Roll bars increase survival on tractor rollovers by 99%

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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) -- The leading cause of death on farms is tractor rollovers and overturns. That's why one of the most important safety features on a tractor is a roll bar. But most tractors don't have them.

"If a tractor rolls over the driver is 3% likely to survive without that roll bar," explained Melissa Ploeckelman, of National Farm Medicine Center.

A roll bar increases that survival rate to 99% says Ploeckelman.

This form of rollover protection wasn't a required safety feature until later in the 1970's so most tractors in the United States don't have this protection because of the long working life of tractors. "Roughly half the tractors in Wisconsin do not have a roll bar on them. Some of these tractors can last a long time and they last for generations. Fathers hand it down to their sons," said Ploeckelman.

Farmer Ken Seehafer added a roll bar to his tractor to ensure that his workers and family are safe when they are in out in the fields. Seehafer says it's an important feature to have, especially after growing up without them.

"Growing up on those tractors with no fenders or roll bar gives me goosebumps thinking about how we use to ride around on those tractors," said Seehafer.

Seehafer takes safety so seriously that he even has it written on the side of his farm shed.

The roll bar is just another way to ensure everyone is safe on his farm.

The National Farm Medicine Center will give farmers a 70% rebate on roll bars. You can find more information here.