Rural Road Safety
Tips for Farmers
- Do everything possible to alert motorists to the presence of your farm equipment and slow travel speed.
- Plan travel to avoid rush hours, bad weather, the busiest roads, and the time before daylight and after dark.
- Be obvious to motorists by proper use of reflective Slow Moving Vehicle emblems on any implement operated on public roadways. It’s the law!
- Use reflective marking tape and reflectors at the extremities of equipment.
- Turn on hazard lights mounted on farm equipment and turn off field work lights for all roadway travel.
- Install mirrors that are wide enough for you to see what is following you.
- Always use turn signals to indicate plans to turn into fields or driveways.
- Be aware of traffic - oncoming, in front of you, and behind you.
- If road and shoulder conditions are safe, pull over temporarily to allow traffic to pass.
- Slow down on turns and curves. Check the traffic behind you.
- Minimize the width of equipment as much as possible. You may not interfere with traffic in an adjoining lane.
- When practical, truck larger equipment to the next location.
Tips for Motorists
- Above all, slow down and be patient.
- Reduce speed when encountering farm equipment on public roads. Flashing amber lights mean “caution.”
- Slow down when you see the Slow Moving Vehicle Emblem - the orange and red reflective triangle warns you that the tractor or combine travels at a slow rate of speed.
- Keep a safe distance from the farm equipment so farmers can see you. If you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you.
- Pass wide, large farm equipment only if you know conditions are safe and you are sure the farmer will not be making a left-hand turn. Be cautious when pulling back in.
- It is illegal to pass in a no passing lane or within 100 feet of an intersection, railroad crossing, or bridge.
- Be prepared to yield to wide equipment.
- Always wear a safety belt and heed the road’s speed limit.
- Watch for the farmer’s indication of a turn. Newer equipment has one or more amber lights flashing rapidly to indicate a turn. Older equipment is typically not equipped with turn signals so watch for the farmer’s hand signals.