INDIANAPOLIS — As more farmers start to plant this season, the Indiana Department of Agriculture is reminding people to share the road and be safe.
Several state agencies are working together to help keep people safe during planting season.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows farm vehicles, other than trucks, were involved in 98 crashes last year in the U.S., according to a press release from the IDA. Two of the crashes were in Indiana.
“Farming season can be both a joyful and anxious time as farmers begin to plant their crops,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the release. “Farmers on tractors and heavy equipment use the same roads we do, let’s save them some unneeded anxiety and be cautious and alert while out on the road.”
Most farm equipment people would see on the road includes sprayers, tractors pulling planters, tillage, and large trucks carrying agriculture products. Typically, farm equipment travels at 25 mph or less.
The Indiana Department of Agriculture provided the following tips in the press release to help keep people safe:
- Farmers will pull over when they are able to let you pass, but it may take time for them to get to a safe place to do so. Be patient.
- Farm equipment is wide, sometimes taking up most of the roadway. Be careful when passing.
- Do not pass if you are in a designated “No Passing Zone” or within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure or tunnel.
- Do not try to pass a slow-moving vehicle on the left without ensuring that the vehicle is not planning a left turn. It may appear that the driver is pulling over for you to pass when it is actually preparing to turn. You will drive right into its path, endangering yourself and the farmer.
- Avoid tailgating, as some farm equipment might have to make sudden stops along the road.
- Allow plenty of time to get to your destination, be aware of alternate routes and avoid distractions.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana State Police and Hoosier Ag Today, are working together to share the safety message.