Harvest is a time for caution

According to the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, agriculture is the second most dangerous occupation in the nation with a death rate at 22.7 per 100,000 workers. Accidents involving farm vehicles and cars and trucks are one of the reasons the death toll is so high.

At all times of the year, adherence to safety procedures can help prevent tragedies. With harvest activities now in full swing all across the Hawkeye State, the risk of accidents both on farms and on our highways and country roads is greater than at some other times of year.

Most farmers and farm workers are aware that their work has dangers and take sensible safety precautions. Unfortunately, however, many motorists do not take the potential presence of farm vehicles into account as they traverse the states roadways.

During this time of year drivers are especially likely to encounter farm vehicles both on roads and near them. Accidents involving agricultural vehicles and other machines sometimes occur when motorists come upon them at highway speeds, having not remembered that they may be sharing the roads with folks engaged in harvest activities.

It important for all drivers to remember that farm vehicles are usually moving slower than cars and trucks. Additionally, they should take into account that the farm vehicle drivers may have poorer visibility than they do because agricultural vehicles can be bulky and were not designed primarily for use on roads.

Harvest is an important time of year. Iowa’s farms help feed not only our nation, but also the world beyond. They are vital contributors to the state’s prosperity and that of the entire nation.

Harvest time should be an occasion for rejoicing about the productivity of our farms. We should all take the necessary precautions that will prevent its being marred by accidents that could easily have been avoided.