While Minnesota did not make the list of the top 10 most dangerous states to drive in, residents should still be aware of the risks in other states. Overall, the number of fatal accidents in the United States has declined since 2004. Nonetheless, rural states such as Wyoming have significant accident-related death rates of 25.7 deaths per 100,000 people. This is significantly more than twice the national average.
Rural roads are generally more dangerous than urban areas due to several key factors. Drivers on rural roads are less likely to put on a seat belt and tend to drive with less caution than urban drivers. Seat belt use has been widely shown as effective at reducing the fatality rates in car accidents. An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report showed that more than half of crash-related fatalities occurred in rural areas.
Drinking and driving is another major factor in car accident fatalities. Just under one-third of driver fatalities in 2014 involved drivers who had a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit. In a ranking of the most-to-least dangerous states for driving, Louisiana, South Dakota, Alabama, South Carolina, Oklahoma, North Dakota, New Mexico, Montana, Mississippi and Wyoming made the top 10. Each of these states has a high proportion of rural roads, further emphasizing the increased risk associated with these areas.
Drivers who have been injured in a car accident may benefit from consulting a motor vehicle accident lawyer. A lawyer may also be able to help the injured victim receive compensation for medical expenses such as long-term care, physical therapy and mental health services required to address the trauma of the accident. It may also be possible to obtain compensation for lost wages and earning potential if the injured person is unable to return to work immediately after the accident.