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A good read if you want to dive into the details.

Overview

Crashes involving farm equipment occur quite frequently in the Midwestern U.S. We know a little bit about these crashes from a handful of smaller and much older studies. Comprehensive information on current trends and intervention approaches across multiple states is needed. Our team focused on the following goals:

Relevance

Public roads are one of the most dangerous environments, where thousands of crashes and related deaths and injuries occur each year in the United States. Farmers of both small and large operations often use public roadways to travel from field to field/farmstead and to transport goods to population centers.

Very little is known about farm equipment crashes and subsequent injuries. Despite the lack of information, efforts at the state level exist to help prevent farm equipment roadway crashes. One intervention policy approach, traffic legislation that requires lighting and marking of farm equipment, has been in place for decades with various types of laws across different states. Some work has been done to describe the laws, but no research has been conducted to evaluate if these laws actually help in reducing the risk of a farm equipment crash.

Our research advances knowledge about current trends of farm equipment crashes in nine Midwestern states, and assesses if safety policies on lighting and marking help prevent crashes.

Study Findings

Our project has now successfully accessed 2005-2010 farm equipment crash data from all nine state Departments of Transportation. During this five year period, there were more than 7,000 crashes involving farm equipment. We combined datasets and geocoded (address-matching) crash locations on maps of the region. We have also collected and analyzed the content of lighting and marking policies from all nine states, for comparison with crash rates.


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