November 28, 2014

Planting hits full speed leading to slow vehicles on the roadways

Motorists are being reminded about some big, slow moving vehicles showing up on Iowa’s rural roads this time of year. The warm winter and early spring has farmers more ready than ever to get into their fields for planting.

Jeremey Vortherms, with the Iowa Department of Transportation, says there were nearly 200 collisions between large farm equipment and other vehicles across the state last year. Those crashes resulted in seven fatalities and 15 major injuries. Vortherms is urging motorists to be patient when approaching any slow-moving equipment on the state’s roadways.

“That is, often times, what leads to some of the crashes we have around farm equipment…we try to do things because we’re in a hurry,” Vortherms says. “It’s better to arrive at your destination a little late than to put yourself at risk or chance like that.”

Instead of encouraging or signaling motorists to pass, Vortherms says operators of farm equipment should pull over in a safe location to let others go by. Motorists are also being told not to assume the equipment operator can move aside to let them pass.  The shoulder may not be able to support a heavy farm vehicle.