, traffic fatalities and similar metrics. This came as surprise to me. Connecticut and Massachusetts had the best drivers in New England and the first and second best in the nation, respectively. What? Maine was last among New England states, but 16th in the nation.

1. Connecticut
2. Massachusetts
3. Rhode Island
4. Vermont
5. New Hampshire
6. Maine

Access to Vehicles & Maintenance

A Handsome mechanic job in uniform working on car

Massachusetts and Connecticut are on top again, but Maine comes in third when it comes to access to vehicles and maintenance on them.

1. Massachusetts
2. Connecticut
3. Maine
4. Vermont
5. New Hampshire
6. Rhode Island


Interstate 295 sign in South Portland, Maine, on June 21, 2019
Townsquare Media

Overall Maine ranks as the top state in New England to drive in, when combining all four of the above dimensions and 20th in the nation while Rhode Island is almost dead last at 49th in the nation. Here's how all the New England states ranked.

20th Maine
27th Vermont
34th New Hampshire
37th Massachusetts
39th Connecticut
49th Rhode Island

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