By Rob Dillard, Iowa Public Radio
New research from the University of Iowa in Iowa City says the number of farm vehicle accidents in Missouri would decline by nearly 40%, if the state would adopt policies similar to industry standards for lighting and marking the machinery. Study author Corrine Peek-Asa with the school’s Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health says responsibility for these accidents should not fall entirely on the farmers.
“It is usually not the operator of the farm equipment at fault,” Peek-Asa says. “More often these crashes are the fault of the other cars on the roadway.”
The average number of farm related crashes in Missouri each year is 157. The study says that figure could decline to about 62, if such policy changes are made.
“I think our baseline goal is to catch the attention of rural communities, and especially awareness that rural roadway safety is a shared responsibility,” Peek-Asa says.
The research involved regulations in nine Midwestern states where, on average, there are 1,100 total farm vehicle-related crashes a year.
The study is published in the current issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.