Illinois farmers face great risk when they operate farm machinery. Unlike in an industrial setting where co-workers can react and alert first responders in the event of a farm machinery accident, farmers are typically alone in their barns or fields and may be unable to summon assistance after a catastrophic accident.
Then, too, farmers are at high risk when moving their equipment along local roads where motorists drive. The University of Iowa’s Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, a division of the College of Public Health, conducted past research on farm machinery crashes. Below are some of their findings.
Nine states studied
Over the five-year period from 2005 to 2010, the study focused on the following nine states’ farm equipment crash data from collisions:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Their project used data from over 7,000 farm equipment accidents.
What did they learn?
The scientists found some expected and some interesting conclusions. To no great surprise, 94% of the occupants of the farm vehicles were male, compared to the fewer 62% male occupants of non-farm vehicles involved in the crashes.
The majority of farm vehicle crashes (FVC) happened through the week during the daytime hours in clear weather.
Just under 7% of the occupants of all of the involved vehicles were 15 years old or younger. Not even 30% of farm vehicle occupants were wearing seat belts when the collision occurred.
Crashes happen everywhere
Not surprisingly, around 70% of collisions with farm equipment happen in rural locations. But another 30% occur in urban areas.
Most collisions happen on highly trafficked roads where the speed limits are more than 50 mph. Farm to market roads are also likely to be the scene of farm vehicle accidents. Ditto for any small, narrow roads.
Straight roads had higher FVC rates than roads with frequent curves. Well-lit roads fared better than roads with little illumination.
Illinois most compliant
In the study, Illinois was the state in closest compliance with industry standards for road marking and lighting policies recommended by the American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). States with higher rates of compliance with those standards significantly reduced their rates of FVC.
Hurt in a farm vehicle crash?
If you are an Illinois farmer who suffered injuries in an FVC caused by an errant motorist, you could face a grueling recovery to get back to a semblance of the person whom you once were.
Seeking justice through the Illinois civil court system could bring you the closure and resources required to move forward.