If you own or work on a farm in eastern North Caroling, you are more likely than not to use a tractor and drive down roads to get from one farming location to another. While driving your tractor on the roads, you are likely encounter regular motor vehicles like cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Staying sage is key to preventing a serious or even fatal accident with other vehicles on the roads while operating farm equipment.
At least six agricultural deaths occurred in North Carolina in 2017 according to the North Carolina Health News. At least one of these deaths was due to an SUV making an impact with a tractor. If you operate farm equipment on roads shared by other motorists, you could benefit from reviewing these tips that could provide you some safety information.
PLAN YOUR DRIVE
Before you drive, making place could help you avoid a potential accident. Like some farmers you may not feel safe driving during rush hour, inclement weather, or even at night. You may feel safer putting driving off to safer times such as mid-morning and early afternoons. Planning to drive during times with less traffic could reduce your risk of accidents, and these things should be considered in planning.
SIGNAL WHEN YOU INTEND TO TURN
When approaching an intersection to turn, make sure you switch your turn signal on. Doing this will let oncoming motorists know your intention to turn. However, we know that motorists may not know where to look for a turn signal on a tractor or even know that they have them. So, to take an extra step of precaution, you may want to display a hand signal, which motorists may be more likely to see that the actual signal.
BE CAUTIOUS ON SHOULDERS
One-way tractor drivers can get hurt or killed if their tractor tips over, so because of this, shoulders on the road are an area of concern. If the shoulders are soft or steep, there is a change they may not support the weight of a tractor causing them to tip. Because of this you will want to be extra careful on surfaces that can cause tractors to turn over.
MAKE SURE OTHERS ARE AWARE OF YOU
Motorists may see you simply because of the slower speed at which you are driving the tractor. To increase your visibility, you should consider putting a flat on your tractor. If the road curves, or if the road rises, a tall flag should be tall enough for motorists to see in the distance. Another option is to turn on your headlights while being careful not to turn on your rear spotlights which could make motorists mistake them for headlights and that you are driving towards them.
If you are involved in an accident while driving your tractor, depending on the circumstances, you may need to seek the advice of an attorney. We encourage you to call Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP, our experienced attorneys are available for free consultations if one is required.