Safety tips for motorists around agricultural equipment on roads and highways during planting season

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— Do not attempt to pass slow-moving farm equipment on the left without ensuring that the farmer driving the equipment does not plan to turn left. It may appear that the driver is stopping to allow an overtake when the farmer is actually preparing to turn. You will drive straight into his path, putting yourself and the farmer in danger.

— Avoid tailgating, as some farm equipment may have to stop suddenly along the road.

— Allow plenty of time to get to your destination, be aware of alternate routes, and avoid distractions.

Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler reminds motorists to be vigilant on rural roads in the state.

“I want to encourage motorists to be aware during this spring season that farm equipment is likely to be encountered and to slow down when approaching,” Kettler said.

Rural road safety is certainly not a one-way street. There are also some practices that farmers can implement to make their farm equipment more visible on rural roads.

The Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) encouraged farmers to improve the lighting and marking of farm equipment to make it more visible on rural roads. Here are some of the Centre’s safety tips:

— Outlining equipment with reflective marking at the widest points.

— Use a slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblem and keep it clean and visible.

–Make sure all equipment lights are working, such as flashing amber lights and turn on lights when driving on the roads, even during the day.

— Consider adding red taillights to towed equipment.

— If possible, avoid driving on roads in the dark.

— Always use turn signals.

To visit the UMASH Roadway Safety website, click on the following link: http://umash.umn.edu/….

Russ Quinn can be contacted at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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