As we move into the fall of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic still upon us, it is a year like no other. Students may or may not be back in the classroom and we all may be either working from home or may be back at the office. But one thing you can count on is that Nebraska farmers are working, getting ready for an early harvest.

As the uncertainty of 2020 lingers through the year, this is a time when we especially need to pay more attention on our roads and highways. This fall could be a dangerous time on Nebraska roads.

Here are a few tips to share as we see large, slow-moving machines on our roads and running through fields across the state. 

  • Always wear your seat belt. Especially in rural areas, and on county roads. The same advice goes for farmers, too. Wear seat belts in your tractor or combine. Today’s farm equipment is safer, but it’s also designed to protect you when wearing a seat belt. If you’re not wearing a seat belt, you could get thrown from or pinned under a vehicle, or you could hit your head inside the tractor compartment.
  • Drive without distractions. We hear it all the time: Don’t text or check your smartphone while driving. Distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of vehicular accidents.
  • Farmers: If you’re driving farm equipment on public roads, it’s especially important that you’re clearly marked so motorists can see you in time to slow down — considering you’re probably driving less than 25 MPH. Make sure your lights are working and that all reflecting tape and slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblems are properly placed. Remember to wipe down some of these safety features if your equipment is dusty to ensure they can be seen.

Drivers: If you are following behind a slow-moving vehicle, please play it safe and wait to safely pass and remember slow-moving vehicles usually go from one field to another and turning may take extra time, so be patient.