Addicted to automobiles: The states that spend the most on gas and auto expenses

Last year, Americans spent a combined 48.1 million hours commuting to work in a car, truck or van, according to the 2010 American Community Survey provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. To put it another way, that's like driving 5,500 years without stopping — and that's just the amount of time we spend driving to work. We also spend an exorbitant amount of time on the road doing things like running errands, picking up the kids from school and going out on the town.

Take a look at the Top 10 Cities that spend the most on gas and auto expenses

All that driving isn't free. The average household spends about $488 a month on gas and auto expenses (car maintenance, parking and other purchases), according to Bundle data from Oct. 2010 to March 2011, which comes from the U.S. government, from anonymous and aggregated spending transactions from Citi, and third party data providers.

And where you live has a big impact on how much you spend to get around. We ranked the 50 states and Washington, D.C. by where Americans spend the most on their cars. The state the spends the most on cars: Connecticut. The average Connecticut household spends $591 a month on gas and automobile expenses, 21.1 percent higher than the national average. Many people who live in Connecticut work in New York City, so if they're not taking one of the commuter trains to the Big Apple, you can bet they're spending big on gas, tolls, and other car related expenses.

Ranking second on our list is the great state of Texas, with average households spending $555 a month on gas and auto expenses — 13.7 percent higher than the national average. One reason Texans spend so much can be explained by a study by TrueCar.com earlier this year, which showed that Texans prefer driving trucks like the Ford F-Series. Trucks burn more gas than cars, but are practical work vehicles, which is why Texans prefer driving them.

The most expensive cities to park in the U.S.

Spending the least on gas and auto expenses: Washington D.C., where residents spend $345 each month on gas and auto expenses — 30 percent lower than the national average. Washington, D.C. has a good public transportation system, so locals don't really have a use for cars. In addition many D.C. workers commute to work from suburbs in Virginia, which ranks as our third most expensive state for gas and auto expenses with households spending an average of $543 a month on their cars, or 11.2 percent higher than the national average. Another state known for it's public transportation system, New York, also ranks towards the bottom our our list at number 47.

How does your state stack up? Check out our rankings below, and check out a breakdown of state spending in our infographic above.

States that spend the most on gas and auto expenses (monthly average)

1. Connecticut ($591)
2. Texas ($555)
3. Virginia ($543)
4. Oklahoma ($536)
5. New Hampshire ($536)
6. Colorado ($534)
7. Wyoming ($534)
8. Arizona ($523)
9. Wisconsin ($522)
10. South Dakota ($521)
11. Iowa ($517)
12. Washington ($516)
13. Michigan ($515)
14. Illinois ($514)
15. Utah ($511)
16. Florida ($506)
17. Kansas ($504)
18. North Carolina ($501)
19. California ($500)
20. Minnesota ($500)
21. Tennessee ($497)
22. Vermont ($492)
23. Massachusetts ($491)
24. North Dakota ($490)
25. New Jersey ($487)
26. New Mexico ($486)
27. Indiana ($485)
28. Missouri ($479)
29. Louisiana ($476)
30. Nevada ($473)
31. Ohio ($473)
32. Delaware ($471)
33. Rhode Island ($471)
34. Arkansas ($469)
35. Montana ($465)
36. Nebraska ($464)
37. Idaho ($464)
38. Maryland ($459)
39. Alabama ($453)
40. Maine ($452)
41. Kentucky ($445)
42. South Carolina ($443)
43. Mississippi ($434)
44. Georgia ($429)
45. West Virginia ($426)
46. Pennsylvania ($415)
47. New York ($414)
48. Oregon ($400)
49. Hawaii ($396)
50. Alaska ($394)
51. District of Columbia ($345)

Take a look at the Top 10 Cities that spend the most on gas and auto expenses

Infographic by Valerie Willis.