May 22, 2022

Tips for road safety: Slow down, save lives

INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers should slow down, be alert and stay patient on rural roadways this spring.

“During the spring and fall seasons Indiana sees a drastic increase of large farm equipment on our rural roads and highways,” said Doug Carter, Indiana State Police superintendent.

“In our strong agricultural state, it is critical that Hoosier motorists know the steps to take when approaching farm equipment on the roadways to ensure we all make it home safely to our families.”

In 2020, three vehicles were involved in crashes with farm equipment in Indiana, which resulted in two deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Indiana State Department of Agriculture shared the following safety tips:

• Farmers will pull over when they are able to let motorists 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 road.

• Be careful when passing. Do not pass 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 slow-moving farm equipment on the left without ensuring that the farmer driving is not planning a left turn. It may appear that the driver is pulling over to allow a pass when the farmer 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 a destination, be aware of alternate routes and avoid distractions.

Having Their Say

State leaders commented on the importance of safety this planting season:

“Our farmers have an enormous job to do, feeding us and the rest of the world. And with that job comes a tremendous responsibility; let’s help our farmers out where we can. When you see large farm equipment traveling our Hoosier roadways slow down and give them space so everyone can get where they are going safely.”

Suzanne Crouch, Indiana

Lieutenant Governor

“Moving farm equipment on the roadways is one of the most dangerous parts of my job. It takes time to find a safe space for me to pull over and allow other motorists to pass safely. Please be considerate when you drive behind farm equipment, drivers and I have the same goal in mind each time we take a trip on Hoosier roads — to get our work done and make it home safely to our loved ones.”

Brent Bible, farmer

Tippecanoe County

“Hoosier farmers are trying to get to their fields safely and quickly, just like our Hoosier motorists are trying to get to work safely and quickly. I want to encourage motorists to be aware during this spring season and know that encountering farm equipment is likely and to slow down when approaching.”

Bruce Kettler, director

Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor