When Tractors or Farming Equipment Causes Accidents
Agriculture is an important industry in Arizona, contributing over $23 billion dollars to the state’s economy every year. And ranching and farming supports over 162,000 Arizona jobs.
As more people move to the state and our suburbs continue to grow, drivers are more likely to come into contact with tractors and other types of farm vehicles on the road.
Farm vehicles have the right to use the roads as long as these vehicles are being used for farming-related activities. And they still have to follow the rules like everybody else.
These large, slow-moving vehicles create challenges for other drivers. Two major causes of traffic collisions are tractors that make unsafe maneuvers and impatient automobile drivers who attempt to pass tractors without taking the necessary precautions.
Rules for Farm Vehicles
People who aren’t involved in agriculture may wonder why farmers would ever need to drive a farm vehicle on the road. The main reason is to get to their crops or livestock. A lot of farmers lease or own land that’s not adjacent to their property.
Farmers are allowed to use the road for planting, tilling, harvesting, and transporting machinery and supplies between fields or operations centers. ADOT requires farm vehicles to have special license plates and follow these rules when traveling on the road:
- Obey traffic laws
- Fulfill road safety requirements
- Be operated by the farm owner, a family member, or an employee
- The farm vehicle must be registered
- Display a triangular orange and red slow-moving vehicle (SMV) sign
- Not be used to transport people or for non-farming purposes
- Be within 150 miles of the owner’s property
Collisions Involving Farm Equipment
It takes experience and special care to drive a farm vehicle on the road. Tractors aren’t designed to go on the pavement, and operators have to take it real slow, especially when turning. Today’s tractors are very powerful, and drivers must resist the temptation to go too fast. Poor tractor maintenance can also cause breakdowns that may lead to an accident.
Drivers must be patient when they encounter farm vehicles on the road. Many accidents are caused when drivers attempt illegal or ill-advised passes. There can be catastrophic consequences if a driver crosses a double yellow line or tries to pass a tractor when there’s not enough room or there’s a blind corner up ahead.
Tips for safe driving around farm vehicles include:
- Be extra cautious when passing
- Watch for hand and turn signals
- Pay attention to the traffic behind you
- Stop when approaching a wide tractor going in the opposite direction
How Your Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Determining liability in a road accident that involves a farm vehicle can be difficult. And insurance agents will try to deflect blame away from their clients to save money. That’s why your personal injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation using police reports, accident scene photos, witness testimony, surveillance camera video, and other types of evidence.
Once your attorney has established what really happened, they’ll file claims against anyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This may include:
- Farm owners
- Farm equipment operators
- Careless drivers
- Speeding drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Intoxicated drivers
- Manufacturers of faulty equipment
We Stand Up to the Big Insurance Companies
Mark and Alexis Breyer of The Husband & Wife Law Team have collected millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. We’ve been recognized by Super Lawyers for providing outstanding service to our clients and our firm has a perfect 10.0 rating from Avvo.
When the big insurance companies see that you’re being represented by The Husband & Wife Law Team, they won’t try to give you the old runaround. And if they refuse to make a reasonable offer, we’re always ready to take the other side to court.
Remember: You won’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer