Tractor rollovers are the leading cause of death among farmers, claiming about 250 lives each year, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Now, University of Missouri researchers have developed an application for smartphones that uses GPS systems to locate farmers who have rolled their tractors.
The app, called VRPETERS (Vehicle Rollover Prevention Education Training Emergency Reporting System), uses sensors and GPS capability built into smartphones that can detect rollovers. Once the app detects a rollover, it sends an automatic emergency email and phone message with the coordinates of the accident location to family or emergency responders.
VRPETERS can benefit more than just farmers, as the app also can be used on construction vehicles, trucks, snowmobiles, military vehicles, riding lawnmowers and all-terrain vehicles.
The tractor safety app is still in testing, but once it’s complete, the designers will look for an industry partner to market it.