Hoosier motorists enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine are likely to encounter some of Indiana’s 94,000 farmers on the roadways in large, slow-moving equipment for planting season. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana State Police, and Hoosier Ag Today are taking this opportunity to remind motorists to slow down, be alert, and be patient on the roadways this spring.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported three crashes in 2020, involving vehicles and farm equipment in Indiana, resulting in two deaths. With Indiana being the nation’s 8th largest farming state, and a national leader in crops such as corn and soybeans, Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch encourages all Hoosiers to remain alert behind the wheel.
Motorists will most commonly encounter sprayers, tractors, and sprayers, tractors pulling planters or tillage equipment, and large trucks hauling agricultural products. These wide vehicles often take up the majority of the road and travel at speeds lower than 25mph.
Please keep in mind that farmers will pull over when they feel they are able to let motorists pass but getting to a place where it’s safe to do so takes time. Use extra caution when passing and do not pass in a “no passing zone”, within 100 feet of an intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure, or tunnel. Never pass farm equipment on the left without ensuring the other driver isn’t planning to turn left as it could appear they’re pulling over to let someone else pass when the farmer really intends to turn, and you’ll drive directly into its path.
Factor in extra time to reach your destination and do not tailgate farm equipment. More safety tips are available online by visiting www.isda.in.gov.