Pennsylvania – We’ve all been there while driving… you’re cruising along and suddenly get stuck behind a slow-moving piece of farm equipment. Patience is definitely a virtue.
The best thing you can do to avoid rear-ending a piece of farm equipment is to remain alert and vigilant.
Farm equipment will generally have flashing lights to alert other drivers that they’re slower than the average vehicle.
Do not pass farm equipment unless you are in a passing zone and the other lane is clear.
Listen to the interview with Mike Staton of Michigan University Extension.
Tips for Sharing the Road with Slow-Moving Vehicles:
Vehicles designed to travel 25 mph or less and horse-drawn vehicles are required by law to display a fluorescent orange triangle surrounded by red bands. When you see this symbol on the rear of any vehicle, slow down immediately and maintain a safe following distance.
Do not pass a slow-moving vehicle if:
You cannot see clearly in front of you and the vehicle you intend to pass;
There are curves or hills in the road ahead;
You are in a designated “No Passing Zone”; or
You are within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad crossing, bridge, elevated structure or tunnel.
Do not assume that a vehicle operator who pulls the vehicle to the right side of the road is turning right or letting you pass. The vehicle operator may be swinging wide to execute a left-hand turn.
Operators of farm vehicles usually are in a better position to see oncoming traffic. They are usually willing to signal drivers when it is safe to pass, provided they know there is a vehicle behind them. Use your vehicle’s horn to let the farmer know you are there.
When approaching a horse-drawn vehicle, give it plenty of room when following or passing, use your low beams and NEVER use your horn as it may spook the horses.
Watch closure time while on rural roads. Closure time is the time a driver has to recognize and respond to a slow-moving vehicle. Farm vehicles usually travel less than 25 mph, while horse-drawn vehicles range in speeds between 5 and 8 mph. Be alert and prepared to stop.
Watch the sides of the road for mail boxes, bridges or road signs, which may cause a farm or horse-drawn vehicle operator to maneuver to the center of the road or cross the center line into the approaching lane of traffic to avoid these obstacles.
Be especially watchful of farm vehicles in the spring and fall during planting and harvesting times.
Farm and horse-drawn vehicles have the same right to use public roads as other motor vehicles.