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Office of Traffic Safety

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Rural Driving

Minnesota's Most Dangerous Roads 

The most dangerous place to drive in Minnesota is not the busy interstates and downtowns of the Twin Cities — it’s in rural areas. Each year, 70 percent of Minnesota’s total traffic fatalities occur on rural roads.


Why Are Rural Roads Deadly?

There are many factors why rural communities absorb most of the Minnesota’s traffic fatalities:

  • Riskier road conditions — two-lane roads mean greater risk for head-on collisions and unsafe passing; narrow shoulders; poor lighting at night.

  • Lower seat belt use — each year, 80 percent of the unbelted traffic deaths occur in greater Minnesota, and pickup truck drivers have the lowest seat belt compliance rate.

  • Impaired driving — 75 percent of alcohol-related crashes occur outside the Twin Cities.

  • False sense of security with perception of greater safety on country roads due to lighter traffic and enforcement.

  • Greater risk of crash with wildlife.

  • Slower delivery of acute medical care.