Stay safe driving during harvest
With the fall harvest season it is important to stay safe around the large equipment on the road. Be sure that you are alert if you are driving one of these large pieces of equipment or a motor vehicle that may be around them.
Tips for Rural Drivers
- Always be on the lookout for farm machinery. Remember it can unexpectedly turn onto public roads from a field or driveway.
- Slow down! Most farm equipment travels at 25 miles per hour or less
- Keep a safe distance. Giving drivers more time to react to changes.
- Allow adequate time and distance for farm equipment to make wide turns.
- Just because you see the equipment does not mean the equipment operator sees you. A helpful thought is if you cannot see the operator in their rearview, they cannot see you either.
Tips for Passing Farm Machinery
- Be sure there is adequate distance for you to safely pass and be on the look out for oncoming traffic. Do not pass on a hill that you can’t see far enough to complete the pass.
- Be sure the machinery is not turning left. Look for left turn lights or hand signals. If the machinery slows down and pulls toward the right side of the road, the operator may be preparing to make a wide left turn. Likewise, sometimes to make a wide right turn, the operator must fade to the left.
- Determine whether the road is wide enough for both your vehicle and the farm equipment.
- Check for roadside obstacles such as mailboxes, bridges or road signs that may cause the machinery to move to the center of the road.
Tips for Farm Equipment Operators
- Check to make sure lighting and flashers are working properly and use them at all times of day.
- Display a slow-moving vehicle (SMV) sign on the back of the implement.
- Be careful of soft edges on the roadway when giving way for oncoming traffic.
- Stay alert at all times, particularly since long hours during harvest can impair your judgment.