Cooperation for Safety: Lighting and Marking of Amish Horse-Drawn Buggies in Ohio

  • Bean, Thomas;
  • Isaacs, Linda

Ohio has the largest Amish population in the United States. Unfortunately, the Ohio Department of Public Safety reports a relatively high incidence of accidents involving horse-drawn and motor vehicles. Annually over 120 accidents occur, resulting in often devastating property damage, injury and death. Through a multidisciplinary cooperative effort involving members of an Amish advisory committee, Ohio State University Extension Agents, Safety Specialists and an Agricultural Engineer, the project has identified alternative safety lighting and marking of Amish horse-drawn vehicles. Research constraints required that the prototype lighting and marking be effective, but also did not compromise Amish religious and cultural beliefs. This was accomplished by allowing key Amish leaders to play an active role in the development and testing of new lighting and marking innovations through team meetings and comparison testing. Based upon recommendations by the Amish advisory committee and cutting-edge safety and lighting research, various types of marking materials, Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem , front and rear lighting, strobes and beacon lighting were evaluated for safety effectiveness and acceptability by the Amish general public. This paper will discuss the results of this comparison testing and describe the final recommendations for lighting and marking of Amish horse-drawn buggies.

This research abstract was extracted from a portion of the proceedings of "Agricultural Safety and Health: Detection, Prevention and Intervention," a conference presented by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

L.K. Isaacs and T.L. Bean, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

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