Commentary: Share the road as Delaware farmers harvest crops

It is harvest time again, and right now, farmers are working extra hard to harvest crops that are ready before they get damaged. Farm equipment and grain trucks are on the roadways at any time of day, sometimes until late at night and on weekends, too.

Motorists can help them be safe by paying attention and having a little patience. We know you’ve heard it before, but this reminder could save a life.

Watch for slow moving vehicles on the road or pulling onto the roadway. That orange triangle on the back is a warning to slow down.

Flashing orange or yellow lights or a pilot vehicle preceding or following equipment also serve to remind motorists that this equipment is moving very slowly. If you are driving 55 miles per hour and come upon a tractor that is moving at 15 miles per hour, it only takes 5 seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between it and you.

Do not assume a farmer is pulling to the right to let you pass. The farmer could be preparing to make a turn and needs just a few minutes of your patience while maneuvering his very large equipment into a field or farm lane. Watch for hand signals, turn signals or other signs that a slow moving vehicle is preparing to turn.

Shoulders may be soft, wet or steep and are often obstructed by mailboxes and road signs. Pulling off the road could cause the farm vehicle to tip.

Always use caution when passing. Do not pass unless you can see clearly ahead of both your vehicle and the one you will pass. Do not pass if there is a curve or hill ahead. Do not pass in a “no passing zone” or within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, ele-vation structure or tunnel.

June Unruh

Watch for Delaware Farm Bureau’s safety signs on rural roads alerting you to slow down, and be alert for farmers working in the area.

Delaware Farm Bureau urges you to share the road this fall. Delaware farmers are working hard to feed not only you, but the world! Let’s keep road safety our No. 1 priority while traveling the roads this fall.

June Unruh is chairwoman of the Delaware Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Committee’s “Rural Road Safety Campaign”

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