Harvest Season Safety
Harvest Season Safety
During the harvest season, more slow-moving farm equipment is on Indiana’s roadways. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) encourages motorists to exercise caution and patience during September, October and November while sharing the road with these large vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020 farm vehicles (other than trucks) were involved in three accidents, including two fatalities, in Indiana.
By law, farm equipment must have the nationally designated slow-moving vehicle sign — a red triangle-shaped reflector — to warn oncoming drivers that their equipment is on the road. These vehicles often travel at speeds no higher than 25 mph, and the most common types Hoosiers will encounter are combines and tractors pulling grain carts or wagons.
Along with IDHS, the following organizations are working together to share these safety tips during harvest season: Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Hoosier Ag Today, Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indiana State Police.
Harvest Season Safety Tips
- Do not tailgate farm vehicles.
- Exercise caution when passing farm vehicles.
- Be patient and allow plenty of time to get to your destination.
Driving During Harvest Season
Motorists should follow the tips below when approaching large farm equipment:
- Avoid distractions.
- Most farmers will pull over when they are able to let you pass, but it may take time for them to get to a safe place to do so. Be careful and patient when passing.
- Do not pass within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure or tunnel.
- Do not tailgate farm vehicles, as they might have to make sudden stops along the road.
- Do not try to pass a slow-moving vehicle on the left without ensuring that the vehicle is not planning a left turn. It may appear that the driver is pulling over for you to pass when it is actually preparing to turn. You could drive right into its path, endangering yourself and the farmer.
- Farm equipment is wide, sometimes taking up most of the roadway. Exercise caution when passing.
- Be aware of alternate routes, and allow plenty of time to get to your destination.