- Kentucky Farm Bureau - http://kyfbnewsroom.com -

Motorist alert: Number of slow-moving vehicles on rural roadways increases during fall harvest

Louisville, KY (September 14, 2015) – As harvest season gets underway across Kentucky, there is an increased likelihood that drivers will more frequently encounter slow-moving farm equipment on the roadways. The staff of Kentucky Farm Bureau [1] (KFB) urges motorists to slow down, stay alert and patiently share the road this fall, especially in recognition of National Farm Safety & Health Week, September 20-26.

Farmers often need to move equipment from one field to another during this time of year, but sometimes those transitions require maneuvering large machinery down or across public roads. With more than 78,000 miles of public roads and 77,000 farms found in the Commonwealth, the opportunity for on-the-road encounters with farm equipment is quite realistic for many drivers.

It is completely legal for farm machinery to drive on Kentucky roadways, but when these slow-moving farm vehicles enter areas normally traversed by fast-moving cars and trucks, accidents sometimes occur. A vehicle traveling at highway speeds can cover hundreds of yards in just a matter of seconds and, especially at this time of year, unexpectedly come bumper-to-bumper with a large piece of farm equipment moving down the road at a much slower pace.

According to statistics from the Kentucky State Police [2], there were 210 collisions involving tractors and other farm equipment on Kentucky roadways in 2013. Of those collisions, 54 injuries and four fatalities resulted. The state police labeled the majority of those accidents (40%) the result of “inattention” – further proof that increased caution during harvest season is needed to prevent tragedy.

In an effort to help drivers avoid accidents with slow-moving farm equipment this fall, KFB offers the following suggestions for both motorists and farmers. While each roadway encounter is unique, a general sense of awareness and caution goes a long way in keeping everyone safe and preventing tragedy.

Tips for motorists:

 

Tips for farmers: