Tall corn adds to driving hazards

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Iowa officials say tall corn from this year’s huge crop is also causing problems for motorists at intersections and railroad crossings.

“Iowa’s 2011 corn crop is on pace to be one of the largest ever recorded,” according to a statement from the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Tall, healthy corn may be good for the farmer but it can compromise safety for drivers, especially those at rural intersections which also might not be marked with stop or yield signs.

“Any time a drive does not have a clear view of what may be coming from a side road, the driver needs to use extra caution,” said Iowa DOT safety engineer Jeremey Vortherms.

Even though they are taller than most crops, trains can also be difficult to spot when tall corn limits visibility at a rural railroad crossing.

In 2010 there were 46 crashes at rural intersections in Iowa that were attributed to trees or crops obstructing the view of cross traffic.  One person was killed and at least 49 people were injured as a result of these wrecks.