Agriculture remains one of the biggest drivers of Illinois’ state economy, generating $19 billion annually. Consequently, our roads and highways include tractor-trailer trucks transporting and towing all manner of farm equipment. Sharing the road safely with these vehicles and their loads can be dangerous. Terrible accidents like one on I-74 can occur when equipment is not properly secured or when mistakes and bad judgment combine. When it comes to safely transporting these loads to avoid truck accidents, width, height, and weight must be carefully considered, and routes planned accordingly.
It is incumbent upon equipment owners and transport companies to take responsibility and ensure they are following every proper protocol, from securing the equipment properly to plotting out the route and any potential obstacles. There are many resources out there (like this article from the Ohio Farm Bureau) that offer information about potential liability, along with checklists, tips and lists to make sure transportation of this equipment is done right and safely.
How These Crashes Happen
Farm equipment is also transported on many roads, and accidents can easily occur when motorists misjudge the speed and/or size of these machines. The onus is on both traditional car/truck drivers and operators of farming equipment (or trucks towing or toting said equipment) to practice increased safety when moving this equipment. Drivers can and should be prepared to take proper precautions to stay safe when driving near this equipment.
Motorists are advised to be extra cautious when traveling in rural, country areas, as this type of heavy machinery travels much slower than regular cars and trucks; and when it suddenly appears in the road ahead of you, high speeds can make stopping short of this equipment an impossibility. Use extreme care when passing, being patient until you can clearly and safely pass, and allow for plenty of space between your vehicle and the farm equipment while passing.
Don’t assume that just because you live in an urban area, you won’t see equipment like this on the road. It is transported everywhere, and 30% of accidents involving farming equipment on the road occur in urban areas.
The Impact of a Farm Equipment Vehicle Accident
Motorists can also be at fault in these accidents, with devastating consequences. Spinal cord injuries, broken bones, severed limbs, and death are not uncommon when cars and heavy machinery collide. Even accidents with minor injuries and damage can quickly become very expensive when you factor in car repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket costs. No matter who is at fault, every precaution should be taken to avoid these types of collisions before they happen, including 100% avoidance of texting while driving. Distracted driving is the cause of accidents taking the lives of almost 3,500 people annually.
If you are a driver who has been in an accident involving large equipment on the road, determining liability can be a complex and intimidating process. Contact the Law Office of Jeff Green today for a free consultation.