ASAP Day 4 – “Drive with Reason, It’s Farming Season!”
Today is the fourth day of Agricultural Safety Awareness Program (ASAP) Week and although there are many topics of concern when it comes to safety in agriculture, Tyree Ag is focusing on one area each day this week. Today’s topic is roadway safety. This time of year, farmers are busy in the fields – which means they are driving tractors, farm trucks, and large equipment on both paved and dirt roads. Often times motorists are impatient or distracted with the slower moving vehicles and poses a threat to everyone. The following information and tips was obtained from the Farm Bureau ASAP Week webpage and will help you and your loved ones stay safe on the road.
Rural Road Safety
“Rural roadways can be danger zones for both farm machinery and those sharing the road if both aren’t careful. Safety is a two-way street.” Factors such as large and slow moving machinery, as well as gravel and sandy roads are a concern for everyone and should take an active role in safety on rural roads.
Farm Machinery Operators:
- Train youth in safe operation machinery
- Be a role model
- Make sure slow-moving vehicle signs are installed and easily seen
- Ensure the machinery is in good working order, including lights and brakes
- Wear seatbelts and equip all tractors with rollover protective structures (ROPS)
- Turn on hazard lights mounted on farm equipment and turn off field work lights for all roadway travel
- If road and shoulder conditions are safe, pull over temporarily to allow traffic to pass
Transporting Farm Machinery:
- All drivers should have a valid drivers license and proper training
**Note that it is not required for individuals to have a valid drivers license to operate farm machinery but it is for them to haul farm machinery in a truck or other vehicle.
- Obey all traffic laws including speed limits, traffic signals, and signs
- Have clean bright slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblems on all tractors and implements
- Be sure all machinery is in good working condition including headlights, brake lights, and turn signals
- Avoid moving farm equipment on public roads between sunset and sunrise
- Don’t tow more than one trailer over the road and use at least one safety chain in addition to the hitch
- Slow down on turns and curves
- Stay alert! Focus on driving, not the next field
Standard Vehicle Operators:
- Always wear seatbelts and insist passengers do as well
- Drive cautiously and within the speed limit
- Exercise patience when behind a slow moving vehicle
- Pass only when certain the road is clear
- Teach youth defensive and safe driving
- Never let people ride in the bed of a pickup
Click here to learn more about how farmers and drivers can share the roadway.
Watch Farm Bureau's Roadway Safety video here.