Drivers urged to practice patience during harvest season

MSHP Sgt. Clark Parrott discusses car seat and fall harvest safety.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 8:41 AM CDT
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(KFVS) - Fall harvest season is just getting underway in the Heartland.

From mid September through October drivers will see more farm equipment on roadways as farmers move from field to field harvesting their crops.

Drives are urged to be aware of slow-moving farm vehicles and to have patience during the fall harvest season.

Whether you are driving a vehicle or operating farm machinery, the Missouri State Highway Patrol says it’s important to pay attention and share the road.

“We encourage people to be aware that combings are going to be out, tractors are going to be out, maybe there will be 3 or 4 of them--don’t try to pass them, but at the same time our farmers need to understand they can’t back traffic up,” said MSHP Sgt. Clark Parrott.

MSHP reports in 2022 there were 177 crashes in Missouri involving farm equipment/implements. Seven people were killed and 63 others were injured in those crashes.

They are urging all drivers and farmers to be vigilant and to remember the following safety procedures:

  • Make sure your farm equipment is properly marked with lights and a “slow-moving vehicle” emblem when you travel on the roadway.
  • If traffic accumulates behind you on the road where it is difficult to make a safe pass, pull off onto the side of the road in a level area, so vehicles can pass.
  • Always drive as far to the right as possible.
  • It’s harder to see you at dawn or dusk, so please don’t travel on the road during those times if possible.
  • ATVs being used for farming can only travel on highways during daylight hours and must be equipped with lights, a bicycle flag, and a “slow-moving vehicle” emblem.
  • Stay alert for slow-moving farm equipment.
  • When you drive up behind a tractor or other farm machinery, please slow down and be patient.
  • Wait to pass until you have a clear view of the road ahead and there is no oncoming traffic. Never pass on a hill or curve.
  • A tractor that appears to be pulling to the right side of the road to let motorists pass, may be preparing to make a wide left turn. Watch the farmer’s hand and light signals closely.
  • Pay close attention to farm equipment entering and leaving the highway from side roads and driveways.
  • Special attention must be paid when traveling at dawn or dusk when the sun makes it difficult for drivers to see.

Highway patrol also reminds drivers and farmers to wear their seat belts.