The Illinois Department of Labor is urging caution to drivers and farmers during the hectic harvest season. IDOL Spokesperson Mike Matulis wants drivers to take their time around farmers while farmers work to beat the first frost. “Farmers need to be aware of the dangers that they are facing. I think they really are, so some of the onus is on them. It’s also on the drivers who really, especially this time of year do two things: be a little patient and slow down.”
Matulis said that farmers also need to have key safety features in place to remain safe as well: “Tractor roll overs create the most fatalities of anything on the farm. Farmers should ensure that they have rollover protection, and most importantly, that roll over protection isn’t going to work unless they are actually strapped in with a safety belt.”
While tractor roll-over accidents most often occur on the farm, roadways also pose a major safety hazard. Too often a vehicle attempting to pass causes a collision before the tractor or farm implement can finish a left-hand turn. Some collisions occur simply because the driver fails to reduce speed for the slower moving farm implement. Illinois has already seen 1 fatality of a 9 year old girl near Sterling, when the vehicle she was traveling in was attempting to pass a tractor.