Marshall County
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As the crops grow, so do your chances of a rural intersection crash

July 7, 2021

Rural Intersection Safety


As we progress through summer in rural Iowa, growing crops can increase the risk of crashes at rural intersections or driveways.  By this time of year, most corn is five to six feet tall or more.  This tall crop can block the view at rural intersections.   According to statistics from the Iowa DOT there are nearly 20,000 intersections on Iowa roadways that do not have any stop or yield signs.  That accounts for approximately 12% of all intersections in the state.  These are called “uncontrolled” intersections.  These intersections are governed by the “Right-of- Way-Rule”.  This rule states that vehicles approaching the intersection must yield to vehicles already in the intersection.  If two vehicles are approaching the intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right. 

In 2020 there were 413 crashes at uncontrolled Iowa roadway intersections where vision was obscured.  Of those crashes, 88 resulted in injuries and 5 resulted in fatalities. 

Marshall County has both uncontrolled intersections as well as many controlled by stop or yield signs in the rural areas.  Drivers should remember that growing crops can block view of other vehicles and should approach intersections with caution.  Drivers should not rely on seeing dust on gravel roads as an indicator of other vehicles nearing an intersection since many environmental conditions or various vehicle sizes and speeds can reduce or eliminate dust.  If unsure, it is best for drivers to slow and be prepared to stop at an intersection if needed. 

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office is committed to keeping our roadways safe.

For further information contact:

Chief Deputy Ben Veren

Marshall County Sheriff’s Office

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This webpage was printed on November 27, 2022. For the most current information, visit the Marshall County, Iowa, Sheriff website at
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