Keeping our farmers safe on the road this growing season

NOW: Keeping our farmers safe on the road this growing season

As temperatures warm up, there will be more farm vehicles out on the roads for planting season. While getting stuck behind a farm vehicle can slow down your commute, it’s important to wait it out and keep farmers safe.

Farm vehicles encompass a variety of equipment but are typically wide, taking up most of the road and slow-moving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in Indiana last year, more than half of farm vehicle crashes were fatal. Farm vehicles are more vulnerable on the roads because they are typically driving in remote, rural areas.

Indiana State Police Sergeant, Ted Bohner wants to remind drivers to be patient during the upcoming planting, growing and harvest seasons.

“It’s up to all of us, the motorists on the road as well as the farmers, and as we move into the season, we’re going to get used to operating around each other. They do an extremely important job in the state of Indiana where agriculture is so important,” said Bohner.

When you approach a farm vehicle along your commute, you’ll need to make sure you have some patience. Many folks tend to tailgate in hopes that the car or truck ahead of them will speed up, but that is not the case for farm vehicles that crawl at 25 mph.

Farm vehicles are supposed to pull over to allow vehicles to pass, but you’ll need to wait until it is safe to do so; make sure that you’re in a passing zone, away from hills and intersections and that the vehicle is in fact pulled over and not making a left turn.

“You need to realize that the farmers, they’re in an unsafe situation because they’re not in vehicles with crumple zones and things like that. And most of the problems arise when people get impatient,” said Bohner.

And Sgt. Bohner wants to remind folks these large pieces of equipment have huge blind spots in which most drivers are not familiar with.

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