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Harvest Season Safety

Click here for a PSA video with Hoosier Ag Today. 

Crops across the state are looking bountiful and harvest is almost here. Farmers will soon be traveling in large slow-moving farm equipment on Indiana roads. To increase roadway safety, we are encouraging motorists to exercise caution and patience when approaching large farm equipment over the next few months.

According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018 farm vehicles other than trucks were involved in 98 crashes across the U.S., with two of those accidents occurring in Indiana. 

Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler says farmers want to move their equipment as quickly and safely as possible.

While the term “farm equipment” encompasses a wide range of vehicles, the most common types motorists will encounter during harvest season include tractors, combines, grain carts, grain wagons and large trucks hauling agricultural products. These vehicles are wide, sometimes taking up most of the roadway, and often travel at speeds no greater than 25 mph.

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 TodayIndiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Transportation, and the Indiana State Police

Special thanks to Hoosier Ag Today 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.


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