Whether near the farm or while moving equipment from field to field through cities and towns, road safety is a major concern. The general public doesn't see farm equipment, and when they do, they frequently don't know how to proceed safely around the tractor or other machinery on the roads.
"Farmers need to assume this fact," said Tom Rausch, Federated's safety director, "and do everything they can to warn the drivers of their presence." Farmers need to drive defensively - and remember to keep eyes up. (Texting or using any mobile device while driving is as illegal on a tractor or in a grain truck as it is in a car.)
In 2014, 119 people were involved with a crash with a tractor in Minnesota alone (according to the Department of Public Safety), resulting in 12 injuries and one death. Sobering statistics.
Rausch also reminded growers to remain alert and employ safety precautions at all times. Shortcuts will not save time in the long run, and may even cost a life, or limb. No matter how tight the harvest season gets, always follow the rules for safe farming.
It's also important to discuss safety before the season starts. Contact Rausch if you need additional information to share with family and co-workers to ensure a safe harvest.