Although automobile accidents with farm equipment are less frequent than other collisions, they can be just as devastating. A recent incident involving a train and a tractor reminds both drivers and farmers to be more mindful of the laws, and of each other.
Sharing the Road with Farm Equipment
Due to the continued building of new homes in rural areas, more and more suburbanites and urbanites are finding themselves in new driving situations with slow-moving farm equipment. And when you are about being late to work, late at dropping the kids off at school, or simply in a hurry, it is easy to make an irrational decision. Unfortunately, this decision can have serious or fatal consequences. Improve road safety for everyone—including yourself—with these rural driving tips:
- Adhere to the speed limit, even when roads seem clear.
- When you notice a tractor (or any other object that is not a car or truck) in front of you, slow down and proceed with caution.
- Watch for flashing lights, triangular Slow-Moving-Vehicle signs, and reflective tape that signify slow-moving farm equipment up ahead.
- Do not expect farm equipment to run partly on the shoulder. Doing so increases their risk of overturning, so give them extra driving room, regardless of which side of the road you are on.
- Watch for hand signals from the driver. Veering to the right is not a signal to pass (this frequently happens because farm equipment can be difficult to maneuver). Also, if a driver signals for you to wait to pass, obey their warning—they have a higher vantage point than you, and your visibility is limited by being behind them.
- When you do pass farm equipment, avoid speeding past. This can create turbulence and may even cause them to lose control of their vehicle.
- Maintain the speed limit once you are in front of farm equipment. Passing a vehicle and then slowing down once you get in front of them is never a good idea, but it especially dangerous when dealing with large machinery.
Traffic Safety for Farmers
Most farmers are especially careful when they are on public roads, but it never hurts to freshen up on the safety basics. To keep yourself and other drivers safe, follow these rules:
- Before traveling a public road, make sure your vehicle is visible. Check for snow, mud, manure, or ice build-up on lighting, signs, and mirrors. Replace non-working bulbs, repair wiring as necessary, and replace signs and tape that have become weather-worn regularly.
- Know and follow all state laws and regulations.
- Drive defensively.
- Consider alternate routes or schedules if you are experiencing high traffic during a routine chore.
Traffic Accidents, Farm Equipment, and Personal Injury Compensation
Regardless of whether you are a farmer or an automobile driver, if you have an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. However, it is important to understand that automobile accident cases are extremely complex in nature. As such, it is highly encouraged that victims seek help when pursuing an automobile personal injury case.
At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur, P.C., we strongly advocate for accident victims and help to ensure their rights are protected as they pursue compensation for their injuries, illnesses, or the fatality of a loved one. Our skilled Kane County personal injury attorneys have extensive experience, and are looking forward to scheduling a free consultation with you. Set yours up today by calling 630-907-0909.