Area motorists may have noticed farm implements on the roadways.
That’s because planting season is in full swing. Farmers often use local roads to navigate between fields. According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, this means car drivers should be more alert.
Farm implements typically move slowly while utilizing roads to access fields and farms. INDOT Spokesperson Matt Deitchley says motorists can pass the farm implements, but safe speeds are encouraged.
“We understand people can get frustrated just as they do sometimes behind our snowplows in the winter months,” says Deitchley. “Just understand that they’re out there doing their job as best as possible. They’re not there to block your way. So you want to make sure you do this in a safe pattern to go around them.”
If a vehicle is stuck behind farm equipment moving 20 miles per hour for two miles, a total of six minutes is lost.
Farm vehicles are expected to have proper signage, including orange triangular signs on the rear of the vehicles. INDOT says farmers often move to the right as a courtesy to other motorists on the roads.
Deitchley says despite encouraging safety, there are hundreds of accidents each year involving farm equipment.
“On average, in Indiana, the last couple of years: per year, there have been about 300 accidents across the state between agricultural equipment and vehicles so it’s a real issue that you want to be aware of,” says Deitchley
INDOT says slowing down once farm implements are spotted on the roads can also help prevent potentially dangerous situations.