Several years ago during harvest, my husband took one of the tractors up to the dealership to pick up a piece of tillage equipment. As he was making a left-hand turn, with a signal, into the dealership, a woman in a two-door Explorer tried to pass.
It didn't go well. She tried to avoid hitting him and took the ditch, then over-corrected as she came back onto the road and clipped the front wheel of the tractor. She came back onto the roadway sideways and the Explorer rolled right over, eventually landing right side up.
She was fortunate that she wasn't hurt, and neither were John nor the tractor. Her Explorer didn't fare so well.
The entire event was extra-memorable because it came in the midst of a really bad day – one that finally ended with a broken hydraulic hose on that piece of tillage equipment, which sprayed him with hydraulic fluid. Darn it anyway.
It's that thing that comes to mind, though, when people talk about farm safety and roadway safety: a farmer in a John Deere tractor making a left turn into a John Deere dealership with a turn signal on and still, someone tries to pass and causes an accident.
What do you do about that stuff?
To a certain extent, not much. If someone's going to make a bad decision or drive distracted, there's not a lot we can do. But we can do everything possible to make ourselves visable – and that includes reminding your community what you're up to these next few weeks and talking about farm safety.
So to that end, we've put together a downloadable Farm Safety Media Kit for you. It's my hope that you'll take it to your local media outlets – your newspapers, radio stations and more – and ask them to consider doing a story about farm safety and watching for equipment on the road. There's a list of farmer talking points that includes tips for dealing with those of us in the media. Give them a read and let me know if you have questions. Then send the rest to your local media. There's a press release, the above photo and the two graphics you see here.
To access the entire kit, check out farmprogress.com/FarmSafetyKit. If it's easier, you can even send that link to your favorite reporter or broadcaster.
Then be available for interviews; you'll tell your story better than anyone else.