Our motto is still “The Tall Corn State” but that corn’s a hazard if you drive on many country roads. The D-O-T’s Tom Welch says the crop’s so tall, it cuts off your view where the country roads meet.The tall corn limits visibility on gravel roads, and Welch says drivers should act like it’s a “yield” sign and slow down at the corners. Welch says there’s a real danger that’s borne out by statistics.Every year serious accidents are caused by a view obstructed by crops, and every year, one quarter of the accidents on gravel roads are caused by a blocked view. On interstates and state highways, engineers design roads and intersections with clear views and keep fences and trees away from the line of sight, but Welch says you can’t do that on a country road. Some farmers will voluntarily leave corners unplanted, but it’s the responsibility of drivers to watch out for blind corners. In the winter, the D-O-T will pay some farmers to leave a few rows of corn unharvested near the roadway, as a windbreak to prevent snowdrifts, especially in Northwest Iowa, where drifting snow is a problem, paying farmers to leave a few rows of corn standing is working well. Welch says we’ll never see the day when every country road is paved, and drivers must take care when they’re on a gravel road.
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