I have been buzzing around Linn County as fall sets in to see what I can catch about the up coming 2011 fair. I have heard the plans are in motion and it is going to be “red hot.”
In my travels I stopped by the ISU Extension office in Marion to see what they have been up to recently. With it being fall that means harvest time, which they had sent out a press release earlier reminding people to “Stay Alert for Fall Harvest Traffic” that I wanted to pass on….
Linn County Extension News Releases
Date: 23 September 2010
Stay Alert for Fall Harvest Traffic
As we begin the fall harvest season, farmers recognize the inherent safety risks for them. However, harvest also brings risks for any of us driving in Iowa. This is the most frequent time for ag related accidents on Iowa’s roads. Hauling in grain during harvest can be farm operators’ most dangerous job all year.
Throughout the year, Iowa averages almost one farm-related traffic collision every day, according to reports kept by the Iowa DOT. But during October, there are over twice as many farm related collisions as any other month. The two most frequent collisions are when a farm vehicle makes a left-hand turn while a car is passing or when a farm vehicle is rear-ended by a car. Together, these accidents make up almost half or all farm related vehicle accidents. The most common time for collisions are between 4 and 8 pm when people are coming home from work, daylight is rapidly fading, and grain wagons and combines may be on the road.
Following are some defensive driving tips that all of us can use.
* Slow down as soon as you see a slow-moving vehicle emblem (an orange triangle outlined in red). It can be difficult to judge the speed of traffic ahead of you.
* Stay a safe distance behind farm vehicles.
* Watch signals.
* Watch for left hand turns – Look for entrances where a farm vehicle might make a left hand turn.
* Be patient. Even if you have to slow down to 20 miles an hour for a tractor for a mile, it only takes three minutes of time, about the same as waiting for two or three traffic lights.
Fall can be a busy time for us all. Be alert for the extra farm traffic that may be on the road you are traveling. Let’s keep everyone safe!