STATEWIDE -- With the warm weather out there, farmers will be in their fields, which means slow-moving farm equipment is out on Indiana roadways.
To keep motorists and farmers safe this planting season, several state agencies have partnered together to encourage Hoosiers to be alert, slow down and share the road with farm equipment.
According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, farm equipment vehicles (other than trucks) were involved in 92 fatal crashes across the nation, with six of those occurring in Indiana.
By law, farm equipment must have the nationally designated slow-moving vehicle sign – a red triangle-shaped reflector – to warn drivers that their equipment is on the road. These vehicles often travel at speeds no higher than 25 mph.
Officials offer the following tips for staying safe on the roads this planting season.….
- 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 patient.
- Farm equipment is wide, sometimes taking up most of the roadway. Be careful when passing.
- Do not pass if you are in a designated “No Passing Zone” or within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure, or tunnel.
- 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.
- Avoid tailgating, as some farm equipment might have to make sudden stops along the road.
- Allow plenty of time to get to your destination, be aware of alternate routes and avoid distractions.
- Pay special attention to stationary farm equipment on the side of the road, as there might be farmers working nearby.