Reducing Farm Vehicle-Related Crashes

Large slow moving farm vehicles or equipment are a known hazard on roadways, especially in states with large agricultural operations. A farm vehicle-related crash study in nine Midwestern states, including Kansas, shows the danger is real. However, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk.

The Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health analyzed department of transportation data from 2005 to 2010 and found a majority of crashes occurred during harvesting season – September to December. Most farm vehicle-related accidents – rear-end collisions, sideswiping and left turns – are the result of impatient drivers. K-State Research and Extension farm safety specialist Kerri Ebert (ee-burt) urges motorists to be careful when passing a large piece of farm equipment on a rural road because you’re really not saving much time.

The five years of data shows that nearly 15,000 occupants were involved in just over 7,000 farm vehicle-related crashes resulting in nearly 3,000 injuries and 161 fatalities. Ebert says if everyone exercises a little more caution on the roadways these type of crashes could be reduced.

Although the analysis doesn’t include crashes related to fatigued driving, Ebert says fatigue is a huge issue in agriculture, especially during the summer.

The Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health analysis used department of transportation data from Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.