(WSIL) — Illinois is home to 27 million acres of prime farmland, and as the spring temperatures warm, farmers will be taking their implements and heading to the fields across the state. Drivers and farmers alike are urged to be extra cautious during the hectic planting season.
Tractor overturns are the leading cause of fatalities in the agriculture industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These accidents result in about 130 deaths each year nationwide.
Speed, impatience, and left-hand turns are the leading causes of many accidents involving farm machinery.
Drivers should take precautions as they approach farm vehicles on the road as operators have limited visibility to the rear. Anyone passing such a vehicle needs to use extreme caution.
All agricultural vehicles using the public roadways must display the fluorescent orange Slow Moving Vehicle triangle.
Additionally, tractors and other self-powered farm vehicles must have proper lighting. According to Illinois law:
- Lighting is required from 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise.
- There should be two white lamps on the front of the vehicle, visible from at least 1000 feet to the front of the vehicle.
- There should be two red lamps on the rear of the vehicle, visible from at least 1000 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
- There should be at least one flashing amber signal lamp on the rear of the vehicle, mounted as high as possible and visible from at least 500 feet, which can be used during daylight as well.