Characteristics of Crashes with Farm Equipment that Increase Potential for Injury

CONTEXT: Crash fatality and injury rates are higher on rural roadways than other roadway types. Although slow-moving farm vehicles and equipment are risk factors on rural roads, little is known about the characteristics of crashes with farm vehicles/equipment.

PURPOSE: To describe crashes and injuries for the drivers of farm vehicles/equipment and non-farm vehicles involved in an injury crash. Passengers are not included in this analysis.

METHODS: Injury crashes were included that involved a farm vehicle/equipment and at least one non-farm vehicle reported in Iowa Department of Transportation crash data from 1995 to 2004. Odds ratios were calculated through logistic regression to identify increased odds for injury among drivers of non-farm vehicles and farm vehicles/equipment. We examined frequently occurring crash characteristics to identify crash scenarios leading to the highest odds for injury.

FINDINGS: Non-farm vehicle drivers were 5.23 times more likely to be injured than farm vehicle/equipment drivers (95% CI = 4.12-6.46). The absence of restraint use was a significant predictor of injury for both farm vehicle/equipment drivers (OR = 2.85; 95% CI = 1.14-7.13) and non-farm vehicle drivers (OR = 2.53; 95% CI = 1.54-4.15). Crash characteristics increasing the odds of injury for non-farm vehicle drivers included speeding, passing the farm vehicle/equipment, driving on a county road, having a frontal impact collision, and crashing in darkness. Ejection was the strongest predictor of injury for the farm vehicle/equipment driver.

CONCLUSION: Non-farm vehicle drivers were much more likely to be injured than farm vehicle/equipment drivers, suggesting that farm vehicle/equipment crash prevention should be a priority for all rural road users. Prevention strategies that reduce motor vehicle speed, assist in safe passing, increase seat belt use, and increase conspicuousness of the farm vehicle/equipment are suggested.

Peek-Asa, C., Sprince, N., Whitten, P., Falb, S., Madsen, M., & Zwerling, C. Characteristics of Crashes with Farm Equipment that Increase Potential for Injury. 23 4 339-47. 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2007.00112.x.