Watch for farm vehicle traffic this harvest

The Minnesota Department of Transportation asks drivers to be aware of large, slow-moving farm equipment this harvest season.

“Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The machines also make wide turns and sometimes cross over the centerline,” said the release.

“They also can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. All of these factors require all drivers to exercise extra caution during harvest season.”

“Harvest season is in full swing and farmers in every corner of the state are out using the highways,” said Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer.

“Motorists need to be prepared to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles, especially on rural, two-lane roads now through November. Also, remain patient, as most farmers will try to allow vehicles to pass them in an area where it is safe to do so.”

In the five previous years, 14 people were killed and 29 had life-changing injuries due to crashes with farm equipment.

“Many factors play a role in farm equipment crashes, but distractions and lack of patience are two of the biggest factors,” said Lt. Gordon Shank, Minnesota State Patrol.

“Drive smart by practicing patience when behind farm equipment, parking the phone and putting all distractions away.”

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