Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Let’s see; Montana is the fourth largest state, with just over 1 million residents, so we’re not exactly teeming with drivers bumper to bumper during rush hour, so why was Montana just named the 10th worst state to drive in by the financial website Wallet Hub?

KGVO News reached out to Wallet Hub analyst Cassandra Happe for details of their study.

Wallet Hub Names Montana 10th Worst State to Drive In

“Wallet Hub just did a study for the best and worst states to drive in,” began Happe. “So we looked at all 50 states over a total of 31 different metrics, which can be grouped into four different categories. Those categories are cost of ownership and maintenance; traffic and infrastructure; safety; and access to vehicles and maintenance. So when we looked at all four of those dimensions and tallied up all the scores on those 31 metrics, Montana came in at 41st overall, so the 10th worst state to drive in."

Overall Montana Named 50th State (dead last) in Traffic Safety

Happe said Montana received a dismal score when it comes to traffic safety, coming in dead last at number 50.

“They scored poorly when it came to safety, where they ranked 50th,” she said. “So, Montana is right at the bottom of the list for that. When it came to access to maintenance for vehicles, they ranked 44th overall in that particular dimension. So it's not necessarily that there's a lot of traffic in Montana, they actually ranked fifth overall for traffic and infrastructure. It's more that it's not as safe and it's not as easy to access those vehicles and maintain them.”

Happe Blamed Most Traffic Accidents on Distracted Driving

As far as safe driving is concerned, Happe echoed the recent advice of Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Jay Nelson, who spoke to KGVO late last week.

“Stay focused and avoid distractions whenever you can, while driving,” she said. “Keep in mind that even if you feel comfortable reading that text message or answering that phone call, that doesn't necessarily mean that things won't happen while you're temporarily distracted. So, keep in mind there are other people on the road, and take that into consideration. Follow the traffic rules, they're there for a reason, even if you don't feel like it. There's definitely a reason for those rules. So please follow them.”

Happe also emphasized defensive driving no matter where you travel in Montana.

LOOK: Most dangerous states to drive in

Stacker used the Federal Highway Administration's 2020 Highway Statistics report to rank states by the fatalities per billion miles traveled. 

Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher