LINCOLN, NEB. – As we move into the fall of 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic still upon us, it is a year we won’t soon forget. Students may or may not be back in the classroom and we all may be either working from home or may be back at the office. But farmers and ranchers are working to move cattle and to start on harvest.
As the uncertainty of 2020 lingers through the year, this is a time when we especially need to slow down and pay more attention on farms, ranches, and on roads and highways.
Here are a few tips to remember as we see, large slow-moving machines on our roads coming in and out of fields across the state.
- Farmers: Get plenty of rest and slow down to avoid accidents on the farm. Don’t hurry through equipment repairs, take your time with backing up large pieces of machinery, keep your hands away and don’t wear loose clothing around moving auger parts.
- Drivers: Drive without distractions. We hear it all the time: Don’t text or check your smartphone while driving. But distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of vehicular accident and during harvest time it could be especially dangerous as there may be more slow-moving vehicles on our roads and highways.
- Farmers: If you’re driving farm equipment on public roads, it’s especially important that you’re clearly marked so motorists can see you in time to slow down — considering you’re probably driving less than 25 MPH. Make sure your lights are working and that all reflecting tape and slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblems are properly placed. Remember to wipe down some of these safety features if your equipment is dusty to ensure they can be seen. Also use flashers on public roads.
- Drivers: If you are following behind a slow-moving vehicle, please play it safe and wait to safely pass and remember slow moving vehicles usually go from one field or pasture to another and turning may take extra time, so be patient. Most farmers will do their best to create space so you can pass, but awareness of where you’re driving and patience on everybody’s part is the best way to keep the roads safe during harvest season.
In the fall, harvest time can be one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons of the year for the agriculture industry. Remember, we share our roads and highways and in 2020 if we work together, we can keep everyone safe.