New England’s worst drivers, ranked by state


New England drivers have their opinions of other drivers in other New England states. Mainers tend to think of Massachusetts drivers as “Massholes”, while some Massachusetts drivers think of Mainers as maniacs. When it comes to cruising 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?

Every year, WalletHub seeks to answer this question by compiling data for all states in the country using four key dimensions:

  1. Cost of ownership and maintenance
  2. Traffic & Infrastructure
  3. Security
  4. Access to vehicles and maintenance

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

Cost of ownership and maintenance

New Hampshire wins for the lowest cost of ownership for vehicles and their maintenance. I mean, they’re in New Hampshire tax-free, so the math checks out.

1.New Hampshire
3. Vermont

Traffic & Infrastructure

Motorway traffic

Digital vision.

Maine tops the New England state with low traffic and the best infrastructure. Have you seen all the construction going on this summer? Massachusetts ranks last in New England and 49th in the nation. Ouch.

1. Maine
2. Vermont
4.New Hampshire
5. Rhode Island


Car accident involving two cars on a city street


This is the category that deals with how people drive on the road, based on the number of crashes, distracted driving, YESs, traffic fatalities, and similar metrics. It surprised me. Connecticut and Massachusetts had the best pilots in New England and the first and second best in the country, respectively. What? Maine was the last of the New England states, but the 16th in the country.

3. Rhode Island
4. Vermont
5.New Hampshire

Access to vehicles and maintenance

Handsome mechanic in uniform working on a car


Massachusetts and Connecticut lead again, but Maine ranks third in vehicle access and maintenance.

3. Maine
4. Vermont
5.New Hampshire
6. Rhode Island


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

Town Square Media

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

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

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