Motorists, farm equipment operators asked to safely share the road

Published 6:16 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Motorists traveling in Minnesota this spring should watch for large, slow-moving farm equipment and drive with caution, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Crash data shows there were 374 crashes involving farm equipment in Minnesota since 2019, resulting in eight deaths and 133 injuries. Inattentive driving and speed were the biggest contributing factors in those crashes.

“Planting season is in full swing across Minnesota and farmers will again need the highways to access their fields,” said Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer. “Motorists need to put down distractions and watch for those slow-moving farm vehicles, especially on rural, two-lane roads.”

Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The equipment also makes wide turns and sometimes crosses over the center line. In addition, farm vehicles can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles.

Motorists should:

• Slow down and use caution when approaching farm equipment;

• Watch for debris dropped by farm equipment;

• Wait for a safe place to pass; and

• Drive with headlights on at all times.

Farm equipment operators should:

• Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible;

• Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph; and

• Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night.