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Tractor avoids oncoming car but rolls in a ditch killing the operator.

Iowa Department of Public Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 96IA042, 1996 Dec; :1-3
A 67-year-old farmhand driving an older tractor was distracted by approaching traffic while turning into a farm lane and over-steered slightly causing the tractor to enter a ditch and roll over. The victim was on the right shoulder of the highway, preparing to turn left into the farm lane. After he began his turn a car immediately appeared over a hill to the front and right of the tractor. This distraction caused the tractor operator to hurry across the highway and misjudge the entry into the farm lane. The narrow-front tractor drove too far to the left of the farm lane, and rolled in the steep ditch, killing the operator instantly. The victim was transporting a large bale of hay with the tractor using rear mounted hay hooks. This extra weight on the rear of the tractor, combined with the slope of the road, may have made the tractor light on the front end and difficult to steer accurately. The tractor had no ROPS and the man was crushed underneath the tractor. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Tractors should be equipped with ROPS, especially if they are used for road transportation, loading, or mowing , or if they are tricycle-type. 2. Farmers, rural residents, and county/state road departments should pursue grading changes or post warning signs along the roadway to alert drivers of dangerous intersections with a farm lane or driveway. 3. Farmers and other rural residents who have dangerous intersections on their property should consider how to re-route farm lanes and driveways to maximize visibility.
Region-7; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Personal-protection; Farmers; Tractors; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-96IA042; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-708674
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division