Harvest season is here! We want to encourage all motorist to be alert, be patient and be courteous when traveling on rural roads this fall.
While the term “farm equipment” encompasses a wide range of vehicles, the most common types motorists will encounter during harvest season include, combines, tractors and grain carts, grain wagons and large trucks hauling agricultural equipment. 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 Today, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Transportation, and the Indiana State Police.