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Wyoming loves its pickup trucks, with twice as many on its roads as the average state. It is also the second most dangerous state to drive in. But before you assume that it’s the size of all these trucks or the folks behind the wheel making Wyoming unsafe, you’ll want to read up on the biggest hazards to motorists in the Equality State. From several adventures in Wyoming, I can tell you that trucks may actually be one of the safest vehicles to drive there.

Wyoming and the pickup truck: a love story

A tan Mitsubishi pickup truck with a camper parked in front of a ring of abandoned cabins at a Wyoming ghost town.
1989 Mitsubishi Mighty Max | Henry Cesari via MotorBiscuit

The folks of Wyoming sure love their pickup trucks. According to, 37.1% of the vehicles registered in Wyoming for 2023 are pickup trucks. Pickup trucks account for 16.7% of vehicles in the U.S.A., so Wyoming can claim twice the national average per capita.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, Wyoming had 283,072 pickup trucks (including both business and private registrations) by 2019. That means it has 2.89 trucks for every square mile of land, both developed and wilderness. And considering that Wyoming currently has the lowest year-round population of any state, it also has almost one truck for every two residents (2.04, to be precise).

Second place goes to Wyoming’s neighbor to the north: Montana. Thirty-four percent of the vehicles registered in the Treasure State are pickup trucks. Interestingly, Texas leads the country in pickup sales, but relatively few of its registered vehicles are trucks (19.7%). That likely means the folks keep their used trucks in Wyoming longer than in Texas.

Is Wyoming a safe place to drive?

According to, Wyoming is the second most dangerous state to drive in. The data comes from a study done between 2013 and 2017, and it highlights some interesting hazards you’ll face while driving in Wyoming.

A Chevy Silverado pickup truck drives down a Wyoming road, wind turbines visible in the background.
Chevrolet Silverado in Medicine Bow, Wyoming | Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

One major danger while driving in Wyoming is wildlife. Antelope (also called pronghorn), deer, elk, and even bison (also called American Buffalo) are a common sight in certain parts of Wyoming. With Interstate Highway speed limits as high as 80 mph on some roads, it is easy to come up on a critter faster than you–or they–can react. And if one of these big animals comes up through your windshield, there’s a good chance neither of you will survive the encounter.

During such an accident, being in a tall truck with a high hood may save your life. Obviously, staying alert and driving a vehicle you can stop quickly are as important. But Wyoming drivers may have good reason to prefer trucks. There are also rare instances when wildlife charges parked vehicles. A heavy truck certainly stands a better chance against a bison than a smart car.

Wyoming poses several unique hazards to drivers

Another major road hazard in Wyoming is high-speed wind. The southeast corner of the state is infamous for gusts between 40 and 70 mph.

Trucks, which can weigh twice what a car does, can give you the illusion of safety in high winds. But a taller vehicle can also pose more risk. Pulling a tall, boxy trailer adds even more danger of being blown off the road. The long, straight roads of Wyoming add another risk: drivers losing focus or even falling asleep. And finally, one in 83.3 Wyoming drivers is inebriated–at any given time.

In my recent cross-country road trip I drove my truck across Wyoming. I absolutely noticed more trucks than average on the road. I also noticed many more classic trucks than I’m used to in rust-prone Vermont. I don’t know if I was truly safer in a truck than I would have been in a car. But when I stopped for slow traffic and realized everyone was staring at a herd of enormous bison, I was certainly happy I wasn’t driving a low convertible.

Next, find out which states allow you to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, or see a scenic drive across Wyoming in the video below: