Agricultural Safety Awareness-Rural Road Safety
Drive with Reason, It’s Farming Season!
This time of year, farmers are busy working in the fields and driving tractors, farm trucks, wagons and large equipment on roads. To the distracted or impatient motorist, vehicles such as these can pose a threat when safe driving practices are not observed.
Slow Moving Vehicle emblems may only be used for motorized vehicles designed to travel at speeds of 25 mph or less on the road. Any other use is illegal.
Remember not to rush when driving on roads where you might encounter large farm machinery, slow down immediately when you see the orange SMV triangle and pass farm equipment only when it is safe for you to do so. For example, if a car is moving 55 mph and comes upon a tractor moving 15 miles per hour, it only takes five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between the car and the tractor.
Accidents occur when motorists hurry around farm vehicles, resulting in injury or death. Large farm equipment making a LEFT TURN need extra space. They may be pulling over to the right to make a left turn. Tractors move into the center lane to avoid hitting guardrails or mailboxes that those following may not be able to see.
Farmers will make every effort to accommodate motorists. Machine operators will drive on the shoulder of paved roadways, whenever possible, in order to give other motorists a better view of road conditions. Keep in mind that if the shoulder is soft, wet or steep, the farmer cannot move aside because it may cause the equipment to tip. If the farmer cannot pull off the road and you feel you must pass, please do so with caution.
Above all…be patient, be kind and stay behind!
In today’s video on farm safety, a young man shares the details of a rural road accident that nearly took his life. Bill Field of Purdue shares tips to help farmers and motorists safely navigate rural roads.