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View from the Cab: Staying Safe

(CIFN file photo)

Now that the first cornfields are harvested in the area, it is an appropriate time to review some farm safety tips.

I was pleased to see a few of the “Start Seeing Farmers” signs pop up along Route 24 the other day. It never hurts to remind motorists to be cautious this time of year. Those signs that say “Farm Country…Stay Alert” are also important to notice out in the countryside.

A few years ago, Illinois Farm Bureau printed a brochure with tips for farmers and motorists during the busy fall season. IFB says farmers should plan travel around rush hours, bad weather and the time before daylight and after dark. Also, use reflective marking tape and reflectors at the extremities of equipment and turn on hazard lights for roadway travel. Turn signals should always be used to indicate plans to turn into a field or driveway.

Motorists should reduce speed when encountering farm equipment on public roads and remember those flashing amber lights mean to use caution. A safe distance should be kept from farm equipment so the farmer can see you. If you can’t see his mirrors, he can’t see you. Be prepared to yield to wide equipment and watch for the farmer’s indication of a turn.

These tips have been endorsed by Secretary of State Jesse White, the Illinois Sheriff’s Association and Illinois High School and College Driver Education Association.

Country Financial also released some interesting facts to ponder when it comes to agriculture:

-Two out of every five agricultural work deaths involve tractors.

-Power takeoffs (PTOs) cause the most farm injuries leading to amputation.

-One-third of all agricultural injuries result from falls off of equipment and structures.

-Children and seniors are the most likely victims of accidents related to the improper handling of machinery.

Just a few things to keep in mind as we head through the next several weeks here in farm country.

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