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It's Harvest Season In Indiana
Updated September 20, 2017 7:03 AM | Filed under: Agriculture
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(UNDATED) - It's harvest season in Indiana, which is the busiest time of the year for the agriculture industry. With additional equipment, machinery and seasonal workers comes an increased risk of accidents and injuries.

Hoosier farmers should conduct work-site inspections of all areas and equipment to determine what training and personal protective equipment are required to best safeguard their employees and fellow members of the community.

As farmers begin to harvest their crops, drivers can expect to see large farm equipment traveling on the roads. Studies show accidents between farm equipment and motor vehicles increase during this time of the year.

Farm machines move at slower speeds than most vehicles, and often times need additional space on the roads. Motorists may need to slow down, be patient, move over, or even come to a stop to allow the equipment to pass.

It is incredibly important to get this message out and ask all drivers to have patience and drive safely around slow-moving vehicles.

Here are additional safety tips from the Indiana State Police to remember while driving this fall:

Tips for farmers:

  • Have all lighting and placards on equipment as required by law;
  • When parking equipment along the road while in the field, make certain it is visible at night;
  • Avoid traveling on state and U.S. highways during rush-hour traffic;
  • Wear high visibility or reflective clothing when working so as to be seen by motorists and farm workers; and
  • Indiana Code requires operators of vehicles being driven at a speed below the posted limit to move over to the right at their first opportunity if three or more vehicles are following, and allow those vehicles to safely pass.

Tips for motorists:

  • Be patient when traveling behind farm equipment; farmers have the same rights as automobile drivers to operate their equipment on the roads;
  • When approaching farm equipment from the opposite direction, pull to the right of the traveled portion of the road and allow the equipment to pass;
  • Always be cautious when approaching farm equipment parked on the side of the road. Someone may be getting in or out of the equipment or performing maintenance;
  • Be especially vigilant in watching for farm equipment on two lane roads, and also around dusk when conditions can make the equipment harder to see; and
  • When passing farm machinery, look for left turn lights or hand signals. Be sure there is adequate distance to safely pass.

Farmers will be working hard this fall to provide us with food on our tables, and drivers need to work to stay out of harm's way. Please remain alert and follow these safety tips to keep our rural roads safe for all Hoosiers.

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