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Crashes involving farm equipment & cars are deadlier with booze

December 31, 2017 GMT

IOWA CITY - A study finds accidents between passenger and farm vehicles end up being a lot worse when alcohol is involved.

Lead investigator Kari Harland says it shows another reason to lay off alcohol when you are driving.

She says the proportion was small with only 3% of all the crashes they studied had an alcohol-impaired driver involved, but of the 61 crashes, 75% had a fatality or injury, and most often the people who were hurt were the ones in the passenger vehicles.

Harland says the drivers of other vehicles were already at a disadvantage. She says collision between motor vehicles and farm equipment are more likely anyway to result in an injury because of the size of the farm equipment.

The study shows another reason why you need to be alert to farm machinery, and why you should never drink and drive.

Harland says a previous study by her colleagues found it was already hard for those drivers who hadn’t been drinking to judge the speed of farm vehicles. “And if there is not a shoulder and you try to pass them, it can get very complicated, even for unimpaired drivers,” Harland says.

The University of Iowa study found a greater percentage of the alcohol-impaired crashes occurred at night and on weekends, which she says not surprisingly coincides with the main times farmers are moving equipment.