Farm Vehicle Accidents Reduced by Increased Lighting

Study Shows Increased Lighting on Farm Equipment Can Reduce Vehicle Accidents by More Than 50 Percent

North Dakota is one of nine Midwest states included in national study to analyze safety standards for farm vehicles

In North Dakota, farm vehicle collisions are common on roadways, especially during the height of sugar beet season. Because of the prevalence of farm vehicle accidents during peak harvest months, a recent study was conducted by University of Iowa College of Public Health to analyze farm equipment safety. The study examined nine Midwest states that reported more than 1,100 farm vehicle crashes that resulted in severe injuries and fatalities. The Midwest states included in the study were: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The results of the study found that farm vehicle accidents can be decreased by more than 50 percent if states follow stringent safety policies for lighting on farm equipment. Not all states adhere to the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) safety standards which require that farm vehicles be equipped with enough reflective markers, taillights, headlights, and turn signals so the equipment is visible to motorists.

The study found that Midwestern states such as Illinois were the most compliant with ASBE equipment standards and had 11 percent fewer farm vehicle crashes compared to states such as Missouri that were less stringent with ASBE standards. The study used data from 2005 to 2010 to show that farm vehicle road accidents could be cut from 972 to 385 per year if more states increased their compliance of ASBE safety standards by 25 percent.

Corinne Peek-Asa, co-author of the study, stated that since it’s difficult for motorists to see farm vehicles and accurately judge their speed, rear-end collisions with farm vehicles are a common occurrence. Also, more car collisions are likely to happen in October and November during harvest season when more farm vehicles are on the roadways.

Peek-Asa also reported that motor vehicle passengers are five times more likely to be injured than farm equipment drivers. She cautions drivers to be extra alert when sharing the roads with farm vehicles, especially when visibility is poor during bad weather and during dawn and dusk hours.

While it’s important for farm vehicle drivers to be cautious on the road, accidents still happen due to the driver‘s carelessness and inexperience, bad weather, and faulty mechanical issues.

If you are injured in a car collision involving farm equipment, seek trusted legal counsel as soon as possible. Set up a free consultation today with our experienced farm accident attorneys at Larson Law Firm, P.C. in Minot.  We get the claims process started for you right away and guide you through the steps of the litigation process. For more information, contact us online or call our office at 701-484-4878.