Best, worst places to live for those who love to drive fast

hot rodIn the era of real-time data, we no longer have to debate questions such as which cities in the U.S. have the most traffic congestion.

A new study by the GPS company Tele Atlas, using the data recorded by car-equipped Tom Tom GPS units, shows some surprising facts, such as the most congested big city is not L.A. or New York, but Seattle.

Other interesting findings:

Like to go fast? The study reveals the states with the highest interstate highway average mph are:
  1. Mississippi 70.1
  2. New Mexico 70.0
  3. Idaho 69.9
  4. Utah 69.7
  5. Alabama 69.6
  6. Arizona 69.2
  7. Nevada 68.7
  8. South Carolina 68.7
  9. Kansas 68.6
  10. Arkansas 68.5
The fastest highway in the U.S.? I-15 in Utah and Nevada, averaging 77.67 mph. This may seem fast, but Tele Atlas reports that drivers in the unregulated stretches of the Autobahn in Germany typically drive over 100 mph.

Compare the previous list to the National Motorists Association of the 10 worst states for handing out traffic tickets:
  1. New Jersey
  2. Ohio
  3. Maryland
  4. Louisiana
  5. New York
  6. Illinois
  7. Delaware
  8. Virginia
  9. Washington
  10. Massachusetts
No surprise that there are no states that appear on both lists. The five states the same study found the friendliest to speeders?
  1. Wyoming
  2. Idaho
  3. Montana
  4. Nebraska
  5. Kentucky
Perhaps you'd prefer to putt along. Then you'd be right at home in Tele Atlas's slowest states; Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Illinois, Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii.

According to the Tele Atlas study, the 10 most congested cities (defined as times when drivers could go no faster than 70% of the speed limit) are:
  1. Seattle, Wash. 43%
  2. Los Angeles, Calif. 38%
  3. Chicago, Ill. 37%
  4. Montgomery County, Md. 37%
  5. San Francisco, Calif. 35%
  6. New York, N.Y. 31%
  7. Washington, D.C. 30%
  8. San Jose, Calif. 29%
  9. Alexandria, Va. 28%
  10. Oakland, Calif. (Alameda County) 28%
The least congested of the top 30: Charlottesville, Va., 19%; Dallas, Texas 20%; and Miami-Dade, Fla., 20%.
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