FARGO, N.D. – Farm trucks are involved in accidents, on and off the road, every year, but the numbers go up at harvest time.
Most of those accidents result in injuries, and some cause fatalities, according to a North Dakota State University safety expert.
Could be prevented. “Most accidents could be prevented if proper safety precautions had been followed,” said George Maher, NDSU Extension Service agricultural safety specialist. “Few accidents are unpreventable and no accident is necessary.”
Farm trucks, whether empty or loaded, handle differently than the family car or pickup. A fully loaded grain, beet or potato truck’s higher center of gravity can cause it to tip over easily. A loaded truck also has more momentum than an empty truck.
That means drivers need more time and distance to accelerate and stop, and they must drive slowly when turning.
Large trucks may be easier to see because of their size, but they also appear to be moving slower than they really are, so other motorists have a difficult time judging the trucks’ speed.
If you drive one. Maher also has this advice for farm truck operators:
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