This time of year, farmers are busy working in the fields and driving tractors, farm trucks, wagons and large equipment on roads. To the distracted or impatient motorist, vehicles such as these can pose a threat when safe driving practices are not observed.
For example, if a car moving 55 mph comes upon a tractor moving 15 miles per hour, it only takes five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between the car and the tractor.
Remember not to rush when driving on roads where you might encounter large farm machinery; slow down immediately when you see the orange slow moving vehicle triangle and pass farm equipment only when it is safe to do so.
Farmers make every effort to accommodate motorists. Machine operators drive on the shoulder of paved roadways whenever possible in order to give other motorists a better view of road conditions and enough room to pass slower farm vehicles.
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Keep in mind that if the shoulder is soft, wet or steep, the farmer cannot move aside because it would cause equipment to tip. If the farmer cannot pull off the road and you think you must pass, please do so with caution.
On behalf of the Centre County Farm Bureau, I encourage all residents to be aware of farm equipment during their travels on rural roads.
By working together, we can make the trip safe for motorists and farmers.
Daniel M. Kniffen
The writer is president of the Centre County Farm Bureau.