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Not just a rural occurrence: differences in agricultural equipment crash characteristics by rural-urban crash site and proximity to town.

Harland KK; Greenan M; Ramirez M
Accid Anal Prev 2014 Sep; 70:8-13
PURPOSE: Although approximately one-third of agricultural equipment-related crashes occur near town, these crashes are thought to be a rural problem. This analysis examines differences between agricultural equipment-related crashes by their urban-rural distribution and distance from a town. METHODS: Agricultural equipment crashes were collected from nine Midwest Departments of Transportation (2005-2008). Crash zip code was assigned as urban or rural (large, small and isolated) using Rural-Urban Commuting Areas. Crash proximity to a town was estimated with ArcGIS. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of crashing in an urban versus rural zip codes and across rural gradients. ANOVA analysis estimated mean distance (miles) from a crash site to a town. FINDINGS: Over four years, 4444 crashes involved agricultural equipment. About 30% of crashes occurred in urban zip codes. Urban crashes were more likely to be non-collisions (aOR=1.69[1.24-2.30]), involve =2 vehicles (2 vehicles: aOR=1.58[1.14-2.20], 3+ vehicles: aOR=1.68[0.98-2.88]), occur in a town (aOR=2.06[1.73-2.45]) and within one mile of a town (aOR=1.65[1.40-1.95]) than rural crashes. The proportion of crashes within a town differed significantly across rural gradients (P<0.0001). Small rural crashes, compared to isolated rural crashes, were 1.98 (95%CI[1.28-3.06]) times more likely to be non-collisions. The distance from the crash to town differed significantly by the urban-rural distribution (P<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Crashes with agricultural equipment are unexpectedly common in urban areas and near towns and cities. Education among all roadway users, increased visibility of agricultural equipment and the development of complete rural roads are needed to increase road safety and prevent agricultural equipment-related crashes.
Agriculture; Agricultural workers; Agricultural industry; Farmers; Demographic characteristics; Accidents; Agricultural machinery; Motor vehicles; Equipment design; Epidemiology; Statistical analysis; Author Keywords: Traffic accident; Agricultural euipment; Epidemiology; Occupational accidents/injuries
Karisa K. Harland, University of Iowa, Occupational and Environmental Health, 200 Newton Rd, 2188 WL, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Grant
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-007548; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U54-OH-007548; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008491
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Accident Analysis and Prevention
Performing Organization
University of Iowa, Iowa City
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division