Motorists are being reminded of some dangerous conditions in rural Iowa this time of year. The corn crop is at a high enough level to obstruct the view of drivers at intersections.
Tom Welch of the Iowa Department of Transportation says the situation contributed to dozens of crashes last summer. There were 61 crashes at rural Iowa intersections in 2006 blamed on obstructed views from crops or trees. Two people were killed and 57 injured in those crashes.
To make matters worse, Welch says the corn is taller – earlier in the growing season – than it was a generation ago. "It’s tall near a season where we can often times have rain," Welch says, "and that rain mitigates the dust that cars can kick up, indicating a car is coming."
Welch says motorists should treat rural intersections as if they had a stop or yield sign posted and not enter the intersection until they are certain another vehicle isn’t crossing the road.