As we enjoy the first week of fall, it is a good time to remember that more farm vehicles are on the road and motorists need to be more aware of collision hazards. As the population is increasing in rural areas, traffic is increasing on rural roads. As today’s farms increase in size, land that is farmed is often separated by long distances, making it necessary to transport farm machinery on public roads.
A major reason for farm machinery accidents on public roads is the difference in speed between cars and tractors. Most farm machinery is transported at speeds of 25 miles per hour or slower while vehicles are traveling at much faster speeds. This difference causes motorists to miscalculate how fast they are approaching farm machinery. Motorists approach slow-moving farm equipment so quickly that they only have a few seconds to identify the hazard and react appropriately. That is why it is so important for motorists to slow down and be alert for slow-moving farm vehicles.
A report released by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Center stated crashes involving farm tractors and other farm vehicles/equipment followed seasonal trends coinciding with planting and harvesting; most were likely to occur between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.; and most were likely to involve a collision with a two- or four-door passenger vehicle or pickup truck. Crashes were more likely to occur on secondary routes or unnumbered highways with poor visibility. More than 70% of all farm vehicle collisions occurred on roads with posted speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour. Speeding violations accounted for four of the top five non-farm vehicle driver violations.
Advice from the Livingston County Farm Bureau:
Getting behind slow moving farm equipment for two miles in the country is equivalent to waiting for two stop lights in the city.
Stay back, enjoy the scenery, and share the road this harvest season.
Employee Benefit Coordinator