Three-quarters of farm equipment-related crashes involving alcohol result in injury or death. A sobering statistic, but when you factor in that most of these accidents happen during the night time, it calls for extra safety measures.
A recent five-year study in Traffic Injury Prevention identified more than 60 alcohol-related crashes involving farm equipment in four Midwestern states. University researchers looked closer at the accident reports.
“We found that the passenger vehicle drivers were more often impaired than the farmers operating their equipment. This is important because these impaired drivers may be slower to recognize and react to farm equipment, and more likely to misjudge the differences in speed of the equipment on the roadway,” said Karisa Harland, the lead investigator.
North Dakota and South Dakota reported the highest number of alcohol-impaired driver crashes involving farm equipment, say researchers from the University of Iowa and University of Minnesota. Most accidents were from passenger vehicles rear-ending or running head-on into farm equipment.
Not surprisingly, most of the accidents in the research study happened during night-time and on weekends. Harvest and planting time-frames are critical times for farmers, who might be working around the clock.
While the proportion of alcohol impairment crashes involving farm equipment is low (less than 3%), they often result in injury or death.
Make sure all your equipment has the proper safety lights and signs. Click for more safe travel tips with farm machinery.