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Sharing the Road with Tractors

It’s harvest time, and farmers are itching to get in the fields. That means a significantly higher amount of machinery traffic out and about on the roads in the Indiana countryside. Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep everyone safe this harvest season:

  1. Keep your distance. Following a tractor, combine, or any other form of machinery too close is never a good idea. Give yourself space to react to any sudden stops or turns that the machinery may make.
  2. Pull over when possible. If a piece of farm machinery is approaching, slow down and pull over as far as you can to the side of the road. Combines and other farm machinery can be much larger than you might expect, so it’s important to give them plenty of room to pass without having to worry about clipping your car or the telephone pole on the other side of the road.
  3. Watch for turn signals. Many times when a tractor is driving down the road they will have their four-way flashers on. This can make it more difficult to notice turn signals, so be sure to be extra vigilant when attempting to pass a piece of machinery. Also be on the lookout for hand signals, such as an outstretched arm for machinery without a cab. A common mistake is for people to think that a tractor is getting over for them to pass when in fact they are actually swinging wide to make a turn.
  4. Don’t be in a hurry. Tractors are not intentionally trying to be in your way or to make you late. Trust me... they want to get to that next field as fast as they can. Give them the time and space to do so safely and allow extra time yourself so that you aren’t running behind if you encounter a traffic hold-up.
  5. Keep your eyes on the road. When you are traveling at high rates of speed, a piece of machinery can seem to come out of nowhere. That’s why it’s important to always be watching the road ahead of you and not texting or engaging in any other form of distracted driving.
  6. Curb your rage. You may be inclined to think that farm machinery is a nuisance and that farmers are being irresponsible driving on certain higher traffic roads. It is important to understand, though, that farm land is everywhere and not all roads are wide enough for machinery to travel down safely.

Many of these tips are good driving practice all year round, but especially now when there are higher than average amounts of farm machinery traffic on the roadways. Try to remember that the farmers are just doing their job—putting in long hours this harvest season, so that you can have food on your table. Doing your part to keep them safe on the roadways is the least that you can do to show your thanks for all that they do for our country and our community.

Have you been involved in a farm machinery accident? If so, you may deserve compensation. Contact Boughter Sinak, LLC today for a free evaluation.