Watch Out for Farm Machinery on Roadways

Posted By The Carlson Law Firm || 4-May-2011

Motorists who live in rural areas are probably familiar with the sight of slow-moving farm equipment like tractors travelling along roadways. Some areas allow farm machinery on public roads, although few of these vehicles exceed 25 miles per hour.

It is important for motorists to be especially vigilant when driving in farming areas since they may encounter farm machinery moving at a slower pace ahead of them. Distracted motorists, moving along at two or three times the speed of farm vehicles, can suddenly approach farm machinery and be at risk for a motor vehicle accident.

Motorists need to be particularly aware of farm vehicles turning, as many do not have turn signals, and the drivers might not see cars behind them in their mirrors. Most car accidents with farm machinery occur when the farmer turns left as the motorist attempts to pass.

Drivers should follow these tips when travelling on rural roads:

  • Look for slow-moving vehicle (SMV) signs which indicate a vehicle is travelling less than 25 mph.
  • Farm machinery turns differently from the way motor vehicles do, so drivers need to be aware of equipment swinging out as it turns.
  • Observe driveways and farm roads into which a farmer might be turning. Look for hand signals from the farmer indicating his or her intentions.
  • Be patient. A piece of equipment being hauled behind a tractor could swing out suddenly, so drivers should not pass until certain that it can be done safely or the farmer waves them past. In some instances, the farm machinery may be too wide for motorists to pass safely.

Source: Highway Transport of Agricultural Equipment: Preventing Public Road Accidents


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