Senator Rezin is reminding motorists to be careful on rural roads during the ongoing harvest season, as they are likely to encounter farm equipment travelling between fields.
Modern farm equipment is typically large, often wider than traffic lanes, and difficult to see around, while travelling at very slow speeds on the roadway. According to the University of Illinois Extension Service, a car going 55 mph only has five seconds to brake 300 feet, the length of a football field, to avoid rear-ending farm equipment moving at 15 mph.
The Extension Service also notes that the operator of the farm equipment may not know that a vehicle is nearby, particularly if the vehicle is very close behind or alongside the implement. They recommend that drivers be vigilant and watchful for equipment, slow down when passing or near farm implements, and allow a wide berth for the equipment to pass.
Harvest season may continue for a while yet. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Illinois corn harvest is currently about halfway finished at 55 percent, with about 43 percent of soybeans harvested.