As winter turns to spring and as spring will turn to summer, drivers will begin to see more and more farm equipment driving on the road. While this may cause traffic to slow, it is important to know that farm implements are allowed the same road privileges as any other patron and it is important to know what to do to keep both you and the farmer safe from harm.
Drivers need to make sure they leave enough space between them and the farm implements. Even though these machines drive slow, it is possible they need to make a sudden stop and a driver may not have enough space to avoid a fender bender.
Another common accident occurs when a slow-moving farm vehicle is turning left. Although a tractor may appear to be stopping beside the road or turning right, it might actually be turning left. The farmer may be swinging wide to line up with a gate or driveway; the driver behind the farmer may think the farmer is pulling over to let the driver pass. It is important to look for gates, driveways or access roads on the left side of the road that may indicate a left turn.
When it comes to passing a slow moving vehicle, one must remember to check for other vehicles coming down the roadway to avoid collision. And be sure to take caution when cresting a hill in farmland area. There may be a vehicle you don’t see with a width that exceeds past the yellow line.
Kenneth Eck, Purdue Extension Educator in Agriculture & Natural Resources, says that farmers also need to know their own rules of the road which includes using flashing lights, reflective tape, pulling over safely when there are three or more cars behind them, along with others.
Most of all, The keys to safety when sharing the road with farm equipment are caution and patience.
If you would like more information, please contact Purdue Extension Dubois County Office at 812-482-1782 or firstname.lastname@example.org