Seatbelt Use during Tractor Overturn

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Cole, Henrey;
  • Myers, Melvin;
  • Westneat, Susan C.


In 2002, the Kentucky Farm Tractor Overturn Survey was administered, in which 6,063 randomly selected farm operators responded to questions that addressed the presence and use of seatbelts in the event of a tractor overturn. Data were analyzed to determine the proportion of seatbelt presence and use on tractors that overturned differentiated by whether they were equipped or not equipped with a rollover protective structure (ROPS). In 537 overturns reported for which the ROPS status was known, 92 involved ROPS-equipped tractors, of which 60 had a functioning seatbelt, and 19 operators of these tractors used the seatbelt that was present during the overturn. However, of the 445 overturns of non-ROPS tractors, eight had a functioning seatbelt, and three of these operators wore the seatbelt. Two of the three operators that wore seatbelts on non-ROPS tractors suffered a permanent disability. In contrast, of the 19 operators who wore a seatbelt on ROPS-equipped tractors, 18 experienced no or minor injuries, and one required outpatient care. Seatbelts are known to save lives but are a secondary safety device to ROPS, for ROPS alone saves lives and is a necessary pre-condition for seatbelt presence and use.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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