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Drivers warned about slow-moving farm equipment on roads

(Photo supplied/Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photos/tractor-agriculture-nature-harvest-6704118/)

It is that time of year where you will be seeing more large slow-moving farm equipment being driven on Indiana’s rural roads and highways. You’re being urged to watch out for those and slow down.

The term “farm equipment” involves a wide range of vehicles. The most common types of vehicles you may encounter during planting season include sprayers, tractors pulling planters, and large trucks hauling agricultural products. These vehicles are wide, sometimes taking up most of the road, and often travel at speeds no faster than 25 mph.

“Our farmers have an enormous job to do, feeding us and the rest of the world. With that job comes a tremendous responsibility; let’s help our farmers out where we can. When you see large farm equipment traveling our Hoosier roadways slow down and give them space so everyone can get where they are going safely,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Secretary of Agriculture.

In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there were three vehicles involved in crashes with farm equipment, which resulted in two deaths across Indiana.

“Moving farm equipment on the roadways is one of the most dangerous parts of my job. It takes time to find a safe space for me to pull over and allow other motorists to pass safely. Please be considerate when you drive behind farm equipment, drivers and I have the same goal in mind each time we take a trip on Hoosier roads- to get our work done and make it home safely to our loved ones,” said Brent Bible, Tippecanoe Co. farmer.

The following list includes several safety tips for you if you are approaching large farm equipment:

-Farmers will pull over when they are able to let motorists 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 road.

-Be careful when passing. Do not pass 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 slow-moving farm equipment on the left without ensuring that the farmer driving is not planning a left turn. It may appear that the driver is pulling over to allow a pass when the farmer 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 a destination, be aware of alternate routes and avoid distractions.

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