Agricultural Vehicle Crashes on Public Roads

Farming is a way of life in Iowa. Our state proudly produces animals such as hogs and turkeys, and crops, such as soybeans and corn. The majority of land in Iowa is used for farming, and farm work often requires that farm vehicles travel, at least partly, on public roads. Farming vehicles may need to travel from field to field, from farm to repair center, or to transport goods to a distribution center or store.

Farm Vehicle Safety on Public Roads

While we know that farm vehicles often use Iowa roads, there are few recent studies that look at farm vehicle accidents on public roads.

However, a study done by the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health located in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa did identify important farm vehicle safety issues after looking at 2005-2010 data from nine Midwestern states. During this five-year period, there were approximately 7,000 crashes involving farm vehicles.

An analysis of these 7,000 crashes found that:

  • Farm vehicle accidents happen in urban areas too. While farm vehicle crashes are more common in rural areas, approximately 30% of farm vehicle crashes occurred on urban roads.
  • Crashes are more likely on certain types of roads. After examining data from approximately 320,000 Iowa roads, researchers found that farm vehicle accidents are more likely on roads with speed limits over 50 MPH, roads with a higher traffic density, roads that are farm to market routes, and roads that are narrower.
  • States that require compliance with the American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers standards for lighting and marking farm equipment experienced fewer farm equipment crashes.

Types of Farm Vehicle Accidents and Injuries

Agricultural vehicles, like other types of vehicles, can be part of many different types of crashes. Some kinds of crashes are more common than others, however, and these include:

  • Rear-end accidents. Truckers, car drivers, and motorcyclists may have a hard time judging the slower speed of a farm vehicle and not leave themselves enough time to slow down to prevent a rear-end collision.
  • Left-turn crashes. These crashes occur when a motorist attempts to pass a farm vehicle that is about to turn left.
  • Improper passing. Impatient motorists may try to pass the farm vehicle in front of them. They may not account for the length of the agricultural vehicle or the amount of time it will take to pass the vehicle and a crash can occur.
  • Intersection crashes. The slower speed of many agricultural vehicles also adds to the risk of an intersection accident. Oncoming traffic may not wait until the farm vehicle has left the intersection if the light has changed.

These crashes may result in devastating injuries, including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Amputations

In some cases, injured people may not survive their injuries and death can occur.

Protect Yourself After a Farm Vehicle Crash

If you are hurt, or your loved one is killed in an agricultural vehicle accident, then it is up to you to take action to protect your rights. The farm owner and the insurance company are not going to offer you a fair settlement unless you fight for it, but you do not have to fight alone.

Our experienced Iowa truck accident injury lawyers are here to help you every step of the way. First, we will find out why your accident happened.

Then, we will make sure that your rights are protected, and we will negotiate with the insurance company. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer you a fair settlement, then we will fight for your recovery in court. Your recovery may include compensation for past and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain, and emotional suffering.

Call us or start a live chat with us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We are happy to meet with you at your home, in our Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, or Davenport office, by phone, or through a video conference.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.