STORM LAKE, IOWA (KCAU) – Warm days can serve as a reminder that farmers are getting back into the swing of work. That also means farming equipment like tractors will be out on roads, meaning folks will have to pay extra attention when driving.
Farming ranks as one of the country’s most dangerous jobs. High school students in Buena Vista County got the chance to see how local emergency management responds to accidents with farming equipment.
The Buena Vista County Farm Bureau simulated a crash between a farming tractor and a vehicle outside of Storm Lake High School.
The simulation had actors portray two people with minor injuries, one person with a major injury that required a gurney, and a deceased person.
Just last week, a farmer in Clay County lost his life after a pickup truck crashed into his tractor.
The Iowa Farm Bureau Regional Manager says he knew the victim, and that these crash simulations are important to demonstrate to all drivers.
“These do happen, it’s not like we just talk about them like they could happen. Accidents happen, they happen every day. There are over 1,100 accidents in the Midwest each year involving a piece of farming equipment and a vehicle. And the statistics also say there are usually 30 fatalities every year involving farming equipment,” Iowa Farm Bureau Regional Manager Troy Leininger said.
This is the first time Storm Lake High School held a farming accident simulation. Some Buena Vista county farmers also made the trip to see the simulation and talk with students about their encounters on the road.
“It’s really important because I’ve had several close calls more than I’d like to say, where I’m driving equipment and very similar to this demonstration here today, making a left-hand turn and somebody tries to come around me trying to make the turn and I’ve come really close. I’ve pushed cars off to the shoulder and almost down to the ditch as they try to come around at the wrong time and I can’t correct,” Buena Vista County Farm Bureau President and Farmer Kris Ehlers said.
EMS and Iowa Farm Bureau members want drivers of all ages to remember that if they encounter farm equipment on the road, to slow down. It’s better you arrive at your destination than not arrive at all.