Always share the road with your farmer

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 25, 2018

By Morgan Watts

Rowan Cooperative Extension

I am a little late getting this article written and in the paper this year. I try to send it out every year just as a quick reminder to be safe when you are driving on the road.

With summer getting ready to swing in full-gear, people are going to be heading on vacation, which means more vehicles on the roadway. Summer is also a busy time of year for farmers, which means they will be on the roadway more often, too.

Agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries. With that, we need to realize how important it is to share the road with the people who provide our food and give back so much to our communities. We need to do everything we can to help keep these farmers safer on the roadway, whether that means to slow down at times or be a little more cautious and attentive when driving. I have already heard about several accidents on the road involving farm equipment across North Carolina this year, some including fatalities.

Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind when driving around.

 

  • Know that a Slow Moving Vehicle symbol indicates that the farm equipment is traveling under 25 miles an hour, and it is a warning to slow down.
  • When passing farm machinery, proceed with caution by watching vehicles behind you that may also be trying to pass and never pass if there are curves or hills.
  • Do not assume that if a farmer pulls to the right side of the road that they are turning right or letting you pass because the size of farm equipment sometimes requires the farmer to pull to the right side to safely make a left turn.
  • If you are driving in the opposite direction of farm equipment that is wider than the lane, you should pull off the road and stop, allowing the machine to pass.

Two of the most common types of farm-related accidents with motorists are when an approaching motorist hits a farm vehicle from behind or when a passing motorist hits a farm vehicle that is attempting to make a wide left turn. Accidents involving a farm vehicle are five times as likely to produce a fatality as other types of traffic accidents.

So, just keep in mind this summer when heading to cookouts, vacations or that afternoon ride down the back road to watch out for the farmers and share the road.

If you have any questions or if you want to discuss this topic, feel free to call Morgan Watts, livestock and field crops agent, at 704-216-8970 or stop by the office at 2727 Old Concord Road.

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