As spring officially takes over across the state of Minnesota, motorists will need to be on the lookout for a variety of new things that will be out on the roads. One example is the annual reminder to look out for motorcycles.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation issued another important reminder Tuesday, relating to spring planting season.

MnDOT advises all motorists traveling on Minnesota roads this spring to watch out for large farm equipment moving from farm to farm for planting season. Since 2020, 391 crashes involving farm equipment in Minnesota resulted in six deaths and 143 injuries.

Adding to those tragic numbers is that most of these accidents could have been avoided. MnDOT says that inattentive driving and speed were the most significant contributing factors in those crashes.

“Farmers need our highways to access fields statewide, so motorists should prepare to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles; especially on rural, two-lane roads,” said Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer.

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Anyone who has ever operated farm equipment knows it is large and heavy, making it difficult for them to accelerate, slow down and stop. Added to that challenge is that the equipment also makes wide turns and sometimes crosses over the center line.

In addition, farm vehicles can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. Therefore, it takes a little caution and common sense from both motorists and farm equipment operators to share the road safely.

Motorists should:

  • Slow down and use caution when approaching farm equipment
  • Watch for debris dropped by farm equipment
  • Drive with headlights on at all times
  • Wait for a safe place to pass

Farm equipment operators should:

  • Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible
  • Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph
  • Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night

If everyone involved keeps MnDOT's tips top-of-mind, then safely sharing the road becomes a lot easier.

The 100 Best Places to Live in the Midwest

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READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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