Minnesota departments stress road safety

While on the road, people need to be aware of farm equipment.
While on the road, people need to be aware of farm equipment.
Coinciding with National Farm Safety and Health Week, two departments in Minnesota are urging people to be careful while on the road.

Both the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Department of Public Safety noted that from 2006 to 2008 there were 434 crashes in the state that involved farm equipment. As a result of the crashes, 26 people were injured seriously while nine people died.

MDOT's Sue Groth noted that the number of crashes involving farm equipment has increased over the years due to an upswing in traffic.

"Truck traffic increases significantly during the harvest season, both in terms of volume and the number of hours each day trucks and other farm-related vehicles are on the road," Groth said.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture recently gave out some safety tips motorists and farmers should consider while traveling on roads. Motorists should be on the lookout for farm equipment and should slow down if they encounter it.

Farmers need to make sure they are easy to see by using their farm equipment's flashers and displaying slow-moving-vehicle signs. Famers may also consider having another vehicle follow their farm equipment, especially at night.

The tips and safety reminders are especially appropriate because the theme for this year's farm safety week centers on staying safe on rural roadways.