The Most Dangerous Roads In Minnesota

July 25, 2023

Photo of Cars

Whether you were visiting Minnesota or have lived here your whole life, you must be aware of the hazards you will face on Minnesota highways. Car accidents have been increasing year after year due to distracted driving, weather conditions, reckless driving, and speeding.

In 2021, Minnesota alone saw 134,917 people involved in car accidents.

According to the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), vehicles on public roadways traveled over 57.2 billion miles with 63,751 traffic accidents.

By staying aware of dangerous roads, you can be more vigilant when traveling to protect yourself and other drivers. If you have been injured on one of Minnesota’s dangerous roads, contact a St. Cloud car accident lawyer for help today.

The Most Dangerous Roads in Minnesota

It is always important to drive safely no matter where you are headed; however, the following roads in Minnesota should have you even more alert and aware of your surroundings. 

1. US Highway 169

US Highway 169 is one of the most traveled highways in Minnesota and is also considered to be one of the most dangerous roads to travel. Minnesota’s population has been increasing rapidly causing this highway to experience heavier traffic each year. Weather conditions in Minnesota increase the hazards on this highway, adding to the number of car crashes seen each year.

US Highway 169 runs through Elmore, Blue Earth, North Mankato, Saint Peter, Mankato Bloomington, and Jackson Township.

2. US Highway 12

US Highway 12 may be a small section of highway, but it is filled with hidden intersections and narrow lanes that increase the high number of car crashes on this stretch of road. Many head-on collisions have been noted on this highway. In 2021, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) began a safety project on US Highway 12 by improving roundabouts and bridges and adding concrete barriers with the goal of reducing crashes and improving safety on this roadway.

Even with the improvements made on US Highway 12, it is crucial that you continue to drive with caution anytime you travel this stretch of highway.

US Highway 12 connects the cities of Benson, Willmar, Litchfield, Ortonville, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul.

3. Interstate 94

I-94 was one of the original Interstates constructed as part of the interstate network built in the 1960s. Despite its historic status, Interstate 94 is considered one of the most hazardous roadways in Minnesota.

Interstate 94 connects the cities of Fergus Falls, Alexandria, Saint Cloud, Moorhead, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul.

4. US Highway 14

US Highway 14 used to be called the “Black and Yellow Trail” because of its Minnesota connection between the Black Hills and Yellowstone National Park. US Highway 14 covers a distance of 1,303 miles. 

Despite the rich history of US Highway 14, it is known to be one of the most dangerous roads in the United States. 

US Highway 14 runs through Lake Benton, Baliton, Revere, Lamberton, Tracie, Sanborn, Sleepy Eye, Mankato, New Ulm, Walnut Grove, Waseca, Rochester, Owatonna, and Winona.

5. US Highway 10

US Highway 10 was originally one of the long-haul traveling highways, but over the years, it has lost some of its length due to newer interstates being built over it. As a major divided highway, it runs through four states (North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan) with a total length of over 700 miles. This highway has been ranked one of Minnesota’s deadliest roads.

Rain and snow can contribute to slick road conditions resulting in fatal automobile accidents. Inclement weather has forced road closures to help prevent car accidents, ensuring that motorists stay safe.

US Highway 10, running most of its length through Minnesota, connects the cities of Moorhead, Wadena, Detroit Lakes, Little Falls, Saint Cloud, Saint Paul, Anoka, and Cottage Grove.

Common Road Hazards in Minnesota

Car accidents occur all across Minnesota, regardless of the weather or road condition. The majority of accidents happen during clear weather. A Minneapolis car accident lawyer can help you ascertain the cause of your collision.

There are some weather conditions that can contribute to the number of accidents that occur, including the following:


Minnesota is no stranger to snowfall. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR), the state sees an annual snowfall of 36 to 70 inches. Unplowed roads and heavy snowfall can cause slick roads creating difficulty for vehicles to slow or stop in a timely manner.

Ice and Frost

Ice and frost are common in Minnesota. It can create slippery road surfaces, which reduce traction, often resulting in vehicles sliding off the road or into other vehicles.


The average rainfall in Minnesota ranges from 18 to 32 inches annually. Around two-thirds of this rainfall occurs during the warmer months of the year, typically May through September. Rainy seasons can create difficulty for drivers to see their surroundings and create slippery road conditions causing potential hydroplaning.

Fog, Smog, and Smoke

Fog typically occurs as the seasons change in Minnesota. However, they can occur at any point throughout the year, creating a driving hazard for motorists. Fog appears suddenly and quickly reduces visibility on the road.

In industrialized areas, smog can create reduced visibility and dangerous driving conditions. Smog can lead to fatal car crashes because drivers are unable to see vehicles coming at them or in front of them and are unable to stop in time.

Smoke due to wildfires can be prevalent in Minnesota and makes it difficult to travel on the highways.

Sleet, Hail, and Freezing Rain

Sleet is frozen rain pellets that can create a nuisance to drivers.

Hail is larger than sleet, and falls as frozen precipitation roughly the size of a penny or larger.

Freezing rain falls as rain and freezes once it hits the ground, creating extremely dangerous driving conditions.

Blowing Sand, Soil, and Dirt

Driving through sand, soil, or dirt blowing across the road can create slickness on the road as well as limited visibility for drivers.

High Traffic Volume

Minnesota roadways see thousands of drivers on their roadways every day. This causes congestion on the highways, which leads to frustrated drivers who become aggressive, ultimately leading to preventable car accidents.

Poor Road Design

Minnesota is working diligently to rework its highway systems to create a better traffic flow for safety and congestion. However, the poor road designs throughout the state add to the already high number of motor vehicle accidents that occur each year.

Accidents and Fatalities on Minnesota’s Most Dangerous Roads

There are many high-risk roads all over the state of Minnesota. However, the state is working to improve these dangerous driving conditions in Minnesota.

Minnesota traffic accident statistics: According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), from 2016 to 2019, Interstate 94 saw a total of 914 crashes with about 229 automobile crashes per year. Multi-car pile-ups often result from inclement Minnesota weather and heavy traffic.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is actively working on several intersections along US Highway 14 to help stop vehicles from crossing the roadway, resulting in T-bone crashes.

US Highway 10 is currently under construction at the interchange of Highway 10 and Highway 23 in St. Cloud to reconfigure on and off ramps to improve vehicle traffic flow and to provide bicyclists and pedestrians safer crossing options, reconstruction of the highways to include entrances, shoulders, and turn lanes, as well as replacing or repairing drainage to handle heavy rains better. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) hopes this project will improve pedestrian safety as well as decrease fatal car accidents.

In 2021, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported 115,554 vehicles involved in car crashes resulting in 24,083 people injured and 488 people dead.

Each year car accidents and fatalities increase, so it is crucial that you be cautious while behind the wheel, staying aware of all of your surroundings, and avoiding driving in bad weather conditions whenever possible.

Minnesota Road Safety Tips

Car accidents can usually be avoided if drivers act reasonably and follow the laws. The following list includes some tips to keep you safe and avoid Minnesota highway accidents:

  • Drive at a safe speed, following the speed limit
  • Do not drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • Concentrate and be prepared to react to any situation
  • Be cautious and patient, especially at stoplights and intersections
  • Maintain a safe and reasonable distance from the car ahead of you
  • Avoid distractions, such as eating or using your phone while you are driving
  • Follow posted traffic signs
  • Obey every traffic law

Contact 1-800-Injured 

Minnesota is full of dangerous roads that are driven every day. Staying aware of the drivers on the road as well as your surroundings, can help keep you safe. If more drivers prioritized road safety, putting others and themselves as a priority, Minnesota might see a decrease in car accident cases. 
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a car accident on one of Minnesota’s dangerous roads, contact 1-800-Injured. As a medical and legal referral network, we can connect you with an experienced Minnesota car accident lawyer who knows how to fight for your legal rights and the compensation you deserve.