These Are the Worst States to Drive Through on Your Summer Road Trip

These Are the Worst States to Drive Through on Your Summer Road Trip

Across the North, South, East and West, you picked the worst states to drive through this summer.

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A photo of a highway in Arizona taken from a helicopter.
Does Arizona have some of the worst driving roads?
Photo: Patrick T Fallon/AFP (Getty Images)

A lot of things can make a state an awful place to drive. Maybe it’s the condition of the highways, the usual weather or the other people you share the road with. But regardless of the causes, we can all agree that some states are worse to drive in than others.

So, for anyone in the midst of planning a summer road trip, we wanted to isolate some of the worst states to traverse here in America. To do this, we turned to you and asked for your picks of the worst state to drive through on a summer road trip.

Click through the following pages to see what places made the cut.

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2 / 19

Mississippi

Mississippi

A photo of traffic on a highway in Mississippi.
Photo: Patrick T Fallon/AFP (Getty Images)

“People are going to pick long, flat plains states, but they’re fine. You can eat up miles, and it’s... whatever. Eastern NE and KS are hilly and not bad. The Dakotas have natural beauty.

“Other people are going to hit the southwest or Texas, and yeah, it’s hot but there’s interesting stuff to do and you can pop into the mountains to cool off.

“The real answer is the deep south. Hot? Very. Humid? So moist. There’s a few cool places on the Gulf Coast, but you do not want to be there in the summer.

“If you find yourself in Mississippi in late July, on purpose, for fun, something bad has happened to you.

“(Ohio also sucks to drive through)”

Hot, humid, and not many places to stop. That’s a pretty horrific combination for any summer adventure.

Suggested by: comtndrvr

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3 / 19

Texas

Texas

A photo of traffic on the outskirts of Houston, Texas.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

“Of the 30 or so states I’ve driven through, including the entire western half of the U.S., Texas is the worst. It’s just too damn big lol.”

There are almost 900 miles to cover, border to border in Texas. That’s too damn many for any drive, no matter how much you love sitting behind the wheel.

Suggested by: Kat Hagen (Facebook)

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4 / 19

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

A photo of highway works on a road in Pennsylvania.
Photo: William Thomas Cain (Getty Images)

“The roads are in terrible shape and are constantly being worked on. The weather is too crappy to do it in the winter so they double down in summer and have a road-construction bonanza. You’ll be guaranteed to hit tons of construction traffic, and the parts of the highway that aren’t being worked on are so full of potholes you’ll think you’re driving on the moon (what does this constant road work actually accomplish, anyway?).

“Alternatively you could take the Turnpike, which is in slightly better shape but is one of the most expensive toll roads in the world on a per-mile basis.

“To top it off, it’s demoralizing. You drive through the New England states and feel like you’re making so much progress. In a matter of hours you’ll pass through Massachusetts, then Connecticut, then a little sliver of New York. This trip is going so fast, you’ll say. We’ve gone through 3 states already! Then you hit Pennsylvania and spend your entire afternoon and part of your evening crossing it. Same thing if you’re coming from the west. At least in Ohio you drive through a big city every couple hours. You hit Pennsylvania and pass Pittsburgh, then drive through absolute nothingness until you reach the other side of the state.”

Bad roads and bad traffic caused by people trying to fix the aforementioned road conditions. Another awful pairing for a summer adventure.

Suggested by: skuhnphoto

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5 / 19

Nebraska

Nebraska

A photo of a street in Nebraska at night time.
Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images)

“Nebraska, closely followed by Kansas. They’re desolate, empty, devoid of any attraction worthy of a person’s time.”

By far the most popular answer today, Nebraska. You all seem to hate the idea of crossing this state any time soon.

Suggested by: @zac_smith1 (Twitter)

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6 / 19

Wyoming

Wyoming

A photo of traffic backed up on a highway in Wyoming.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

“Last summer, I drove from Bay Area, CA, to FL, back up to Kansas City, MO, then Denver, Salt Lake City, Lake Tahoe and back.

“The woooooorst parts of the road trip were from El Paso to San Antonio(I-10) , and from Denver to Salt Lake City (Dwight Eisenhower HWY through Wyoming.) There’s NOTHING. literally, NOTHING. At least through Kansas, we saw plentiful Stop The Steal, Trump 2024 signs for humor and signs of civilization.

“On that note, I was pleasantly surprised driving through Louisiana, I found the highways over swamps so interesting. Alabama was also interesting, reminded me of Fresno.”

This sounds like it should have been a pretty fun trip. But deserted highways and nothing interesting to stop at can make any journey drag.

Suggested by: crazyone0413

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7 / 19

Virginia

Virginia

A photo of a bridge being repaired in the state of Virginia.
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

“The answer is always Virginia. The worst in the summer, Virginia. Worst in the winter, Virginia. The worst on the third Tuesday of the month, Virginia.”

But, I thought the answer was always Miata?

Suggested by: Michael Kristopher Blanton (Facebook)

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8 / 19

Indiana

Indiana

A photo of the Indianapolis skyline in Indiana.
Photo: Tpsdave via Wikimedia Commons

“I thought I-80 out to Iowa was bad, but at least they have windmills you can count.

“The worst road I’ve ever been on is I-65 from Indy to Gary. There’s absolutely nothing until you get to the Subaru plant, which lasts about a minute. Then you have to drive through the armpit of Indiana, Gary. Yeesh…”

I wonder if they have “the armpit of Indiana” written on the signs when you drive into Gary?

Suggested by: fijist

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9 / 19

Georgia

Georgia

A photo of the skyline in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo: Simon Bruty/Allsport (Getty Images)

“Georgia because all roads seem to go through Atlanta which is the worst place in the Southeast to drive through.”

If you’re heading south, you’d probably be better off catching that midnight train to Georgia.

Suggested by: @adamber99 (Twitter)

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10 / 19

Colorado

Colorado

A photo of a vintage car driving on a highway in Colorado.
Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images)

“I like boring states to drive through because they’re uneventful, low pressure, and time passes by faster. The less I have to think driving long distances, the better.

“But Colo-fucking-Rado is the worst in the summer. Especially early to mid summer. I’m more of a get to my destination as fast and as unobscured as possible, because the less time I spend on the road, the more time I get to mountain bike. Views are great, sure. But you’re stuck behind 160 HP naturally aspirated Outbacks with CVTs that can only drive below the speed limit. Most mountain resorts revamp the side of their mountain, so that means there are a ton of semis and oversized loads slowing traffic down to 5-10 MPH in 2 lane mountain roads until the next passing area. But you’re too far back to be able to pass safely because of all the damn slow Subarus that are in front of you, so you’re stuck waiting for the next passing area, which can take upwards of an hour, or more. Slow drivers don’t use turnouts either. West Denver heading in to the Rockies just plain sucks to drive through because of the traffic. And there’s just an abnormal amount of people in that state during the summer season.

“There was a time when Colorado was great. Now it’s just overrated.”

Well, that’s Colorado told!

Suggested by: mountainbikingandtrackdays

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11 / 19

Ohio

Ohio

A photo of a city skyline in Ohio.
Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP (Getty Images)

“If you’re from out of state and exceed the speed limit by a fraction of a MPH on their highways, you might as well pull yourself over as the highway patrol will be on you so fast, you won’t have time to know you were speeding. The further ways you’re from, the more your ticket will be because they’ll bet you won’t be coming all the way back to fight it.

“The irony is a lot of the backroads have huge rolling hills and sharp blind turns with trees, cornfields, and farmland all around, but those speed limits are 50 or 55 which feels insanely dangerous to an out of stater.

“A lot of the Midwest is the same, but I’ve only had personal experience with Ohio.”

Ohio was another popular option for worst state to drive through this summer. Over-zealous police, awkward speed limits and sky-high speeding costs make passing through Ohio a minefield.

Suggested by: John Noberini (Facebook)

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12 / 19

Oklahoma

Oklahoma

A photo of a road running through a town in Oklahoma.
Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP (Getty Images)

“The cow shit is aerosolized and just hangs there as you drive for miles on end. It gets into the vents even with the windows up and even when you’re past Oklahoma and into Texas and even New Mexico, you still get the lingering smell of Oklahoma cow shit as a nice reminder.”

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. And, the wavin’ wheat can sure smell sweet.

Suggested by: tulleytwo

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13 / 19

The Correct Answer

The Correct Answer

A photo of a deep red sunset over hills in America.
Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

“🤔 ... Depression, the state of depression. 😃”

It’s no fun driving anywhere if you’re not taking care of yourself.

Suggested by: @LilToot62 (Twitter)

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14 / 19

Montana

Montana

A photo of tree-topped mountains in Montana.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

“I’m saying Montana. When I moved from the west coast, driving through Montana was horrible... I met a person from Bismark, ND and she was amazed that I had fond memories. It was the first place I had seen a building taller than two stories in what seemed like forever after passing Missoula.”

Montana looks like it should be an interesting place to pass through, but this poster paints a very different picture.

Suggested by: ubercultute

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15 / 19

Michigan

Michigan

A photo of empty streets in downtown Detroit, Michigan.
Photo: Seth Herald/AFP (Getty Images)

“It’s always Michigan, doesn’t matter the time of year. They have heavily increased their fuel tax and maybe they might do something about their roads but that’s my home state and few people have less faith in that government then myself, I’d keep my hopes very low they fix anything.”

I’ve heard horror stories about the state of Michigan’s roads, it sounds grim.

Suggested by: Cody Hanson (Facebook)

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16 / 19

Arizona

Arizona

A photo of cars driving on a highway at sunrise in Arizona.
Photo: David McNew (Getty Images)

“Trip to Vegas in my 94 SHO. A/C explodes in the middle of Tucson, AZ, Starts overheating on Hover Dam because we are stopped its 108 at noon thanks to truck rolled over on the road to it. Get to Vegas and in the middle of traffic the rear brakes fail. I don’t even recall where my one key snapped in 1/2 so I’m starting it with a screwdriver and the little bit of key in the ignition.

“Montana can be weirdly bad. You are so far north and the temps are stupid hot mid summer. All the hours of sun, and absolutely nothing to stop it from making the state an Ez Bake Oven. It’s no AZ but you’d expect something that far north to not be that hot.”

Passing through a baking hot state with no air conditioning sounds horrendous. I feel for ya.

Suggested by: xt6wagon

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17 / 19

All of Them

All of Them

A satellite photo of the U.S. taken from space
Photo: NOAA (Getty Images)

“There are so many bad drivers and neglected vehicles on the road. It’s always someone way too afraid of cars around them and act as a road block or just someone who appointed themselves the speed tsar and desired their speed is all anyone should be going.

“The old RV that is only used once or twice a year of course it’s broken down trying to climb a 10% grade with whatever BS you decided to tow behind it.

“Then we have all the damn looky-loos who have to slow down to a crawl to watch someone change a tire like it’s a miracle akin to parting the sea.”

You make a fair argument, Nathan from Facebook.

Suggested by: Nathan Yount (Facebook)

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18 / 19

Illinois

Illinois

A photo of the Chicago skyline taken at night.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

“North/South specifically as it is a long flat boring slog once past the few hills in the South. Last time we went through that way it was like the deer there had committed mass suicide via Freightliner from boredom.

“Alternative routes not much better as unless hug the Mississippi it’s pretty dull as you can go through Iowa or Indiana the long way and then play traffic roulette with Chicago (either a complete jam or everyone going 20-30 over with no fucks given).”

Dull and long, sound’s like a Zack Snyder movie.

Suggested by: citronc

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19 / 19