Share the Road With Agriculture

— Written By and last updated by Audrey Mercer
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As the 2016 planting season gears up in Pamlico County, you are sure to find yourself sharing the road with large, slow-moving farm equipment. With over 46,000 acres of farmland in Pamlico County, agricultural production dominates the landscape. During the planting and harvest seasons, farmers are often on the road early in the mornings and late into the evenings. Since most farm equipment moves less than 25 mPlantingiles per hour, always use caution and obey the rules of the road.

Most crashes that involve farm equipment occur on a clear day, during daylight hours, and/or on a dry surface that is paved. Typical crashes with farm equipment include sideswipes and angle crashes. These types of crashes occur while farm equipment is turning left and a motorist tries to pass. In some cases, a farmer uses a left hand signal, and drivers mistake this as a sign for them to pass. Many farmers will use hand signals to warn drivers when they are turning or stopping. The key to safety when sharing the road with farm equipment is to be patient.

Motorists can avoid other potentially dangerous encounters with slow-moving vehicles by following these driving tips:

– Recognize and respect the slow-moving vehicle and when you see one, slow down as if you are approaching a stoplight.

– Watch for hand signals. Don’t assume that a slow-moving vehicle pulling to the right side of the road is going to turn right or is going to let you pass. Make sure the driver sees you before you try to pass.

– Keep your distance and be sure to slow down when you see a slow-moving vehicle’s flashing turn signal.

Harvest– Be patient. It’s not easy for the farmer to move aside to let you pass, especially when road shoulders are questionable.

– Always make sure the road ahead and behind is clear before you pass. Don’t depend on the driver to wave you around.

– AND remember, farm equipment cannot stop or slow down as quickly as an automobile.

This spring, enjoy your ride around Pamlico County, watch out for our farmers as they move their equipment from field to field, and remember to always approach farm equipment with care.

Submitted by: Daniel Simpson

County Director, Agriculture Agent
N.C. Cooperative Extension-Pamlico County Center
P.O. Box 8, Bayboro, NC 28515
13724 Hwy 55, Alliance, NC  28509
Phone: (252)745-4121    Fax: (252)745-5082