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Study: ND has some of the highest average speeds in the nation

North Dakota drivers are some of the fastest in the country, according to a fuel data analysis website.

The state ranked fifth on a list of states with the highest average speed at 51 miles per hour, according to information released Tuesday, April 24, by GasBuddy.com. The list was released in conjunction with other data, including rankings for the most aggressive drivers.

Wyoming took first for highest average speed with 55 mph, followed in order by Nebraska, South Dakota and New Mexico. North Dakota and those states ranked high on the list likely because of their rural nature, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

"They have long stretches of highway," he said in an interview. "There are such long distances that motorists drive in North Dakota that it probably brings up the average speed."

In contrast, average speeds are lower in states with more urban areas, he said. Hawaii had the lowest average speed in the U.S. with 28 mph, followed in order by Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts and Delaware, according to the list.

California has the most aggressive drivers, GasBuddy said.

"Our findings indicate that states with densely populated cities and high levels of congestion are where motorists are more inclined to drive aggressively," DeHaan said in a news release.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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