Harvest season is here; motorists remain alert for slow-moving farm equipment

INDIANA — Harvest season is here and for some, that means visiting pumpkin patches and apple orchards, but we want to remind motorists that harvest season also means farmers will begin harvesting this year’s corn and soybean crops.

It also means more slow-moving agricultural equipment will be traveling on Indiana’s rural roads and highways. We want to remind everyone to stay alert and be courteous to ensure we all get home safely.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch shared this

In 2019 in Indiana, farm equipment vehicles (other than trucks) were involved in three accidents, with one fatality, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration.

Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture adds this tip.

The following list includes several safety tips for motorists 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 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 a destination, be aware of alternate routes and avoid distractions.

“Despite encouraging motorists and farmers alike to take extra precaution on roadways during harvest season, crashes still occur every year,” said Doug Carter, Indiana State Police Superintendent. “One death is one too many. I want to remind everyone to remain alert and exercise caution as you travel on Indiana’s rural roads this fall.”

For a list of safety tips, click here or visit isda.in.gov. The following organizations will be working together to share this important safety message during planting season: Hoosier Ag TodayIndiana Department of Homeland SecurityIndiana Department of Transportation, and Indiana State Police.

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