Farm equipment shares our roads, especially during harvest time. Florida laws allow operators of farm equipment to use public roads, but this can lead to accidents. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that about a third of all tractor fatalities occur on public roads and bout 80% of accidents involving these vehicles happen in dry weather and during the daytime.
What Are Farm Equipment Collisions?
Crashes can happen when farm equipment such as tractors collide with other users of the road, such as tractor trailers or passenger vehicles. These types of accidents are most commonly rear-end crashes and left-hand turn collisions, but they can also include side-swipe accidents and other types of collisions.
Preventing Farm Equipment Collisions
There are many things drivers can do to prevent car accidents involving farm machinery on the roads:
- Know traffic patterns where you tend to drive. Knowing when farm machinery is most likely to be on the roads helps you adjust your commute accordingly.
- Stay patient. Farm machinery moves slow, sometimes 15-25 mph. Farm operators will allow you to pass or even pull over if they are able. Otherwise, maintain a slow speed, stay well back, and remain patient.
- Work with farm equipment operators. When driving, be cooperative with other users of the road. Stay back from farm machinery, so operators can see you. If an operator waves you to pass, then pass.
- Never pass farm equipment making a turn. Farm machines in some cases make wider left-hand turns than tractor trailers. If farm machinery slows down and pulls to the right, they may be starting to make a turn. Many accidents happen when motorists use this moment to try to pass a tractor or other farm equipment, which can lead to a crash. Always look for the operator making hand signals and only pass when you are sure it is safe to do so.
- Pass slowly. There may be pieces of equipment sticking out of a tractor or other equipment. You might not notice and crash into this when passing too fast. Speeding as you drive by can also cause some farm machinery to become unstable, putting the operator at risk.
- Be aware that farm machinery takes longer to brake. It can take longer for these vehicles to brake than a fully-loaded truck. If you cut off farm equipment or brake suddenly in front of them, the operator will not be able to stop in time to prevent a crash.
What Should I Do If I’m Injured in a Farm Equipment Accident?
Whether you’re a farm equipment operator or a motorist injured in a traffic accident, always get medical attention after your accident. Call for emergency help if the crash is serious. Take photos of the scene and get contact and insurance information from the other driver or equipment operator.
You may also want to contact a traffic accident attorney. You can talk to one for free and with no obligation by calling Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 to set up a FREE consultation. Or contact us online. Setting up a free consultation with us gives you a chance to discuss your situation and to find out whether you have options for getting compensation for your property damage, medical bills, lost income, and other losses.