America’s farmers provide us with an abundant food supply. But farmers are exposed to a unique, and sometimes hazardous workplace as agriculture continues to rank as one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. During National Farm Safety and Health Week we recognize America’s farmers and ranchers and promote safe and healthy practices as producers enter the harvest season.
Farm Safety and Health Week is not just for farmers and ranchers. Everyone, from the folks living in rural communities to residents of large cities use public rural roadways. It is everyone's responsibility to share the road so that not only yourself but others can use this country's roads safely. As users of these roadways we must look out for slow moving vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other automobiles. Sharing the road is everyone's responsibility and we all can play a role in preventing accidents.
A distracted driver is an irresponsible driver. In a split second this distraction could cause devastation to you and your family. A texting driver is 23 times more likely to crash as the average time with your eyes off the road is five seconds. If traveling at 55 mph, your vehicle is traveling the length of a football field in less than four seconds. Prevent a crash…PLEASE don’t text while driving!
Harvest season is here, which means the number of farm equipment traveling on rural roads will increase significantly. Operators need to be cautious of oncoming traffic and vehicles behind them. When making turns, use signals and always check your “blind spots” before proceeding with any turn. Roadway vehicle drivers, be aware and slow down when approaching farm equipment.
Many users of rural roads do not know the speed limitation of farm equipment. Tractors, combines, and other self-propelled farm and ranch machinery can only travel up to 25 mph. Once a farm machine is noticed ahead of you, slow down before you reach the tractor or machine. Only pass when you are in a designated passing zone and where there are not any entrances on the left side of the road as the operator may turn in unexpectedly. Patience is a trait that will allow everyone to go home at the end of the day.