With harvest season beginning and an uptake of agricultural equipment on the roadways, Sen. Jason Plummer is reminding motorists to be extra cautious while traveling.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 26 percent of Illinois corn is now considered mature. Meanwhile, soybean coloring is at 53 percent, which means heavy farm equipment traffic is expected to increase on roadways.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, transportation incidents were the leading cause of death for farmers and farm workers in 2016. Motorists are encouraged to slow down and be aware of farmers on the roadways.
To help keep harvest season safe for everyone, motorists can follow these simple safety steps.
• Find the lights on farm vehicles. Farm vehicles are required to have amber and red rear lights. The amber lights should be visible to the front and rear. They should flash as a warning to other motorists.
• Slow down as soon as you see a farm vehicle. Most farm equipment only travels 15 to 20 miles per hour, so it is crucial to slow down before it is too late.
• Be cognizant of the time of year. Harvest season typically runs from September through November. Drivers should expect to see farm vehicles on the road during this time.