More traffic accidents involving farm machinery happen in October and November than any other time during the year.
Iowa Department of Public Safety records show there have been 29 fatalities and 86 major injuries over the last five years from crashes involving farm equipment and vehicles.
Captain Shane Antle, with the Iowa State Patrol, says farmers should make sure all their implements have a slow moving vehicle sign and working lights. Antle says farmers may also want to consider having someone follow them, and act as an "escort or support" vehicle.
Randy Miller (photo) has been farming north of Ankeny for nearly 30 years. He says most accidents happen because a motorist grows impatient, while following a slow moving farm vehicle. "People will follow you for a long time, and then you get to a no passing (zone) or near a stop sign, and that’s the time they decide to go around," Miller said Wednesday while driving his combine on a rural highway.
Miller says a lot of motorists are confused by all the lights on large, slow-moving farm equipment. Those flashing lights are required by law. Miller says motorists will notice the lights will "hold" when the farm machinery is about to turn, and the remaining blinking lights will indicate where that machine in turning. Miller says a safe, collision-free harvest requires everyone to be patient and courteous with other drivers.