If you live in Illinois, you have likely encountered farm machinery on the road, such as tractors, combines and grain carts. These vehicles are essential for the agricultural industry, but they can also pose a risk for car drivers who share the road with them.
Why are car and farm machinery crashes different?
According to the North Carolina Farm Bureau, fatalities are five times more likely in accidents involving farm vehicles than in other crashes.
Car and farm machinery crashes are different from other types of collisions for several reasons. Farm machinery is often large, slow-moving and hard to see around. This can make it difficult for car drivers to judge the speed and distance of the farm vehicle, or to notice its turn signals or brake lights. Farm machinery may have wide or protruding parts that can extend into the opposite lane or onto the shoulder.
Farm machinery may also not have the same safety features as cars, such as seat belts, airbags or bumpers. This can make the farm vehicle operator more vulnerable to injury in a crash. Farm machinery may carry hazardous materials, such as pesticides, fertilizers or manure. These substances can spill or ignite in a crash.
How can you prevent car and farm machinery crashes?
The best way to prevent car and farm machinery crashes is to be aware of the potential dangers and follow some safety tips when driving near farm vehicles. Slow down when you see a farm vehicle on the road. Do not assume that it will move over or turn off the road quickly.
Keep a safe distance behind a farm vehicle. Do not tailgate or try to pass it unless you have a clear view of the road ahead and enough space to do so safely.
Watch for signs that indicate a farm vehicle is turning or stopping. Look for flashing lights, hand signals or flags on the farm vehicle.
Be patient and respectful of farm vehicle operators. They have a right to use the road. Do not honk, flash your lights or make rude gestures at them.