Recent storms have prevented some farmers from getting into their fields to plant. DOT driver-safety specialist Scott Falb says now the fields are drying out, motorists should watch for tractors on country roads. There are going to be a lot of farm vehicles, particularly on county roads, but even on the state highways.
Falb says people are going to have to "adjust their driving" to accommodate farm vehicles. He says part of that is adjusting your schedule, so you don’t have to be in a hurry and can share the road with the large, slow-moving tractors and other farm implements. He says you need to be alert for those vehicles pulling out onto the road as you’re driving past.
He says the entrances have access directly from farm fields onto county and gravel roads, but also onto some state highways. They’re supposed to carry warning signs to let you know the machines are going at a different pace than normal highway traffic. They’re required to have triangular red signs that indicate a slow vehicle, and some also have flashing yellow lights to alert drivers who are going at highway speed.
As soon as you see those signs, Falb says it’s time to start preparing to share the road with the slow-moving traffic. Your "closing speed" toward that other vehicle on the road will be very fast. Falb says the best thing is to immediately take your foot off the gas pedal and begin slowing while you appraise the situation. He says on the county roads where many planting vehicles are going to be on, there is shorter visibility distance, since those county roads tend to follow hills, rivers and curves in terrain.