The 15 Most Dangerous States for Winter Driving

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For more than 70% of Americans, winter driving means snow, ice and dangerous weather conditions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, almost 40% of weather-related vehicle crashes occur during snowy or icy conditions and cause more than 1,300 deaths.

How do you know if your state is a high risk for hazardous driving conditions? MoneyGeek compiled a list of the top 15 most dangerous states for winter driving. The company analyzed winter driving fatalities, the fatality rate adjusted for vehicle miles traveled and the states with the best and worst drivers to determine which states are the most dangerous for winter driving. These metrics were converted to a 100 point scale and weighed to calculate a final winter danger score. The final ranking is based on this score.

While the conditions are unavoidable for most of us, checking your car insurance policy for adequate coverage can help protect you in the event of a weather-related incident. If you need to make coverage updates, shop around for car insurance quotes.

Check out the 15 most dangerous states for winter driving to see if your state is on the list.


15. Maine

Maine winter driving
Shanshan0312 / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 15
  • Maine recorded 25 winter driving fatalities (rank = 16) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Maine ranks #6 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Maine drivers as #15 in the nation for driving safety.

14. New Hampshire

New Hampshire winter driving
Ryan McGurl / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 14
  • New Hampshire recorded 17 winter driving fatalities (rank = 27) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, New Hampshire ranks #10 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts New Hampshire drivers as #33 in the nation for driving safety.

13. Vermont

Vermont winter driving
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 13
  • Vermont recorded 15 winter driving fatalities (rank = 29) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Vermont ranks #3 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Vermont drivers as #16 in the nation for driving safety.

12. South Dakota

South Dakota winter driving
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 12
  • South Dakota recorded 12 winter driving fatalities (rank = 34) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, South Dakota ranks #9 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts South Dakota drivers as #35 in the nation for driving safety.

11. Illinois

Illinois winter driving
maribelka / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 11
  • Illinois recorded 65 winter driving fatalities (rank = 6) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Illinois ranks #23 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Illinois drivers as #12 in the nation for driving safety.

10. New York

New York winter driving
Ryan DeBerardinis / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 10
  • New York recorded 82 winter driving fatalities (rank = 4) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, New York ranks #20 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts New York drivers as #4 in the nation for driving safety.

9. Minnesota

Minnesota winter driving
Katie Barnes Photography / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 9
  • Minnesota recorded 69 winter driving fatalities (rank = 5) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Minnesota ranks #12 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Minnesota drivers as #2 in the nation for driving safety.

8. North Dakota

North Dakota winter driving
FiledIMAGE / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 8
  • North Dakota recorded 19 winter driving fatalities (rank = 23) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, North Dakota ranks #4 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts North Dakota drivers as #28 in the nation for driving safety.

7. Wisconsin

Wisconsin winter driving
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 7
  • Wisconsin recorded 65 winter driving fatalities (rank = 6) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Wisconsin ranks #14 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Wisconsin drivers as #20 in the nation for driving safety.

6. Ohio

Ohio winter driving
Randall Vermillion / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 6
  • Ohio recorded 90 winter driving fatalities (rank = 2) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Ohio ranks #17 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Ohio drivers as #13 in the nation for driving safety.

5. Montana

Montana winter driving
Adam Reck / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 5
  • Montana recorded 23 winter driving fatalities (rank = 17) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Montana ranks #5 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Montana drivers as #37 in the nation for driving safety.

4. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania winter driving
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 4
  • Pennsylvania recorded 85 winter driving fatalities (rank = 3) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Pennsylvania ranks #15 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Pennsylvania drivers as #29 in the nation for driving safety.

3. Wyoming

Wyoming winter driving
Sebastien Burel / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 3
  • Wyoming recorded 30 winter driving fatalities (rank = 14) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Wyoming ranks #2 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Wyoming drivers as #27 in the nation for driving safety.

2. Alaska

Alaska winter driving
FloridaStock / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 2
  • Alaska recorded 18 winter driving fatalities (rank = 24) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Alaska ranks #1 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Alaska drivers as #36 in the nation for driving safety.

1. Michigan

Michigan winter driving
Agnieszka Gaul / Shutterstock

  • Overall Winter Driving Danger Rank = 1
  • Michigan recorded 162 winter driving fatalities (rank = 1) in the last 3 years.
  • Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Michigan ranks #7 for winter driving fatalities.
  • MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Michigan drivers as #8 in the nation for driving safety.

About the Author

Danielle Kiser is a former TV news producer and writer for MoneyGeek.