10 Most Unsafe States For Truck Drivers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the US poses a great danger to the truck driving profession.: When it comes to fatal truck accidents, data reveals a significant difference in risk between states. Some states consistently experience a higher number of crashes and more severe outcomes for truck drivers than other states. In this article, we will reveal the top 10 most unsafe states for truck drivers using data from Simplex Group, a leading transportation service provider.

South Dakota

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The state of South Dakota is located in the country’s Midwest. It is renowned for having a varied topography that includes the Missouri River, the Badlands, and the Black Hills. But South Dakota, which is ranked sixth in the country, also has a high percentage of fatal truck accidents. The Simplex report states that big trucks, including tankers, tractor-trailers, and semi-trailers, were involved in 12.57% of traffic-related fatalities. According to the survey, heavy trucks made up 24 of the 191 vehicles involved in fatal crashes.


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Idaho’s varied landscape and weather present significant challenges for truck drivers. The state is home to many mountainous roads featuring steep grades and sharp curves that demand precise navigation and braking skills. Moreover, Idaho’s harsh winters bring heavy snowfall, ice, and fog, all of which can severely reduce visibility and traction. In 2020, Idaho saw 300 fatal vehicle crashes, with 49 involving large trucks, accounting for about 16.33% of the total. This rate is lower than that of Wyoming but higher than the national average of 12.5%.

North Dakota

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While North Dakota ranks as the fifth most dangerous state for truckers in the US, with over 13% of fatal crashes involving trucks, there’s a reason behind this. The state’s harsh winters bring treacherous road conditions like black ice and whiteouts, significantly raising the risk of accidents.  On top of that, the oil boom has drawn more truck drivers to North Dakota, leading to increased traffic and strain on the existing infrastructure.  Given these factors, it’s crucial for North Dakota drivers to be extra cautious and prepared, especially during the winter months.


MANHATTEN, KS, USA - NOVEMBER 3, 2022: Anderson Hall and Administration on the campus of Kansas State University.
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A study ranked Kansas as one of the most dangerous states for truck drivers in the US. In Kansas, a significant portion, 11.94%, of all fatal crashes involved large trucks. This translates to 69 out of 578 vehicles involved in fatal crashes being large trucks. The state’s long, flat highways, high-speed limits, and unpredictable weather patterns are all believed to be contributing factors to this high number of truck accidents.


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According to a recent study, Indiana is among the top ten most dangerous states for truck drivers in the US. In 2020, a concerningly high percentage, nearly 11.8%, of all fatal crashes in Indiana involved large trucks. This abundance of big rigs on the road makes Indiana’s highways particularly hazardous, despite the caution of most truck drivers. The size and number of these vehicles pose a significant risk to other drivers sharing the road.


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Truck drivers face a tough haul in Wyoming, particularly in winter. Long, flat stretches of interstate become wind tunnels, accumulating snowdrifts and turning roads into ice rinks. This nasty combination frequently forces closures and creates dangerous driving conditions. A study by Simplex revealed that Wyoming has the worst record in the nation for fatal truck accidents. Out of 174 fatal crashes in the state, a troubling 33 involved large trucks. That means nearly 19% of all fatal crashes in Wyoming involve big rigs.


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Texas roads pose a significant danger for truck drivers. In 2020, a substantial portion of fatal crashes, 11.39%, involved large trucks. This rise in truck accidents is attributed to two factors: increased oil drilling activity leading to more heavy trucks on deteriorating roads, and a lack of qualified drivers who may be forced to work extended hours due to the shortage, causing fatigue and stress.


OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JULY 11, 2018: City Skyline in Downtown Omaha, Nebraska along the Gene Leahy Mall
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Nebraska leads the nation in fatal vehicle crashes involving trucks, with 333 deaths and 59 truck-related fatalities in 2021. The state’s percentage of truck-involved fatalities stands at 15.92%, just slightly lower than Idaho and Wyoming. Nebraska’s poor driving safety record is largely due to factors like speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving, and drowsy driving.


Des Moines Iowa skyline in USA (United States)
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Iowa is among the least safe states for truck drivers in the US, with 14.35% of fatal crashes involving large trucks. It also recorded the second-highest number of truck-related fatalities in the nation, with 67 deaths, trailing only Texas, which had 622. This may be attributed to Iowa’s extensive rural road network, which tends to have higher crash rates than urban areas. Additionally, the high volume of truck traffic in Iowa increases the likelihood of collisions with other vehicles.

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