California named worst state for drivers
A study conducted by BankRate.com rated all fifty states by six criteria. This included auto accidents, auto theft, insurance costs, and commute times. Despite the state’s reputation for being a center of modern car culture, California ranked as the worst state for drivers in the country.
One major factor is auto theft. According to the FBI, California has the highest rate of auto theft of all fifty states. For every 100,000 residents, 437 are stolen.
Californian drivers commute for longer times than most drivers in other states. On average, a driver in California will spend 26 minutes on the road to reach their destination. This puts the state drivers in close company with a New Yorker’s 33 minute commutes. In addition, gasoline costs in California are some of the highest in the nation on average. Combined with long commute times, this can be a major expense for drivers with low mileage-per-gallon vehicles.
The other major cost for owning a vehicle is maintenance. Long commutes can wear down any car eventually. Longer commute times unfortunately mean greater potential for auto accidents.
Auto accidents increase nationwide
More auto accidents were recorded in the U.S. in 2015 than the previous year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 2,925 fatal auto accidents in California alone. These accidents claimed the lives of 3,176 people. Most of these accidents involved a single vehicle, but 43 percent of all fatal accidents involved multiple vehicles.
Accidents that require repairs, and regular maintenance in California are both expensive. According to CarMD.com, Californians pay more for clearing a Check Engine light than any other state.
Another major expense drivers face is auto insurance. Premiums in California are among the highest in the nation. These prices can skyrocket after auto accidents, from small fender benders to major pile-ups.
What you can do as a Californian driver
Certain costs are unavoidable to a car owner. Most cars on the road still require gasoline. All cars will need maintenance at some point in their life. Being insured is a legal requirement. Older cars get yearly smog checks. Everyone has to deal with the DMV for registration at some point.
Fortunately, some of the greatest costs can be avoided. By driving safely and defensively, you can prevent causing auto accidents or being caught in one. This can not only save you from large repair bills, but it can keep your insurance premiums manageable. Most importantly, it can save your life and the lives of those around you.
If you do get involved in an accident, good insurance plans can save you some headaches. Our Golden State’s high rate of auto theft should have you consider auto insurance plans with comprehensive coverage. You should of course have health insurance, to deal with every day concerns and any injuries from an accident.
Your vehicle and your health are important concerns, but your plans should also take into account uninsured drivers. In the event an uninsured driver causes involves you in an accident, the right plan can cover costs that they cannot.
Most importantly, if you are are ever involved in an accident, get all the information you can. If it comes down to the courts to reach a fair settlement, you’ll want all that information at your side, and in the hands of a good lawyer.