The Dreaded Left-Hand Turn!

It’s harvest time, and there’s more slow-moving farm machinery on the road.  It seems like an inopportune time for slow moving vehicles to be on the road when we are trying to prepare to get kids ready for school, take that last vacation of the summer, and run day to day errands.

Just like other vehicles and road users, farm equipment has a right to be on the road, as they travel to various locations.  We encourage drivers to keep in mind that farmers are out there doing a job, producing safe and quality food for our tables.  Farmers don’t enjoy slowing down traffic either, they typically are not on the road for very long, moving from one field to the next, patience is required or incidents can happen very quickly.

A common collision between a vehicle and farm machinery on the road occurs when the farm machinery makes a left-hand turn, the vehicle from behind decides to pass and the two collide.

Take a look at the tips below for the operator and the driver.  Together, left-hand turn collisions can be prevented.


  • Avoid high traffic times, busy roads, bad weather, and night driving.
  • Check for passing vehicles when making left turns. Do a shoulder check.
  • Plan ahead! Use hand or turn signals when turning.
  • Give ample warning of an upcoming turn.
  • Allow traffic to pass when conditions are safe before turning.




  • Slow down when approaching equipment and anticipate hazards.
  • Keep back at least 50 ft to avoid being in a blind spot and to see ahead.
  • Pass only when it is legal to do so.
  • Look for signal lights on the equipment.
  • Watch the operator for hand signals.
  • If unsure, wait and see before proceeding to pass.