With the year’s harvest beginning on farms around the province, including in the Lloydminster area, SGI is reminding people to be cautious as they see more equipment moving on the roads.
While the provincial insurer does note that overall, car and farm equipment accidents are not as frequent as other ones, the ones that do occur are more likely to cause injuries. Over the last five years, 96 collisions involving farm equipment on Saskatchewan roads have resulted in 44 injuries and eight deaths.
Even if one of these accidents doesn’t result in someone getting hurt, a crash can result in a key piece of equipment being broken, which could severely impact someone’s livelihood.
With many farmers already facing a difficult harvest for 2021, SGI says certain steps could prevent these kinds of accidents.
In addition to being slow-moving, farm machinery can be deceptively wide and long, so much of their advice revolves around keeping a safe speed and passing only when it is safe to do so.
Drivers should also try to keep out of farmers’ blind spots and anticipate where the farmer may be going, as sometimes the machinery they are in might not let them signal a turn. Finally, drivers should also be extra cautious on rural or gravel roads, where they may encounter more farm equipment.
For farmers, they should remember that on the highways, equipment that travels slower than 40 km/h must be equipped with a rear or center slow-moving vehicle sign, and machinery that extends more than 1.2 meters should be equipped with reflective devices to alert drivers.
Farmers needing a quick refresh on their rules of the road can check the Government of Saskatchewan’s website.