What Are the Most Common Types of Tractor Accidents?
April 9, 2019 Published in Farm Accidents,Workers' Compensation
Many people mistakenly assume that farming equipment like tractors operate just like other vehicles. Harvesting equipment, agricultural vehicles, tractors, and other farm equipment manufacturers do not design these devices for safety and only those who understand how these vehicles work should operate them. Farming equipment accidents remain a common cause of accidental work-related injuries in the U.S.
Tractor Accident Statistics
- The National Agricultural Tractor Safety Initiative reports that tractors cause about 130 deaths annually – thats 50% of all farm worker deaths each year.
- The U.S. Department of Labor (USDL) reports that 44% of farm accidents are due to tractor rollovers – making rollovers the most common type of tractor accident.
- Tractors accounted for over 2,000 deaths on farms in the U.S. between 1992 and 2001.
- Collisions with motor vehicles account for about 50 tractor operator deaths each year.
Tractor accidents can cause serious injuries. Additionally, those accidents that occur in more remote farmland could mean a victim faces a much longer wait for emergency responders and hospitalization. When tractor accidents occur, victims and their families should determine the cause of the accidents and whether any parties like the tractor’s manufacturer are liable for the resulting damages.
Most Common Kinds of Tractor Accidents
Tractors and other farm equipment typically have specialized tools for specific tasks. Some of the most common types of tractor accidents include common reasons for vehicle accidents as well as incidents with specialized farming tools.
1. Rollover Accidents
Rollover accidents cause roughly 60 fatalities each year in the U.S. When a large tractor rolls over the operator can easily sustain serious falling injuries and crushing injuries from the tractor itself.
2. Collisions With Other Cars
Motor vehicle accidents account for about 50 tractor operator deaths each year. In areas where agricultural workers take tractors and other farm equipment on local roads, these large vehicles can also cause traffic accidents. Tractors do not often work on paved or perfectly level surfaces, which can cause slower speeds and difficultly maneuvering out of the way of traffic.
About 10 people each year suffer fatal injuries from entanglement with tractor equipment, such as internal gears, pulleys, chains, and belts. Improper use of tractors may also cause accidents such as run over incidents. Tractor operators should only attempt to start and operate their tractors from the operators’ seats.
4. Failling or Tipping
Tractor operators ride higher off the ground than most passenger vehicle drivers, causing them to be more susceptible to falling or tipping accidents. Due to their top heavy nature, and instability on paved roads, tractor operators face the risk of falling into animal burrows, sinkholes, or rolling over from uneven terrain that is difficult to see. A driver who experiences a tip-over accident will likely sustain falling injuries upon hitting the ground.
Common Safety Issues With Tractors
Anyone who uses farming equipment like tractors must understand how these vehicles work and acknowledge their inherent safety flaws. Tractor manufacturers develop these vehicles for a specific purpose; therefore, anyone who attempts to use one should thoroughly understand proper operation and consult the manufacturer’s included safety warnings and instructions for use. However, some risks of tractors are unavoidable.
More than half of the tractors in use in the U.S. are older models with out dated safety features.
Farm equipment, when maintained well, can last a very long time. Newer tractors have safety regulations in place that allows them to be sold in the U.S., such as:
- Rollover Prevention Features
- Internal Warnings Systems
- Seat Belts
- Guard Rails
If a tractor manufacturing company released an unreasonably dangerous or defective product and caused an injury to an end user, the company is liable for the resulting damages under product liability law. Failure to warn users of known safety risks, failure to include appropriate directions for proper use, and failure to address known defects with a product would all constitute product liability.
A Springfield farm accident attorney can help an individual injured in a tractor accident determine the liable party or parties and build a personal injury case to recover his or her losses.