Farming: Summer danger on rural roads

Tractor trailers are more vulnerable in summerTractor trailers are more vulnerable in summer
Tractor trailers are more vulnerable in summer
With insurance data showing that collisions between agricultural vehicles and third parties are 42 per cent more likely between the start of May and the end of September, farmers, motorists and other road users have been urged to respect rural roads.

During the period which marks busiest time for farmers harvesting silage, hay and arable crops, insurers NFU Mutual said that the higher volumes of agricultural traffic - particularly tractors pulling heavy silage and grain trailers or wide agricultural machinery – brought a greater need for patience and respect.

Claims data from NFU Mutual showed that there was an average of 456 of these accidents per month during the silage cutting, hay making, and harvesting season, compared to just 263 per month between October and April.

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“Farmers and contractors cannot and should not drive too quickly when pulling a heavily-laden trailer so we urge motorists and cyclists to be patient to avoid driving too close and attempting risky overtakes on narrow or unsighted roads,” said Gregor Belcher, a farming specialist with the insurer. “In turn, farmers should pull over to allow built-up traffic to pass when it is safe to do so.”

He said that tractors would often be travelling only a short distance before turning into a field or side road. “But a tractor pulling a long trailer can take some time and need more space to turn a corner. Rural road users, and particularly cyclists and motorcyclists, should be aware that the tractor may turn, and never attempt to overtake on the inside of a turning or field entrance.”

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