Our Missouri truck accident lawyers recognize that a number of various vehicles travel our roadways, whether they be passenger-vehicles, tractor trailers, motorcycles, semi-trucks, and yes, even farm equipment. It is important for motorists to know how to effectively share our roadways with each of these vehicles to help reduce the risks of accidents resulting in injury -- or death.
Recent Missouri Accidents Involving Farm Equipment
• Friday, March 30; Cardwell, MO: The Missouri Highway Patrol reports that a 2003 GVM Prowler (a large fertilizer spreader) had bypassed a field entrance and stopped on Route AC. A 1999 Ford Taurus driven by 21 year-old Justin Wilder was stopped behind the Prowler when, suddenly, the Prowler started to back up. It backed over the Taurus, and Wilder was pronounced dead at the scene.
• Sunday, April 1; Dutchtown, MO: This accident involving farm equipment ends in a way that might surprise you. At around 10:45 a.m., 85 year-old Imogene M. Durney ran off the road after she was distracted by reaching for something on her dashboard. She crashed into a front-end loader basket attached to some farm equipment that was parked on the side of the road. The twist? The Highway Patrol says that if Ms. Durney hadn't crashed into the equipment, her vehicle would have plunged 50 feet into a ditch. Instead, Ms. Durney escaped the accident with moderate injuries, although her vehicle was totaled.
There's a great deal of farmland in Missouri, and most of our residents can expect to see farm equipment on the road at some point, if not regularly. Ohio State University offers several tips to help motorists share the road with farming vehicles in a safe, efficient manner.
Passenger Vehicles & Farm Equipment: Staying Safe on Missouri Roads
• Always practice extra caution when attempting to pass farm machinery.
• Remember that these vehicles don't usually travel more than 25 mph. This is why you should slow down as soon as you see these vehicles on the roadway. Remember that they also tend to slow even more dramatically when climbing hills.
• Don't rush to pass farm machinery. Check, and double check, to make sure that no vehicles are coming from the opposite direction. Many accidents occur during these movements. It is important to remember that this equipment is usually extra-long and extra-wide.
• Keep an eye out for the SMV (slow moving vehicle) signs and reflective tape on slowing moving farming equipment.
• Most farm equipment-related accidents are rear-end and left-turn collisions. Take special care when following farm equipment and when you see one making a turn.
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Transportation has been working diligently with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in an attempt to create a practical standard and guideline system for farm equipment manufacturers so that they can be more visible to motorists. They've also been on the hunt for a better way of reporting farm vehicle accidents.
For now, we encourage motorists to be mindful of these vehicles, and to use caution when one is nearby.
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Information provided courtesy of Aaron Sachs and Associates.