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MnDOT asks motorists, farm equipment operators to safely share the road during fall harvest season

Crash data shows there were 374 crashes involving farm equipment in Minnesota from 2019 through 2021, resulting in eight deaths and 133 injuries.

A harvesting combine is shown in a field.
Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reported.
Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service
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ST. PAUL — Motorists traveling on Minnesota roads this fall should be aware of large farm equipment transporting crops to markets, grain elevators and processing plants, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Crash data shows there were 374 crashes involving farm equipment in Minnesota from 2019 through 2021, resulting in eight deaths and 133 injuries. Inattentive driving and speed were the biggest contributing factors in those crashes.

“Harvest season is underway across Minnesota and farmers will again need the highways to access their fields,” said Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer, in a news release. “Motorists need to put down distractions and watch for those slow-moving farm vehicles, especially on rural, two-lane roads.”

Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The equipment also makes wide turns and sometimes crosses over the center line. In addition, farm vehicles can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles.

Motorists should:

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  • Slow down and use caution when approaching farm equipment,
  • Watch for debris dropped by farm equipment, 
  • Drive with headlights on at all times,
  • Wait for a safe place to pass.

Farm equipment operators should:

  • Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible,
  • Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph,
  • Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night.
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