Help keep Vermont farmers safe: Share the Road

15 June 2017

Be Alert. Be Patient. Be Kind.

Ryan Carabeau,  a farmer from Richmond, worked with the state to produce a Public Service Announcement about the importance of sharing the roads with farmers.

He says he understands drivers can feel frustrated and confused when they encounter tractors on the road. He hopes the PSA will serve as a reminder to Vermont motorists to be careful and put safety first.

“I’ve had a few close calls over the years with impatient and distracted drivers,” he says. “It can be scary.”

Here are some specific actions motorists should take when they approach a tractor on the road:

  1. Slow down:  The top speed for most tractors is 20mph. Slow down and give yourself the time and space to assess the situation.

  2. Pay close attention: You should always give the road 100% of your attention – especially when approaching farm equipment.

  3. Don't get too close: Give the farmer some space. Do not tailgate – it causes stress and distraction.

  4. Don’t pass until it's safe: Wait for a safe opportunity to pass safely!

  5. Be alert for turns: Look for turn indicators, like hand signals and blinkers from the drivers. Farm machinery makes wide turns. Sometimes tractors will turn directly into fields - no driveway needed. Be especially alert for left hand turns.  This is the most common type of farm machinery collision on public roads. It happens when the farm vehicle is about to make a left turn; meanwhile, the motorist behind the farm vehicle decides to pass.