Since we’re well into harvest season, it seems seasonally appropriate to discuss the increase in farming equipment on the roadways and what it means for all motorists. Farm equipment is large and heavy, so it’s hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. Other vehicles on the road must use extra care when encountering farm machinery on the highway.
Cars that get stuck behind these slow-moving vehicles can get a real itch to pass them – especially on a two-lane back country road, where they could be caught trailing them for a mile or two. The problem is that the equipment and load are often so big that it is difficult to pick the right time to pass. Far too many collisions occur when a tractor begins to decelerate and the following car thinks it is stopping when, in reality, it is preparing to make a left turn. These are preventable collisions – tractors should be sure to use their turn signals, engaging them before slowing, and cars must be sure to be extra attention to a slowing tractor and not assume it is an appropriate time to pass. Drivers of both the tractor and the car or other following vehicle must also remember that these farm machines often have large blind spots – never assume the farmer sees you.
Another piece of advice to motorists approaching a tractor or other farm machinery on the highway, is to begin to decelerate immediately. It is often difficult to assess the actual speed of slow-moving equipment until you are quite close so take the extra precaution and be prepared to stop or slow down considerably.
Help keep this farming season safe for farmers and motorists alike – share the road.
Think About It.