With Harvest season well under way in Alberta there has been an increase in slow-moving equipment on rural roads which can create a hazard for both farm equipment operators and motorists.
The Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting program states that 13 per cent of farm related fatalities across Canada are traffic related, most of which involve tractors.
The most common type of single-vehicle collision is a tractor being driven too close to the road’s shoulder and rolling into the ditch and the most common multi-vehicle collision is a farm machine being hit as it turns onto a public road.
Agriculture for Life has provided harvest travel tips for both farmers and motorists to help keep everyone safe on the road.
Travel tips for farmers and ranchers:
• Avoid high traffic times, busy roads, bad weather and night driving.
• Make sure all warning flashers, flags, lights and slow-moving vehicle emblems are clean, visible and working properly.
• Watch for passing vehicles when making left turns.
• Avoid overhead powerlines.
• Stay alert for hazards such as soft shoulders, narrow bridges, loose gravel, bumps, potholes and deep ruts.
Travel tips for motorists:
• Be aware of slow-moving farm machinery. The typical speed of a piece of farm machinery in 30-40 km/hour, patience is required.
• Watch for vehicles marked with slow-moving vehicle signs (a bright orange triangle with a red border) and flashing amber lights.
• Do not drive in equipment blind spots where operators cannot see you and keep back a safe distance of at least 50 feet when following equipment.
• Be aware of intersections where farm equipment might turn.
Everyone is reminded to share the road and be patient during this season.