BOISE – It’s harvest season, and AAA is reminding drivers to watch for an increase of slow moving vehicles on the roads.
According to data from the Idaho Transportation Department, since 2009, there have been an average of nearly 50 crashes involving farm equipment on Idaho roads each year, which includes tractors, combines, farm trucks, and other agricultural machinery.
“This time of year, slow moving vehicles are entering and exiting roads and fields all over our state at all times of the day and night,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “As drivers, it’s important to anticipate the presence of these vehicles and take precautions to help them safely do their job.”
AAA’s tips include the following:
- Be extra vigilant for slow moving vehicles, especially in rural areas. Exercise caution on blind hills and curves, including at sunrise and sunset.
- Keep in mind that vehicles with a red triangle on the back are likely traveling well below the speed limit.
- Remember – there are very few “off hours” during harvest time. Ag equipment may be present at any time.
- When overtaking a slow moving vehicle, slow down and wait until it’s safe to pass.
- If you see one piece of farm equipment working on or near the road, expect others – harvest season usually requires several pieces of equipment working together.
- Remember that farm vehicles may come in unusual lengths and widths on the road.
- Watch for workers on ATVs entering and exiting fields, which may be smaller and less noticeable than other vehicles.
In addition to farm vehicles, AAA also reminds drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with flashing lights to slow down below the speed limit and, if possible, move over at least one lane to allow tow truck drivers and first responders more room to work.