Drivers in California who are traveling in rural areas will want to be careful around agricultural equipment like tractors. Though rural areas contain only 19% of the U.S. population, more than half of all fatal road crashes occur in them, according to the U.S. DoT. Not only that, but crashes on rural roads are five times more likely to be fatal when they involve agricultural vehicles.

This was the conclusion of a study from the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health. Researchers looked at 203 fatal agriculture-related crashes that occurred between 2010 and 2012 and found that 80.8% were two-vehicle collisions while 10.3% involved a vehicle hitting a stationary object. The majority of crashes occurred on a straightaway with a grade, implying that drivers would often try to pass slower-moving agricultural vehicles.

Slow-moving vehicles are a safety hazard, which is why farmers are required to display a slow-moving vehicle emblem on their agricultural vehicle when going below 25 mph and a speed identification symbol when traveling 25 to 40 mph. They must also use lights and flashers when appropriate.

Passenger vehicle drivers, for their part, must learn to slow down and give agricultural vehicles room, especially since these vehicles may make a left turn. It would be wrong to pass such vehicles in no-passing zones or with limited visibility.

Crashes with agricultural vehicles, like truck accidents, often lead to severe injuries. Victims may have a permanent disability that hinders their ability to earn a living. To be compensated for their losses, they may want to file a claim against the responsible driver with the assistance of an attorney.