When drivers are on the road and have to pass or coincide with tractors and other farming equipment, they have to be cautious. If an accident does occur, then farmers or those in personal vehicles could be seriously hurt or die.
Having to share the road with farming equipment is a national problem. In Illinois, one farmer was killed when they had to take their tractor on a local highway. The National Ag Safety Database states that around 250 people are killed annually as a result of tractor entanglement, runovers, overturns and highways collisions.
Tractors are a safety hazard on the road
Using public roads makes it hazardous for farmers to get where they’re going. There is a heightened risk of a collision with faster-moving traffic. Drivers may not slow down enough, or they may not give the tractor enough space when passing.
Who is responsible for accidents involving farming equipment on the road?
Who is held liable will depend on the specifics of the collision. For example, if a driver is on the road and the tractor is alongside the road when it suddenly moves into the lane and causes a collision, then the driver of the tractor may be held liable.
In the case that a driver is speeding and cannot slow down before colliding with a tractor, the driver of that vehicle may be to blame for the collision.
In other cases, if vehicle malfunctions, whether the passenger vehicle or tractor, occur, then there could be a third party to hold responsible for the collision.
Are there any steps that help prevent these serious accidents?
Being more visible is the best thing that farmers can do if they’ll be taking their vehicles on a busy roadway. Using bright, flashing lights and signs may make it so that other drivers realize that they’re traveling more slowly than other traffic.
Drivers need to remember to give tractors space when passing them. They should pass slowly, as well, so that they can avoid running into sharp equipment or tools that the tractor may have on board.
Safety steps can be taken to avoid a collision. Be cautious if you’re entering the road with a tractor or if you see one up ahead.