Did you know that April 15-21 is Rural Roads Safety Week? Of course, it’s only official in Pennsylvania, but it’s a week we can all promote.
According to an article recently in Southwest Farm Press, Federal Highway Administration statistics indicate that 6 out of 10 (or 57 percent) of highway deaths across the U.S. occur on roads that it considers rural, and a large percentage of those involve farmers and agricultural equipment.
But what is even more striking: “A University of Minnesota study indicates most Americans don’t seem to understand the risk on rural highways. For instance, 69 percent of Americans responded to the recent study indicating that they felt safe on multilane freeways in urban areas, while 79 percent felt safe on two-lane highways in rural areas.”
“There is often a misconception by motorists who think that rural roadways are safer because it is a place where they can drive faster because of less traffic. But when farm equipment is being moved from field to field, the opposite is often the truth,” says Dan Neenan with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety. “On the other side of the coin is the farmer who thinks that because he has lights and warning signs on his equipment that he is easily spotted by approaching motorists, and he lets his guard down.”
It’s a great read, and a stark reminder of some of the dangers faced on the roadway.
What precautions do you take when roading equipment?