Though 19% of Americans live in rural areas, the U.S. Department of Transportation says that over half of all fatal road accidents occur in these areas. Now, a study from the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health has found a strong link between fatal crashes in rural areas and the presence of tractors and other agricultural equipment. California residents may want to know more.
According to the study, rural accidents involving agricultural vehicles are five times more likely to be fatal than those not involving them. Of those rural agricultural crashes that were fatal, 80.8% were two-vehicle collisions, 10.3% involved the vehicle collided with a fixed object and 3.4% involved an overturn or other event besides a collision.
Most of the accidents occurred on a straightaway with a grade, suggesting that passenger vehicle drivers are often trying, unsuccessfully, to pass slower-moving agricultural vehicles. It’s essential for farm workers to display their slow-moving vehicle emblem when traveling less than 25 mph and a speed identification symbol when traveling 25 to 40 mph. They should never ride their equipment half on the road and half on the shoulder.
As for passenger vehicle drivers, they should know that the faster they go, the longer it takes to brake to a stop. They must not pass in no-passing zones or when visibility is limited.
When negligence is behind truck accidents, those who were injured may want to find out who was at fault and to what degree. In this state, victims may file a personal injury claim even when partially to blame, but they might have the amount they are eligible for in damages lowered. For help with filing the claim and negotiating with the other side, whether it’s an insurance company or the trucking company’s legal team, victims may hire a lawyer.