Well-marked equipment can reduce ag accidents A certain amount of danger exists with increased tractor traffic on the roads during planting season, said Bill Campbell, Extension farm safety specialist at South Dakota State University.
The increased likelihood of accidents can be reduced if proper precaution is taken by motorists and farmers. Farm equipment may be easy for other cars to see, but sometimes it is hard for the person in the tractor to determine whether or not there is someone ready to pull out and pass, said Campbell.
"People in cars are barely cognizant of the fact that a vehicle they're coming upon may be making a left-hand turn onto a well-marked side road, let alone a field-lane the farmer may want to turn into," he said.
Farmers can help the situation by applying markers and reflective tape to their equipment, Campbell said.
A tractor should be marked from any direction vehicles may be approaching it. Campbell recommended marking the equipment all the way across the front and back so that approaching vehicles may see how wide it is, that it is slow moving, and so people can have an idea of what it is they are encountering, especially at night.
When transporting equipment from farm to field, the specialist also recommends using another vehicle as a marker to alert motorists.
"It might be a wise decision to have a marker vehicle to give someone a brief warning that over the next hill there is a 12-row planter sitting still trying to navigate through a narrow bridge," he said. "If you can coordinate with others to help in those situations, you can prevent some pretty bad accidents."