The Top 10 U.S. States Where Truck Drivers Brave the Most Danger

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, driving a truck is one of the most dangerous occupations in the US. However, some states pose more risks than others for truck drivers based on the frequency and severity of fatal truck accidents. 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.


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Wyoming is a challenging state for truck drivers, especially during the winter months. The state has long, flat stretches of interstate highways prone to high winds, snow drifts, and icy conditions. These factors contribute to frequent road closures and hazardous driving situations. According to the study by Simplex, Wyoming had the highest percentage of fatal truck crashes out of all 50 states. Of the 174 fatal vehicle crashes in Wyoming, 33 involved large trucks. This constitutes 18.97% of the state’s total fatal crashes.


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Idaho has diverse terrain and weather conditions, posing challenges for truck drivers. The state has many mountainous roads, steep grades, and sharp curves that require careful navigation and braking. Additionally, Idaho experiences harsh winters, with heavy snowfall, ice, and fog that can reduce visibility and traction. Idaho had 300 fatal vehicle crashes in 2020, of which 49 involved large trucks, constituting about 16.33% of the state’s fatal crashes. This percentage is lower than Wyoming’s but still higher than the national average of 12.5%.


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Nebraska has the highest number of fatal vehicle crashes involving trucks in the US, with 333 deaths and 59 trucks in 2021. Nebraska has a high percentage of truck-involved fatalities (15.92%), which is only slightly lower than Idaho and Wyoming. Nebraska’s poor driving safety record is attributed to factors such as speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving, and drowsy driving.


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Iowa is one of the US’s least safe states for truck drivers, with 14.35% of fatal crashes involving large trucks. Iowa also had the second-highest number of truck-involved fatalities (67) in the nation, behind Texas (622). This may be because Idaho has many rural roads, which are more prone to crashes than urban roads. Idaho has a high percentage of truck traffic, which increases the risk of collisions with other vehicles.

North Dakota

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North Dakota is fifth on our list of the least safe states for truck drivers in the US, with 13.24% of fatalities involving trucks. The harsh winter weather can create hazardous road conditions, such as black ice and whiteouts, that increase the risk of accidents. Moreover, the oil industry in North Dakota has attracted more truck drivers to the state, adding more traffic and pressure to the existing infrastructure. North Dakota drivers should be careful and prepared when driving, especially during winter.

South Dakota

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South Dakota is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is known for its diverse terrain, which includes the Black Hills, the Badlands, and the Missouri River. However, South Dakota also has a high rate of fatal truck accidents, ranking sixth in the nation. According to the Simplex study, 12.57% of the deaths in traffic crashes involved large trucks, such as semi-trailers, tractor-trailers, and tankers. The study found that 24 out of 191 vehicles involved in fatal crashes were large trucks.


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Alaska is a state in the northwest of the United States known for its natural beauty, wildlife, and oil industry. However, it is also among the least safe states for truck drivers. The study found that 12.50% of the fatal crashes in Alaska involved large trucks, such as semi-trailers, tractor-trailers, and tankers.

Driving in Alaska is risky because of bad weather, like snow, rain, fog, and wind. Long drives in Alaska can make you sleepy, but falling asleep while driving can kill you. Alaska is the sixth most dangerous state for drowsy driving – two times worse than the national average. Wildlife is another common threat on Alaskan roads.


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Kansas ranked eighth in the list of least safe states for truck drivers in the United States, with 11.94% of its total crashes involving large trucks. This means that out of 578 vehicles involved in life-threatening crashes in Kansas, 69 were large trucks. Some factors that may contribute to the high rate of truck crashes in Kansas are its long and flat highways, high-speed limits, and unpredictable weather conditions.


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Indiana ranks as the ninth most dangerous state for truck drivers in the United States. Around 11.80% of Indiana’s total fatal vehicle crashes in 2020 involved large trucks. Indiana’s highways are hazardous due to the heavy presence of large trucks. Even though most truck drivers are careful, these vehicles’ sheer number and size pose a serious threat to other road users.


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Texas is a dangerous state for truck drivers, as 11.39% of its fatal crashes in 2020 involved large trucks. Oil drilling activity has increased heavy truck traffic and led to road deterioration. The shortage of qualified truck drivers in this state has also led to drivers working longer shifts, which can lead to stress and exhaustion.


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