Fall harvest brings crops out of the ground and farm equipment onto the roads.  If your usual route takes you along a rural road or highway, you need to be aware of these tractors and farm implements that aren't usually on the roadways.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds drivers to use caution this harvest season.  Slow-moving farm vehicles are likely to be seen on these rural roads now through the end of the harvest season - and even into November - until processing is over.

According to MNDOT statistics, 422 traffic crashes occured in 2013 that involved at least one farm vehicle;  those crashes resulted in 12 fatalities and 204 total injuries.

Here are some tips from MNDOT on sharing the road more gracefully and safely.

  • Watch for debris dropped by trucks hauling sugar beets and other crops. It is safer to brake or drive through debris than to veer into oncoming cars or off the road.
  • Wait for a safe place to pass.
  • Wear seatbelts.
  • Drive with headlights on at all times

In addition, MNDOT urges farmers to abide by the following safety tips:

  • 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.