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Farmer dies when his tractor was rear-ended by a semi.

Michigan State University
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 07MI044, 2008 Sep; :1-8
On April 30, 2007, a 53-year-old male farmer died when the John Deere 3020 tractor he was operating on a dry, two-lane road was struck in the rear by a semi truck. Both vehicles were traveling northbound on the road. The tractor and wagon he was pulling were in the travel portion of the road. The blacktop roadway had paved shoulders that transitioned to gravel and then to grass ditches. The speed limit was 55 mph and was posted. The tractor was hauling a port-a-box wood wagon. The tractor was traveling on the eastern-most edge of the northbound pavement while straddling the fog line and extending approximately three feet into the northbound portion of the roadway. The semi truck struck the left rear corner of the port-a-box wood wagon causing the wagon and tractor to become separated and the tractor to roll over several times. The semi truck subsequently jackknifed. The decedent was ejected from the tractor seat. The tractor and wagon were equipped with slow moving vehicle emblems. The driver of the semi was prosecuted and convicted of negligent homicide when he failed to yield the right of way or stop in the assured clear distance before crashing into the rear of the farm tractor and wagon. Recommendations: Truck Drivers: should ensure adequate rest and minimize distractions while driving. Agricultural Community should: 1. Use less busy alternate routes when available when operating agricultural equipment on the road, especially during high traffic volume hours. 2. Upgrade old slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblems to the new retro-reflective SMV emblems. 3. When available, use rollover protective structure (ROPS) and seatbelt equipped agricultural equipment when operating on the road. 4. Retrofit older tractors with properly designed, manufactured and installed ROPS and seat belt when available. 5. Install side view mirrors and construct/purchase appropriate temporary flashing warning lights and attach them to a tractor if not so equipped when the tractor is operated on the road. Municipalities: Municipalities in rural areas should consider the visual confusion and distraction that may be experienced by vehicle drivers such as when newspaper holders attached to mailboxes are the same colors as an SMV emblem and/or SMV emblems are used as markers. States and Federal Government: States and the Federal government should modify drivers' training material and drivers' tests to include SMV emblem interpretation, types of vehicles on which a SMV emblem is found, and the proper safety procedures to use when approaching and passing a SMV-marked vehicle.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Farmers; Tractors; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Truck-drivers; Trucking; Drivers; Equipment-operators
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-07MI044; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466
Priority Area
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Services
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: December 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division