Don’t fall for harvest season driving hazards

Local News

VANDERBURGH CO, Ind (WEHT) The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind drivers to be cautious this harvest season.

Farmers will be moving agricultural machinery along county roads to access their fields, and drivers should be prepared for them to enter and exit fields from the roadway. This is the first fall season in Vanderburgh County since off road vehicles became legal to operate on many county roads.

These farm vehicles travel under 25 miles per hour and are required to display a slow moving vehicle emblem. Sheriff Dave Wedding wants to remind drivers not to attempt to pass slow moving farm equipment unless it is safe and legal to do so.

Drivers can learn more about the new ordinance by clicking here.

October and November is also breeding season for white-tailed deer. Once the corn fields are gone, deer will begin traveling across roadways more frequently. Last year there were 196 crashes in Vanderburgh County that involved deer and six of those crashes resulted in injury. 76 of those crashes involving deer happened in October and November alone.

Sheriff Wedding advises motorists to be extra aware in the areas of Mayse Farm Market on N. Saint Joseph Avenue, Goebel Farms on W. Boonville-New Harmony Road and Farm 57 on Kansas Road.

Fall Harvest Safety Tips:

  • Exercise caution and patience when approaching farm machinery.
  • Farm machinery may enter the roadway at any time, so slow down if you see equipment traveling towards or adjacent to a roadway.
  • Do not pass farm machinery unless it is safe and legal to do so.
  • Farm machinery is typically not equipped with turn signals, so watch for unanticipated left turns and increase your following distance at night.
  • Be aware of increased traffic at agricultural tourism locations.
  • Watch for off-road vechicles, which are more likely to make unexpected movements. 
  • Watch for deer! If you spot one, then expect more to cross.

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(This story was originally published on September 20, 2020)

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