In light of the beginning of spring planting season, the University of Missouri Extension released a statement on March 30 warning those in rural areas that farm equipment may be on the roads for weeks to come.
Health and Safety Specialist Karen Funkenbusch noted that rural roads will likely be full of tractors pulling farm machinery.
The most common accidents occur when slow-moving farm vehicles make left turns. This is due to the wide turns necessary to transport large pieces of equipment.
“Getting to your destination safely is the main goal,” Funkenbusch said. “A few extra minutes may save lives.”
Funkenbusch went on to state that drivers should stay back from farm equipment on the road and use extreme caution. Additionally, he warns that equipment noise may prevent farm machine drivers from hearing approaching vehicles.
Dusk, sunrise and blinding sunlight can obstruct the views of people on the road. For this reason, drivers are not advised to pass farm equipment operators unless they have unobstructed vision and a clear road ahead of them.
Farmers can take steps to ensure the safety of individuals who share the road with them. A red flag measuring 12 to 14-feet high on a pole should be used to raise awareness of farm vehicles. When rounding curves, farm equipment drivers should stay as far to the right-hand side of the road as possible.
More tips for farmers and motor vehicle operators can be found on the University of Missouri Extension’s website.