By Aerica Bjurstrom, Kewaunee County UW-Extension
Spring is slow to arrive this year, but that doesn’t stop the need for field work and farm equipment on the roads. Because most of the roads in Kewaunee and Door Counties are rural, practicing patience and caution can prevent a serious accident.
Farm vehicles can be recognized by their size and slow moving emblems displayed. Be prepared to slow down when you see these vehicles. Some may also have flashing yellow lights. Dusk is a particularly busy time as farmers are returning from the fields this time of day.
Because some farm vehicles are not required to have turn signals and brake lights, it may seem as if the vehicle is stopping in the middle of the road, when in fact they are preparing to turn left. Please use caution and patience behind these vehicles; the most common accident occurs when a motorist thinks the vehicle is pulling over when in fact the farmer is swinging the vehicle wide to line up with a gate or driveway.
Farm equipment is commonly driven on the shoulder of the road to allow for better passing space for motorists. Although farm equipment operators are not required to drive on the shoulder, they typically do this as a courtesy for vehicle traffic. Be aware that farm implements driving on the shoulder may swing out into the road to go around a mailbox or other obstruction. Remember the farm implement is only on the road for a short period of time; following it on a highway is the equivalent of sitting at a stop light.
The keys to safety when sharing the road with farm equipment are care, caution, and patience. Have a safe spring and keep an eye out for your neighbors on the roads.