Early spring flowers are already blooming and many Iowa farmers are preparing for planting season. As the spring planting season begins, we all need to watch out for slow-moving equipment on Iowa’s roadways.
Iowa Department of Transportation data for 2014 shows a total of 158 crashes involved farm equipment. Those crashes resulted in seven fatalities, 16 major injuries, 37 minor injuries and 36 other possible injuries. There were also 92 crashes that resulted only in property damage.
Below are the statistics for 2004 through 2014. The 2014 numbers are subject to change as law enforcement investigations are finalized.
Crashes Involving Farm Equipment/Vehicles and Resulting Fatalities and Injuries for Calendar Years 2004 through 2014
Tips for motorists
- Be alert and always watch for slow-moving vehicles, especially during planting and harvest seasons.
- Be patient and do not assume the equipment operator can move aside to let you pass. The shoulder may not be able to support a heavy farm vehicle.
- Slow down as soon as you see the triangular-shaped, red and fluorescent orange slow-moving vehicle emblem.
Tips for farm vehicle operators
- Make your intentions known when you are turning by using signal lights or the appropriate hand signal in advance of the turn.
- Drive slow-moving vehicles in the right-hand lane as close to the edge of the roadway as safely possible. Traveling partially on the shoulder may cause motorists to risk passing in a dangerous situation.
- Avoid encouraging or signaling motorists to pass. Pull over where it is safe, and let the traffic go by.
- Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train extends three feet beyond the tracks on both sides.