Sharing The Road With Farm Equipment

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For Sullivan County farmer George Daugherty, it’s the calm before the storm.

“Last week we were able to get on about 300 acres of gas. Some guys around have got a whole lot more on, but it’s progressing right now,” said Daugherty.

With the decent weather on order, things may start progressing a lot quicker and that means you’ll start seeing a common sight.

“It’s that time of year. Farm implements are going to be out on the road way. They are going to be traveling on the state highways and traveling on county roads. If you are a motorist, make sure you are aware of that. Make sure you look down range when you are driving. Understand these vehicles are going to be much wider than normal. A lot of times they will take up the entire width of the road,” said Sgt. Joe Watts with Indiana State Police.

Sgt. Watts says we have been rather fortunate in the Wabash Valley when it comes to vehicle accidents involving farm equipment.

“I feel it’s a farming community. I feel it’s a farming community. People understand farmers are going to be out on the road way, and most people understand and respect the dangers are out there,” said Sgt. Watts.

And while local folks may think they know what to expect, it’s not uncommon for drivers to misunderstand new Ag technology.

“When we are out on the roads we always have our flashers on, but the newer tractors and equipment anymore have turn signals on them,” said Daugherty.

Daugherty says often drivers think the side not flashing is simply not working.

“Somebody was in a hurry and they went to turn and caused a wreck.”

Farmers understand drivers want to get around the slower Ag vehicles, but they believe safety for themselves and others is more important.  They advise a little patience will make everyone’s trip quicker and safer.

“Blowin’ around us in no passing zones, over hills and blind hills, just wait a few minutes and we will be out of your way.”

Sgt. Watts says it’s common for drivers to often ignore double lined roads, it is still illegal and highly unsafe to pass on those roads. As a driver, wait for the farmer to move over or motion you by.

 

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