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The original item was published from 4/30/2012 8:33:27 AM to 4/30/2012 8:45:09 AM.

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Press Release

Posted on: April 30, 2012

[ARCHIVED] Spring brings increase farm equipment movement on roadways

AMES, Iowa – April 30, 2012 – Iowa’s warm winter and early spring have farmers more ready than ever to get into the fields for spring planting, meaning Iowa motorists will soon be sharing the road with farm vehicles. The Iowa Department of Transportation is urging motorists and farm vehicle operators to exercise caution during the movement of slow-moving equipment on Iowa’s roadways.

Data for 2011 shows a total of 198 crashes involved farm equipment. Those crashes resulted in seven fatalities, 15 major injuries, 46 minor injuries and 55 other possible injuries. Of the 198 crashes, 119 resulted only in property damage.

Below are the statistics for 2004 through 2011. The 2011 numbers are subject to change as law enforcement investigations are finalized.

Crashes Involving Farm Equipment/Vehicles and Resulting Fatalities and Injuries for Calendar Years 2004 through 2011
Property
damage
Major Minor Possible Unknown only Total
Year Fatalities injuries injuries injuries injuries crashes crashes
2004 9 19 35 40 9 118 201
2005 5 14 45 36 17 107 189
2006 8 27 40 37 7 104 197
2007 5 20 47 37 8 102 189
2008 7 15 47 45 8 113 201
2009 6 14 53 37 7 122 207
2010 4 12 42 39 8 132 203
2011 7 15 46 55 6 119 198
Total 51 136 355 326 70 917 1,585

Tips for motorists
• Be alert and always watch for slow-moving vehicles, especially during planting and harvest seasons.
• Be patient and do not assume the equipment operator can move aside to let you pass. The shoulder may not be able to support a heavy farm vehicle.
• Slow down as soon as you see the triangular-shaped, red and fluorescent orange slow-moving vehicle emblem.

Tips for farm vehicle operators
• Make your intentions known when you are turning by using signal lights or the appropriate hand signal in advance of the turn.
• Drive slow-moving vehicles in the right-hand lane as close to the edge of the roadway as safely possible. Traveling partially on the shoulder may cause motorists to risk passing in a dangerous situation.
• Avoid encouraging or signaling motorists to pass. Pull over where it is safe, and let the traffic go by.
• Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train extends 3 feet beyond the tracks on both sides.

Contact: Jeremey Vortherms at 515-239-1267 or jeremey.vortherms@dot.iowa.gov

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