Last year, 174 traffic crashes involved farm equipment in Missouri, including five fatalities and 50 injuries. Missouri has had at least 100 traffic crashes so far this year involving farm machinery – three have been fatal.

Missouri’s fall harvest traffic crashes are on the rise

Missouri’s fall harvest is underway. Motorists and farmers are being warned to use caution. State Highway Patrol Sgt. Eric Brown says patience is key.

“Don’t pass a vehicle until you know it’s absolutely safe to do so. When you do begin to pass, make sure it’s not at an intersection or a field entrance where the farmer may be making a turn,” he says.

Brown says drivers should watch out for farm equipment on country roads and in urban areas.

“Agriculture is a large industry all across our state, even in the more metropolitan areas. Whether on a divided highway or on a gravel road, be prepared for large equipment and slow-moving vehicles to be on the roadways,” he says.

Brown says drivers should not try to pass a slow-moving farm vehicle until their view is completely clear, there’s no oncoming traffic, and it’s not on a hill or curve.

“Be aware that they are going to move off the roadway and let you by as soon as they can,” Brown says.

He says motorists should also watch out for farm equipment moving from field to field.

Missourinet affiliate KWIX in Moberly contributed to this story