Harvest is a busy time for farmers and they use local roads to get in and out of their field driveways. This causes slower traffic along Kansas road ways throughout the state.
The Kansas Highway Patrol urges drivers to use extra caution while traveling. Drivers should be on the look out for farm trucks, tractors, combines, and other farm equipment.
Farm equipment is not meant to travel at a high rate of speed, and is much wider than your average lane on the roadways. This is what causes a dangerous situation when trying to pass these vehicles.
According to the Barton county sheriff, drivers need to look out for deer during harvest time as well.
“One more thing to look out for is deer, as the farmers start harvesting their crops, this chases the deer out of their habitat,” Barton County Sheriff Brian J. Bellendir said. “We see more accidents with deer this time of the year due to harvesting.”
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, there were 94 crashes involving farm equipment in 2014, three people killed and 41 injured.
Here are some safety tips from the Kansas Highway patrol; Don’t assume that the farmer knows your there, even though most of these farmers are on the look out for vehicles. Some of these vehicles are tall and the driver might not see a smaller vehicle trying to pass. Pass with Extreme caution, do not pass unless you have a clear view of the other lane. Do not try to pass on hills, curves, bridges, intersections, and tunnels. Just because the farm vehicle is getting over, does not mean its turning right or getting over for you to pass. These vehicles are very wide and need a lot of room when they are turning into their fields. Be patient, make sure you have the room to pass. Don’t assume the farmer will give you room to pass, the shoulder might not be safe for them to get over. Pay attention to the road, your surroundings and other vehicles around you.
The Kansas Highway Patrol and the Barton County Sheriff Department wants you to be safe and use caution during this harvest season.