The heavy equipment and tractors used on farms are impressive works of modern engineering. From machinery that can till even the driest, hardest soil to specialized equipment for applying pesticides or fertilizers, there are massive agricultural machines for all kinds of farming enterprises.
These machines help make farming more cost-effective and reduce the amount of manual labor necessary to produce food for people. However, they are also sometimes dangerous. Tractors and other farm vehicles can cause catastrophic collisions on the Arizona roads.
What are the two largest contributing factors to those farm vehicle collisions?
A lack of appropriate protections
The average tractor doesn’t have seat belts. It may not have brake lights or turn signals. Even if the tractor itself does, a hay wagon or similar towed accessory may not have those important lights. When you combine that with the fact that tractors often move at far under the speed limit, you can see why farm equipment can be dangerous on the road.
Although Arizona state law does require registration and appropriate lights and signals on farm vehicles that will drive on the road, some farmers think that they can skirt those rules because they very rarely drive on public roads.
Working at unusual times of day
Even during the longest days of summer when the sun is out for more than half the day, farmers may find that they’re simply isn’t enough time for them to complete all of their necessary tasks. They may wake up before the sun rises to start tending their fields or work well after dark hauling crops to storage facilities. Especially when their tractors, farm vehicles and trailers lack appropriate lights, drivers may not notice farmers’ vehicles on the road until it is too late, resulting in horrific collisions.
Typically, those hurt in car crashes can make a claim against the at-fault driver’s Arizona insurance policy. When the other vehicle is a tractor or other piece of farm equipment, your options for compensation will inevitably be different. Many agricultural enterprises have general liability policies that can protect those hurt in such collisions. Other times, lawsuits may be the realistic path toward compensation.
Realizing that tractors put you at risk of a motor vehicle collision can lead to safer driving decisions, and understanding your right to compensation can help you avoid lingering, unpaid expenses if you do get hurt in a crash with a tractor or other farm vehicle.