Lighting and marking policies are associated with reduced farm equipment-related crash rates: a policy analysis of nine Midwestern US states

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the effectiveness of roadway policies for lighting and marking of farm equipment in reducing crashes in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Methods

In this ecological study, state policies on lighting and marking of farm equipment were scored for compliance with standards of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). Using generalized estimating equations negative binomial models, we estimated the relationships between lighting and marking scores, and farm equipment crash rates, per 100 000 farm operations.

Results

A total of 7083 crashes involving farm equipment was reported from 2005 to 2010 in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains. As the state lighting and marking score increased by 5 units, crash rates reduced by 17% (rate ratio=0.83; 95% CI 0.78 to 0.88). Lighting-only (rate ratio=0.48; 95% CI 0.45 to 0.51) and marking-only policies (rate ratio=0.89; 95% CI 0.83 to 0.96) were each associated with reduced crash rates.

Conclusions

Aligning lighting and marking policies with ASABE standards may effectively reduce crash rates involving farm equipment.

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