Harvest season in Saskatchewan means you will be sharing the road with farm equipment. The rush to “get it done” before the weather turns cold means early mornings and late evenings for farmers. On highways, rural roads, and even in town, the winding down of farming season will bring large equipment onto public roads.
Why is this dangerous?
Due to how large farming equipment can be, collisions involving them are more impactful. Between 2016 and 2020, there were 96 collisions involving farm equipment on Saskatchewan roads. Of these 96 collisions, 44 would result in injuries, and eight people lost their lives. Reviewing these numbers, we can see that collisions with farm equipment carry very serious repercussions.
What are some special hazards to watch out for?
The most obvious one is size and weight. These machines are larger than any other vehicle on the road, making them particularly dangerous obstacles to collide with. Farm machinery can also be deceptively wide and long, with parts protruding, taking up more than one lane width, or even the entire driving surface on more narrow rural roads. Farm equipment may be operated in muddy environments and as a result may carry or track mud and other obstacles onto the driving surface.
How do we avoid collisions involving farm equipment?
Passing farm equipment is by far the most dangerous act, putting both the driver and operator in a high-risk situation. On hills, turns, and into the sunlight, maintaining sightlines beyond the machinery is difficult. Farm equipment is also an irregular shape on the road. It is hard for your eyes to properly register, and for your mind to predict the speed and movement. Before passing, ensure you can see many kilometres down the road, and that you have the time and space to pass safely.
Here are our top tips for sharing the road with farm equipment:
With kids back to school, summer vacations coming to an end, and farmers working hard in the fields, autumn in Saskatchewan is a time of change. How do you adjust your driving during this busy season? Have you got a story to share? Contact us or post in the comments below!