Now is the time for field crop harvest, and more motorists will be encountering farm equipment on rural roads, increasing the potential for accidents.
Harvest season generally brings a time when there is an increase in collisions between farm equipment and other vehicles.
Keep in mind the following safety tips for motorists as you share the road with farm equipment:
- Farm machinery has a legal right to use public roads just as other motor vehicles.
- Farm machinery can unexpectedly turn onto a public road from a field or driveway.
- Farm machinery operators may not be able to see you because the large equipment or a load can block part of their rear view.
- Slow-moving farm machinery traveling less than 25 miles per hour should display a slow moving vehicle emblem on the back of the equipment.
- Extra-wide farm machinery may take up more than one lane to avoid hitting obstacles such as mailboxes and road signs.
Before passing farm machinery:
- Look for left turn lights or hand signals. If the machinery slows and pulls toward the right side of the road, the operator is likely preparing to make a wide left turn.
- Be sure there is adequate distance for you to safely pass.
Rural road rage can be negated if everyone takes the responsibility to have extra patience, careful driving habits, and use high-visibility markings and lighting.