We continue to emphasize the importance of safety on our roadways and on our area farms.

We continue to emphasize the importance of safety on our roadways and on our area farms.

Harvest Driving Tips for Motorists:

• Be watchful of slow-moving vehicles

• Stay a safe distance behind slow-moving farm equipment

• Decrease speed when encountering a slow-moving vehicle

• Pass a slow-moving vehicle only when the oncoming lane is clear and it is legal to do so

• Be patient with slow-moving vehicles. A slow-moving vehicle can't travel or maneuver as fast as a car

• Give yourself extra time to reach your destination

• Always drive defensively and watch for unexpected turns or stops

• Keep your vehicle in good operating condition especially the brakes

• Wear safety belts!

Deadly highway collisions between farm tractors and motor vehicles are increasing nationwide. Country roads can be beautiful in the fall. But always be on the lookout for farm vehicles on those roads. Farmers must transport grain and other harvest equipment to and from fields. Sometimes it's slow going, which can be frustrating to both farmers and motorists who use the same roads.

Whether you're working early or late, farmers need to remember to drive safe! Long hours in the field can often lead to the operation of agricultural equipment on public roads before dawn and after dusk. The following are driving tips for area farmers during their busy harvest season.

Harvest Driving Tips for Farmers:

• Check flashing lights, be sure they are clean, visible and working. Use lights and signals at all times.

• Keep slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblems clean and visible. Replace faded emblems.

• Use turn signals whenever entering or leaving the roadway.

• Drive in the right-hand lane or shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass.

• If possible, avoid driving at night. If driving at night, use proper lighting and warning devices.

• Allow sufficient time to move equipment across roadways with fast-moving traffic.

• Remove grain heads from combines when possible. Grain heads can be especially dangerous on narrow roadways.

• Adjust speed according to road conditions.

• Use rollover protection structures and always wear safety belts.

• Clean your cab's windows for a clear view.

When moving machinery and equipment, be sure to use good judgment and be cautious of motorists. Using safety practices during these harvest months can truly save lives.

This year's National Farm Safety & Health Week theme is "Agricultural Safety and Health: A Family Affair." The national effort focuses on ensuring that family members, primarily children, are kept safe around farm machinery and other equipment.