Safety Tips: Sharing the road with Farm Equipment in Minnesota
No matter where you’re driving, safely sharing the road with large farm equipment in Minnesota is important—and occasionally nerve-racking. Whether on the freeway or a rural road, you should plan to give all farm equipment a wide berth, even if it’s going so slowly you’re about to miss your own wedding. (We promise your guests will wait.) Nothing is more important than human life, so don’t risk your or other drivers’ lives by taking unnecessary risks. With harvest season in full swing, you’ll likely see more farm vehicles on the road. Here’s how to share the road safely:
- Slow down: Obeying the speed limit and wearing your seatbelt are the most basic steps you can take to ensure your and your passengers’ safety.
- Looking for the slow-moving vehicle signs: Most farm equipment will have an orange and red triangular sign that indicates they’ll be moving slowly.
- Yield to heavy equipment: Give heavy equipment a wide berth—that means no tailgating or passing with mere inches to spare. Try to leave at least fifty feet between you and the farm vehicle at all times. Large vehicles are unable to brake as quickly as regular cars and trucks, which can produce terrible consequences. They also cannot negotiate turns and curves as sharply as standard vehicles.
- Watch for turns: Because farm vehicles are unable to turn as sharply as you can, they may appear to be veering off in a different direction to take a turn. That does not equal an opportunity to pass—they may need the extra space in order to make their turn. It’s safest to hang back and wait to see what they’re going to do before you take any action.
- Pass with caution: Always wait for a safe passing zone, even if it’s slowing your progress down. If the vehicle is extra-wide, wait for the driver to pull over or otherwise signal that it’s safe to pass. If you can’t see the vehicle’s mirrors, it’s entirely possible that the driver can’t see you either, so use an abundance of caution while passing.
- Drive defensively: Driving defensively is not the same as driving aggressively. Instead, you should be aware of farm equipment on the road or the trucks carrying the heavy equipment. Obey all laws, but keep a careful eye on the farm equipment and terrain to avoid accidents.
Now that you know how to safely share the road with farm equipment in Minnesota, be sure your family and friends know the rules, too!
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