It’s officially 2018 and that means our annual resolutions are in order. Be it losing weight or advancing in a particular career, a new year always represents a clean slate. One resolution worth making is a commitment to travel more. Doing so might actually help your other resolutions. According to WebMD, not having a break from work will take its toll. They cite a 2005 study from the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin that found women who neglected regular vacations were two to three times more likely to be depressed compared to women who took them.
And men, we should be mindful too. WebMD points to a study that followed over 12,000 men for nine years. Those who neglected vacations were at a higher risk for heart attacks. That said, if your goal is to get away and travel more in 2018, then it’s for the best. The National Council for Home Safety and Security put together a list of the most driver friendly states in 2018, which was published on their official site, Alarms.org. Their findings will help you plan a relaxing, safe, and cost effective getaway.
One of the biggest factors when traveling is fuel cost, but it might be worth taking a tour of the southern United States to really maximize your tank. Alarms.org finds gas below the Mason-Dixon Line requires less from your wallet because of a greater concentration of oil refineries and lower gas taxes. Overall, Alabama has the cheapest gas per gallon at an average of $2.26, followed by Mississippi and South Carolina, both at $2.27, Texas at $2.29, and Oklahoma between $2.29 and $2.30. This means a visit to The Alamo in San Antonio or the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama will be more affordable.
There’s Myrtle Beach to catch some sun, and the Rock & Blues Museum in Clarksdale to get your music fix. Both can be reached for less money at the pump than attractions in other states.
Best Driving Records
Safety is always a concern so it might be worth seeking out a vacation spot where motorists are more cautious. Alarms.org researched states with the lowest fatal crash rates, calculated on the number of road fatalities and fatal crashes, adjusted for average daily traffic counts. Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Minnesota took the top three spots, followed by Massachusetts and Wisconsin. Alarms.org says there isn’t a single identifying characteristic they could find that made these states the safest, although they theorize it might have something to do with winter.
“Most of the states with safer highway ratings are in the north and have lower average temperatures,” Alarms.org writes in their study. “Perhaps colder temperatures and hazardous weather conditions prompt residents to drive more slowly and carefully than those in warmer states.”
This means (hopefully) a trip to Minneapolis to see Super Bowl LII or to Lambeau Field to watch the Packers should be a safe one. If on the way, you are passing through The Mitten and have car trouble, us Michiganders will gladly help. Alarms.org finds Michigan has the lowest average car repair costs in the country. Also, go Lions.
Most Scenic Drives
While Alarms.org admits this is subjective, they give some solid suggestions. Topping the list is the Blue Ridge Parkway through Virginia and North Carolina. Blue Ridge Parkway, which spans 29 counties and nearly 470 miles, is known for its stunning views of the surrounding Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains. Others on the list include the Cades Cove Drive through Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire.
While it may not necessarily make any lists on this topic, we have always enjoyed our drives from Phoenix, Arizona to Los Angeles, California on Interstate 10. The desert can be really peaceful and beautiful, especially in the early evening.
Wherever you go in 2018 and whoever you go with, we wish you safe and enjoyable travels. We hope you have an opportunity this year to take a vacation with your loved ones. Here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2018.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.