Loretta Sink, Kokomo
Be alert, drivers, it’s harvest time
National Farm Safety Week is Sept. 16-22. This week gives us the opportunity to recognize the fact that farming is a hazardous occupation.
In 2010, 22 Indiana agricultural workers died on the job. Twelve of these deaths were from transportation-related accidents, according to the state Department of Labor.
Farms are larger than in the past, so operators are forced to travel greater distances between fields. Yes, it is inconvenient to be “stuck” behind a combine or tractor, but if we follow simple rules, we can share the road safely.
Stay alert. If a car traveling 55 mph comes upon a vehicle traveling 15 mph, it only takes 5 seconds to close a gap the length of a football field. It is not always possible to load a grain truck in the field, so watch for trucks parked along the road. Watch for wide-turning vehicles as they enter a field.
Be patient. Farmers would like to pull over to let you pass, but it is not always possible. Stay at least 50 feet behind farm equipment and pass only when the way is clear. It is better to lose a little time than your life.
If we all drive with extra care during this harvest season, Howard County will not become a farm fatality statistic.
Iris Eller, Kokomo