Minnesota has some of the nicest people in all of the United States, so much so that the state’s reputation for courtesy even has its own reputation: Minnesota Nice. Driving around the North Star State though can, at times, be far from nice. Many of the roads and highways can be dangerous to travel upon due to reckless motorists, inclement weather, and blind intersections. Here are the top 5 most dangerous roads and highways in all of Minnesota:
Most Dangerous Minnesota Road #5: US Highway 10
US Highway 10 is a 275-mile stretch of road that runs east-west across Minnesota from North Dakota through Minneapolis onward to Wisconsin. While recent projects have gone a long way in improving the safety of US 10, the highway still sees multiple fatalities each year. In the last few years, alone, Minnesota police have seen upwards of 14 automobile-related deaths along the stretch of road. Like most roadways in Minnesota, ice and snow can cause hazardous conditions that can be dangerous for commuters. So, if you find yourself cruising along US 10 during a snowstorm, remember to slow down and keep your eyes on the road.
Most Dangerous Minnesota Road #4: Interstate 94
From October blizzards to sudden flooding to runaway turkeys, Interstate 94 has seen it all. I-94 stretches close to 260 miles directly across Minnesota and is routinely closed due to dangerous winter weather. During the colder months of the year, no one is safe on I-94. Over the years, the interstate has seen numerous fatal crashes involving semi-trucks, multi-car pileups, and even bears. Each year, Minnesota sees close to 400 traffic fatalities on its roads and highways and Interstate 94 is ground zero for many of these tragic deaths.
Most Dangerous Minnesota Road #3: US Highway 14
If one were to compile a list of hazards that make a road dangerous then US Highway 14 would check virtually every box. From sharp turns, non-existent shoulders, a total lack of lane dividers, and one blind intersection after another, US 14 is well-known as a deathtrap to Minnesotans. There are so many deaths on the southern highway that one person dies every couple of months traveling along its blacktop pavement. US Highway 14 commuters beware. Driving on the highway may seem like off-roading at times.
Most Dangerous Minnesota Road #2: US Highway 12
Many people consider US Highway 12, which stretches from Minneapolis to the South Dakota state line, the deadliest roadway in all of Minnesota. Indeed, during this decade alone the highway has seen nearly two dozen auto-related deaths. Despite being the shortest entry on this list, a mere 38 Minnesota miles, US 12 is certainly a killer. With its narrow, white-knuckle lanes, poorly lit expanses of road, and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them intersections, US 12 has caused hundreds of car accidents over the years. Just in the last five years, an astounding 820 crashes have been reported to Minnesota State Police. Experts believe the highway’s lack of renovation is to blame for the mayhem. “We have metro levels of traffic on a road,” says Police Chief Gary Kroells, “that’s been left — with a few minor exceptions — unimproved for 35 to 45 years, maybe as far back as the 1960s.” Until the state legislature opens up the purse strings for some much-needed roadway improvements, the chaos on US Highway 12 will continue unabated.
Most Dangerous Minnesota Road #1: US Highway 169
Without a doubt, the most dangerous road in all of Minnesota is the infamous US Highway 169. The highway is so perilous that an average of 6 people die in car accidents on this road each and every year. Running north out of Iowa, US 169 cuts Minnesota neatly in half for just under 200 miles, eventually terminating in the tiny town of Virginia, not far from Duluth. Over the years, US 169 has seen its fair share of road construction closures, blizzards, and even mudslides. US 169’s biggest problems are due to the endless congestion drivers face. As more and more people move into southern Minnesota, US 169 simply cannot bear the additional traffic. And where there’s traffic there’s bound to be accidents. Thankfully, the state government has taken the initiative and begun renovations on the troubled highway, expanding its lanes and addressing some of its more troublesome spots. Minnesota has also started cracking down on distracted drivers with a strict “No Texting” law that went into effect this year. Only time will tell if US Highway 169’s havoc is tempered in the years to come. But as of today, the highway is a risk best not taken if you can find an alternative route.