With harvest season in full swing, it's a good idea to watch for farm vehicles on our roadways.
Sure, we all know that. The problem really arises, though, when people are in a hurry and come up on a tractor or combine and aren't able to slow down in time.
A good rule of thumb this time of year would be this: If you came over a hill or around a curve, would you be able to slow down to 30 miles - or less - at a moment's notice? Because that's the maximum speed of most farm vehicles.
Another problem can be gravel roads that are even narrower and with no shoulder. In cases like this, you really need to think ahead. Put yourself in the seat of the farmer driving that combine or tractor. Would you be able to back your vehicle up for a quarter mile? Probably not. So do the courteous and common-sense thing and find a side road or field approach to pull off on to allow the vehicle to pass. The same goes for farmers, too. We all need to look down the road and anticipate situations, rather than react to them when they happen - because by then it might be too late.
There's another problem we can anticipate as the end of harvest nears - car-deer collisions.
As the crops come out of the field, particularly corn, deer lose a large portion of their habitat and go on the move. If you haven't seen them before, you will now. So it's a good idea to slow down and keep a sharp eye out for those four-legged creatures that could do a lot of damage to your vehicle.
Using a little patience, common courtesy and common sense now can help prevent a tragedy later. So leave a little earlier and keep your eyes peeled.
Someone's life could depend on it.