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Deadliest Roads in North Dakota

North Dakota is home to vast prairies, the Red River Valley, and the North Dakota Badlands (which are, admittedly, not as well-known as their southern counterparts). The state consistently ranks in the top 10 for motorcycle ownership, and it’s no wonder, given its unique and diverse landscapes.
Though North Dakota falls squarely in the middle of all American states when it comes to fatal accident rates, there are still plenty of areas where motorists should exercise caution. We’ll discuss some of the most dangerous roads in the state of North Dakota and what to do if you’re involved in an accident.

U.S. Highway 2

Running from the Montana border to Minnesota and passing through Williston, Minot, and Grand Forks along the way, US Highway 2 is a critical east-west route. However, its importance comes at a cost, with this highway being one of North Dakota‘s deadliest, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2022, 6 people died in fatal crashes on this road alone.
The two-lane highway’s blind turns, tricky terrain, and heavy truck traffic contribute to a higher risk of accidents. Severe weather conditions, including blizzards and icy roads during the winter months, further elevate the danger level.
Lonely North Dakota Highway

Interstate 94

Interstate 94 is another east-west corridor, separating the bottom third of the state from the rest with stops in Bismarck and Fargo. The 350-mile stretch of highway is often used by travelers headed to Minneapolis.
Speed limits of up to 75 miles per hour, sudden changes in weather, and heavy traffic, particularly in urban areas, make I-94 prone to collisions. Snowstorms and fog can severely reduce visibility, increasing the risk for accidents. On average, there are more than 400 accidents on the I-94 annually.

U.S. Highway 85

Highway 85 is one of the main north-south thoroughfares for semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles, with some of the heaviest traffic in the state occurring along this 255-mile road. Stretching from Canada to South Dakota along the western part of the state, it passes through oil-rich areas. This means that many oil and gas trucks travel the route each day, in addition to the many passenger cars.
The mix of heavy vehicles and regular commuter traffic increases the potential for accidents. The road also features some steep grades and occasional adverse road conditions, making it particularly treacherous. Some sources cite it as the singular most dangerous road in the entire state.

45th Street in Fargo

While not an interstate or highway, 45th Street in Fargo has the distinction of featuring two of the most dangerous intersections in the state. 
According to reports from the North Dakota Department of Transportation, the intersection at 13th Ave S and 45th Street saw 76 accidents over a three-year period. Just down the road, the intersection of 23rd Ave S and 45th Street saw 47 car accidents in the same time frame.

Interstate 29

Interstate 29 follows the North DakotaMinnesota border from Canada down to the Lake Traverse Reservation.
The section of the highway that passes through Grand Forks is prone to heavy traffic, increasing the risk of crashes. According to the NHTSA, around 20 accidents happen in this area each year.

Staying Safe on North Dakota Roads

The best way to avoid car accident injuries is to avoid accidents altogether. While there are certainly factors that are out of motorists’ hands (like weather conditions and terrain), it’s important to drive smart whenever you’re behind the wheel.
Our top safety tips are below:

  • Always wear a seat belt and make sure your passengers do the same.
  • Never text or use a mobile device while driving.
  • Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • When you feel drowsy, pull over and rest or switch drivers.
  • Make sure all parts of your car, including tires, lights, and wipers, are in good working order.
  • Know the rules of the road wherever you plan to drive.
  • Slow down when roads are snowy or icy or when visibility is low.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car with a cell phone charger, warm clothes, and jumper cables.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident in North Dakota?

Even when you do everything right, accidents can still happen. If you are involved in a car accident, stay calm and remain at the scene of the accident. Leaving the scene could constitute a hit-and-run. It can also damage any potential personal injury claim you may have.
In order to protect yourself and your right to compensation for your damages, take the following steps after your accident:

  • Move out of traffic if possible.
  • Check for injuries and call 911 if anyone is seriously hurt.
  • Contact law enforcement and file a police report.
  • Take photos and videos of the accident scene.
  • Exchange names, phone numbers, and insurance information with the other driver.
  • Notify your own insurance company of the accident.
  • Seek medical attention, even if you do not believe you were hurt.
  • Consider contacting a personal injury attorney.

If you were injured due to another person’s negligence, an experienced car accident attorney can help. The Advocates are a law firm of skilled personal injury lawyers who can help you understand your legal options, build your case, and get the settlement you deserve.
Contact our Williston office today for a free consultation. You deserve competent, compassionate legal representation. You deserve an Advocate.