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Nationwide: Keep Your Rural Road Safe

The following information is provided by Nationwide, the #1 farm and ranch writer in the U.S.*

Safely navigating large agricultural equipment over rural roads to and from the fields is a challenge for even the best drivers. Nationwide reminds farmers to consider the following rules on the safe operation of equipment to help reduce the risk of motor vehicle collisions.

Basics

Courts uphold agricultural equipment operator rights for road usage, and regulations for size and type usually don’t apply. But still take necessary precautions to prevent serious injury and damage and ensure that your equipment isn’t in violation. You know accidents can happen any time of day, but remember:

  • Working after dark: Turn on lights, use reflectors or conspicuity tape, display SMV (slow-moving vehicle) sign, consider escort vehicles
  • Trailer pulling: Don’t rely on power unit lights only; this increases collision risk if lights become obstructed
  • “Road rules”: Operators must understand driving hazards; regulations include specific training for equipment operation and environment navigation

Left turns

Operators tend to pull to the right when making wide left turns. Motorists may view this as permission to pass. To prevent accidents:

  • Use turn signals or hand/arm signals
  • Check oncoming traffic
  • Check mirrors and blind spots

Bridges

Before crossing rural bridges:

  • Ensure appropriate vehicle weight
  • Allow oncoming traffic to clear the bridge (reduces weight on bridge and provides you space to maneuver)
  • If tires have large lugs for traction, be cautious of guardrail contact that could inadvertently cause equipment to climb the rail or tip off the bridge

Passing Cars

When driving a slow-moving vehicle, never wave a driver to pass. It’s the passing driver’s responsibility to pass – not yours. Also:

  • Don’t drive on the shoulder; you may sideswipe a passing vehicle if you have to swerve to avoid an oncoming mailbox or obstruction
  • Drive with the left side of your vehicle to the centerline, even if your equipment extends onto the shoulder; passing drivers should consider safety and the law before passing

Rear-end Collisions

Rural road travelers can easily be surprised by a large, slow-moving vehicle — and misjudge their speed and gap distance. To avoid rear-end collisions:

  • Monitor mirrors for fast-approaching vehicles
  • Ensure that the vehicle’s warning devices, such as SMV signs, are visible
  • Consider vehicle escorts on heavily traveled paved roads

For more farm safety tips, contact your local Nationwide farm agent or visit mynsightonline.com.

*By direct written premium, AM Best (2018). Based on statutory data.

Nationwide, its affiliates and its employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with any suggestions or information contained herein. The recommendations provided are general in nature, unique circumstances may not warrant or require implementation of some or all of the safety suggestions. Nothing contained herein is meant to represent or indicate compliance with applicable standards or requirements mandated by federal, state or local jurisdictions. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2020 Nationwide

Special Member Savings

At Southern States®, we are proud to be a farmer-owned cooperative. Southern States has partnered with Nationwide® to offer Southern States Cooperative member-producers in North Carolina and Virginia special discounts on farm insurance. In addition to giving you exclusive insurance savings, we're also joining forces to support the cooperative that means so much to you.

Nationwide® Agribusiness is the number 1 insurer of farms in the U.S. and a leading insurer of commercial agribusiness. Go to nationwide.com/southernstates to find a local agent.

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