Prevalence of alcohol impairment and odds of a driver injury or fatality in on-road farm equipment crashes

Karisa K. Harland, Ronald Bedford, Hongqian Wu, Marizen Ramirez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this article was to estimate the prevalence of alcohol impairment in crashes involving farm equipment on public roadways and the effect of alcohol impairment on the odds of crash injury or fatality. Methods: On-road farm equipment crashes were collected from 4 Great Plains state departments of transportation during 2005–2010. Alcohol impairment was defined as an involved driver having blood alcohol content of ≥0.08 g/100 ml or a finding of alcohol impairment as a driver contributing circumstance recorded on the police crash report. Injury or fatality was categorized as (a) no injury (no and possible injury combined), (b) injury (nonincapacitating or incapacitating injury), and (c) fatality. Hierarchical multivariable logistic regression modeling, clustered on crash, was used to estimate the odds of an injury/fatality in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Results: During the 5 years under study, 3.1% (61 of 1971) of on-road farm equipment crashes involved an alcohol-impaired driver. One in 20 (5.6%) injury crashes and 1 in 6 (17.8%) fatality crashes involved an alcohol-impaired driver. The non-farm equipment driver was significantly more likely to be alcohol impaired than the farm equipment driver (2.4% versus 1.1% respectively, P =.0012). After controlling for covariates, crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver had 4.10 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.30–7.28) times the odds of an injury or fatality. In addition, the non-farm vehicle driver was at 2.28 (95% CI, 1.92–2.71) times higher odds of an injury or fatality than the farm vehicle driver. No differences in rurality of the crash site were found in the multivariable model. Conclusion: On-road farm equipment crashes involving alcohol result in greater odds of an injury or fatality. The risk of injury or fatality is higher among the non-farm equipment vehicle drivers who are also more likely to be alcohol impaired. Further studies are needed to measure the impact of alcohol impairment in on-road farm equipment crashes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-234
Number of pages5
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this research was provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to the University of Iowa Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health (U54 OH007548).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Agricultural equipment
  • driving under the influence
  • occupational accident/injuries
  • traffic accident


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