Despite planting season delays putting farmers behind schedule, harvest season is getting underway across much of the state. That means more slow-moving farm equipment will be on Indiana’s roadways. Over the next couple of months, motorists are encouraged to exercise caution and patience, as they share the road with these large vehicles.
According to the most recent data from the , farm vehicles were involved in 73 fatal crashes across the U.S., with seven of those incidents occurring 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.
The following list includes several safety tips for motorists approaching large farm equipment:
- 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.
- Allow plenty of time to get to your destination, be aware of alternate routes and avoid distractions.
- Do not pass within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure, or tunnel.
- Farm equipment is wide, sometimes taking up most of the roadway. Exercise caution when passing.
- 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 will drive right into its path, endangering yourself and the farmer.
The following organizations will be working together to share these safety tips during harvest season: Hoosier Ag Today, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Transportation, and the Indiana State Police.
Special thanks to Hoosier Ag Today, and Alan Kemper and Kemper Farms for the public safety announcement.
You can also listen to the PSA by tuning into Hoosier Ag Today radio stations. To find a station broadcasting in your area, click here.