Harvest Season Is A Dangerous Time On The Roadway

Northwest Iowa — Harvest season is in full swing in northwest Iowa, which presents some seasonal traffic hazards for motorists.

Iowa State Patrol Trooper Kevin Krull says it’s even more important to be fully aware when you drive this time of year.

(As above) “When you have a slow moving vehicle out there…even the semis. When they’re coming out of the field they’re not getting up to speed, obviously, right away…they’ve got some pretty full loads. It takes them a little bit of time to get going on these county roads. And if you’re moving along like we’ve seen in the last year, especially, and going over the speed limit….but even at the speed limit we need to really pay attention. Because if you come over the crest of a hill (and) that semi’s not quite up to speed and you’re going to close in on that vehicle real quickly.”

Trooper Krull says rear-end collisions are the number one type of crash during harvest season.

(As above) “And unfortunately we’ve seen too many people combine the high speed with some distracted driving and, you know, they’re not paying attention and you’re going to have a rear-end collision, which is the number one (type of) collision that we have with these slow moving vehicles.”

He says motorists passing implements when the machinery is making a left turn is another major cause of harvest season crashes.

(As above) “It is the second cause of accidents in these types of crashes. You don’t know where these tractors are pulling in…they might be pulling into the field, and they’re going to swerve over to the right hand side so that they can come back to the left so that they can see better, and all of a sudden you’re behind them (and) they don’t see you. A lot of these vehicles don’t have the best visibility to the rear because of the sheer size of them and the way they’re designed. It’s hard to anticipate where they’re going to turn. We’re used to having people turn at intersections, but now all of a sudden we have to throw in there a few farm drives, as well.”

And Trooper Krull says allowing yourself to be distracted behind the wheel makes an already dangerous situation even worse.

(As above) “That last little glance at the phone to check your last email, or check your Snapchat, or Facebook message…..whatever it might be, when you’re looking down and distracting yourself you’re putting yourself in a real dangerous situation.”

Troooper Krull reminds you that, during harvest season, it’s especially important for you to slow down, put down the phone and expect to encounter slow moving vehicles on the roadway.


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