A review of fatal accidents involving agricultural vehicles or other commercial vehicles not classified as a goods vehicle 1993 to 1995

  • Published: TRL report TRL498, 2001
  • Authors: I. Knight
  • Date Added: 13 Jun 2013
  • Last Update: 25 Oct 2016
  • Format: html


The programme of research aims to assess the effectiveness of current vehicle designs, the potential for proposed changes in design and to identify areas where cost-effective safety improvements might be possible.


Analysis of STATS19 data, concentrating on accidents involving agricultural vehicles, emergency vehicles, and electric vehicles.

Key Findings:

  • The database contained information on 11 RTIs involving emergency vehicles, 5 involving fire tenders and 6 involving ambulances. These RTIs resulted in 13 fatalities of which 11 were car occupants.

  • 3 of the 5 RTIs involving fire tenders occurred when the fire tender was travelling through a red light, the cars were struck in the side.

  • A system which sensed the approach of emergency vehicles on call and automatically changed traffic signals to give them priority would have avoided all of these RTIs.The use of seatbelts in tractors could have been of significant benefit in reducing injuries from fatal to serious.

  • According to STATS19 there were 195 fatal RTI involving at least one ‘other motor vehicle’ (OMV) between 1993 and 1995.

  • Agricultural vehicles were by far the most common (41 RTIs) vehicle type.

  • It would appear that agricultural tractors are considerably more hazardous for motorcyclists than other types of OMV.

  • Fifty-nine per cent of all RTIs involving tractors occurred on an ‘A’ road, with a further 20 per cent on unclassified roads, 17 per cent on a ‘B’ road and 4 per cent on a ‘C’ road.

  • Tractor usage is seasonal, therefore it would not be unreasonable to expect peaks for RTIs to follow seasonal use.

  • Improving lighting and/or conspicuity such that agricultural vehicles are more readily identified in the dark, and direction signals are more easily seen was considered to have saved around one in five of the car occupant fatalities.

  • Improving the side and rear visibility from the tractor such that overtaking cars might be more easily seen by the tractor driver is estimated to be capable of reducing car occupant fatality by ‘one or two’ over the study period.

  • The use of seatbelts in tractors could have been of significant benefit in reducing injuries from fatal to serious.


Agricultural vehicles, electric vehicles, emergency vehicles, STATS19.