Especially in spring planting season, hang up and drive

Thursday, April 13, 2017

With the advent of spring comes farming operations, and, unfortunately, an uptick in collisions involving agricultural implements traveling to and from the field.

Itís more important than ever for those of us driving faster conventional vehicles like cars and trucks to commit our full attention to the road.

In other words, hang up our cell phones, and pay attention to the road.

That car rounding the corner in the distance may be traveling slower than you think, brake lights off as a result, because of a large planter blocking much of the two-lane road.

And donít assume you know what the driver of the implement intends to do; he or she might not be able to see as well as you.

And, donít attempt to pass until you are sure the tractor isnít turning left into your path, or that thereís no head-on traffic approaching.

The Nebraska State Patrol is encouraging everyone to use extra caution during this busy time of year.

ďAs we begin to see an increase in farm vehicles on our roadways, it is important for all of us to pay attention,Ē said Major Mike Gaudreault, NSP Field Services Major. ďThe law says operators of slow moving vehicles must move over to allow faster moving vehicles to pass safely. At the same time, drivers of faster moving vehicles should exercise caution when attempting to pass agricultural implements.Ē

Drivers are also urged to utilize caution when driving at dawn and dusk as sun glare can cause reduced visibility.

Of course, drivers of tractors and other implements have responsibilities of their own.

Such operators of agricultural implements may travel on the shoulder of the roadway when available and should display Slow Moving Vehicle warning triangles and use their flashing yellow caution lights whenever they are on the road.

When turning left from a roadway into a field or farm entrance, operators are cautioned to be aware of vehicles attempting to pass them. If an occupant restraint system is available in the implement they are driving, operators are encouraged to buckle up.

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