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Hoosiers encouraged to be patient and share the roads with farmers this spring

An attendee passes in front of Deere & Co. John Deere brand tractors displayed during the World Agriculture Expo in Tulare, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With planting season underway for Indiana’s nearly 100,000 farmers, large, slow-moving farm equipment will start making appearances on Indiana’s rural roads and highways.

The Indiana Department of Agriculture, along with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana State Police, and more, want to encourage motorists to slow down, be alert, and practice patience when sharing the roads with farm equipment this spring.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, secretary of agriculture and rural development, said in a statement, “Indiana is the eighth largest farming state in the county. Whether you live in rural, urban, or suburban Indiana, remain alert on the road as you may encounter large farm equipment moving between fields.”

In 2020, three vehicles were involved in crashes with farm equipment in Indiana, resulting in two deaths. Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter says it is important for Hoosiers to know how to safely navigate around farm equipment.

“Patience, courtesy, and understanding, along with the undivided attention of motorists and farmers will help ensure a safe 2023 planting season,” Carter said in a statement.

The Department of Agriculture provides several tips for motorists navigating around farm equipment, and to ensure all drivers that they are being as safe as possible.

  • Farmers will pull over to let drivers pass, but allow them time to find a safe enough place to do so.
  • Be careful when passing, and do not pass within 100 feet of an intersection, railroad crossing, bridge, or tunnel.
  • Avoid tailgating.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to where you’re going.

For more safety tips, visit the Department of Agriculture’s website.