Superior Ag Blog > September 2021 > Respect on the Roads: National Farm Safety & Health Week

Respect on the Roads: National Farm Safety & Health Week

September 21, 2021
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By Chelsea O'Brien, Marketing Communications Manager

As fall arrives and harvest season comes to its peak, the need to share the road with farm equipment becomes a necessity in many of our local communities.

In the coming weeks, there will be a lot of moving equipment on the roads as farmers work hard to harvest their crops, haul their grain, and complete fall field work. They are working long hours to do so, and just want the same thing as you and I do – to return home safely to their families each night.

In honor of National Farm Safety Week, Superior Ag wants to remind motorists to be alert and patient when you see ANY vehicle with an orange and red reflective triangle on the back.

Nearly half of all accidents between motorists and farm equipment involve a left hand-turn or a rear-end collision. Yet many don’t realize that getting caught behind farm equipment for two miles is only the equivalent to waiting at two stoplights!

One important thing many people don’t realize is that these vehicles are heavy, which means they aren’t able to stop that quickly. But please know that they are trying to be respectful of fellow drivers and find the nearest SAFE spot to pull over or let traffic pass. It may just take a little bit to reach a point where they can do that. The most common time of day when accidents occur is during daylight hours from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Majority of these crashes involve a motor vehicle traveling straight ahead at a high speed.

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Did you know that most farm equipment does not exceed a speed of 25 mph? Therefore, when you do come across this machinery on the road, the first thing you need to do as a driver is to slow down. If a car is traveling at 55 mph 400 hundred feet behind a tractor traveling at 15 mph, it only takes 7 seconds to reach the tractor. Always stay a safe distance of at least 50 feet back from slow moving farm equipment.

Before passing farm machinery, check to make sure they aren’t turning left. If they slow and pull toward the right of the road, they are likely preparing to make a wide left turn. Also, make sure there is adequate distance and road width for you to safely pass, and make sure there aren’t other obstacles on the right side of the road that may make the equipment driver to move to the center of the road.

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We are all busy and recognize that it is easy to get in a hurry or distracted when you’re behind the wheel. We hope everyone will join us in making an increased effort this fall to slow down, stay back, and share the road with local farmers.

For more information on farm and rural road safety, we encourage you to visit the links below. About National Farm Safety Week
The third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week. This annual promotion initiated by the National Safety Council has been proclaimed as such by each sitting U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944. National Farm Safety and Health Week is led by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), the agricultural partner of the National Safety Council.


*Photos courtesy of Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin Farm Bureau
 


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