Some 56% of all road accidents with tractors resulting in injury (and 69% of all road accidents with fatal injuries) happen with tractors which have been in use for more than 12 years, the European Committee of Associations of Manufacturers of Agricultural Machinery (CEMA) has found.

"By contrast, the average risk of becoming involved in an on-road accident appears to be considerably lower for new machines. Considering, in addition, that new tractors are, on average, used a lot more intensely than older equipment, the effective on-road accident risk for tractors which have been in use for less than 13 years actually is 82% lower per hour worked when compared to older machines," CEMA said in a statement.

The findings result from statistical analysis of existing road safety and tractor usage data in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. These are preliminary results from CEMA's initiative to collect data on farm machinery accidents across Europe.

"These findings seem to give proof to the considerable advances in active and passive road safety that have been implemented in new tractor models in the past 12 years," CEMA said. "In addition, the rise of accident risk that can be observed after 12 years of use could point towards a need to better address repair and maintenance needs in older machinery."

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