Passing Zones - Crash Zones

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Passing Zones - Crash Zones Powered By Docstoc
					Advice about safer farming from the claim files of American Family Insurance

                                         On rural highways, passing
                                         zones are crash zones
                                         T    he driver of the new, red pickup truck sees only empty
                                              highway beyond the slow-moving tractor a half-mile

                                         ahead of him. Is that a passing zone up there? Sure is.
                                         Another second and away we go. The tractor is pulling
                                         some huge plow at an absolute crawl, even though the
                                         road is as clear and dry as the afternoon sky.
                                         The pickup driver accelerates as he
                                         nears the passing zone; he wants            Drivers Beware

                                         to quickly get past that big, wide
                             2           plow (with those sharp, circular
                                         blades and other nasty-looking              See if any of these statements,
                                         stuff). The pickup glides into the          given to insurance adjusters
                                         passing lane, still accelerating,           after the crash, seem familiar
                                         gaining on the tractor now almost           to you:
                                         as if the tractor were standing still.      Tractor driver: “The vehicle
                                         By the time the pickup driver               was about a quarter-mile back
                                         realizes the tractor is turning left—       when I got to the driveway. I
                                         cutting off the passing lane—he’s           didn’t use a signal—I thought
                  1                      too close to do anything but slam           he was far enough back.
                                         on the brakes. A 200-foot skid ends
                                         with the pickup crumpled against            Pickup driver: ”The tractor
                                         the tractor’s left, rear tire. Nobody’s     was moving pretty slow,
                                         hurt. The pickup is totalled.               maybe 10 mph. I figured he
                                            The state patrol gives the pickup        was going slow because he
                                         driver a ticket for driving too fast        was pulling a plow, you know?”
                                         and not honking to signal that he           Tractor driver: ”I drive this
                                         was passing. The tractor driver gets        road all the time. I know how
                                         a ticket for not signalling his turn        far away a car has to be before
                                         and not paying attention to                 I can turn left, and the pickup
                                         approaching traffic.                         looked to be far enough back.”
                                                                                     Pickup driver: ”I noticed the
Tractor drivers: Don’t count on others to                                            tractor was toward the center
                                                                                     of the road, but I know that’s
obey the law or use common sense...                                                  common for farmers when
                                                                                     they’re pulling a wide piece
Pay “more than average” attention to the rear before turning                         of machinery or something. I
                                                                                     didn’t think twice about it. I
The story above is based on an              “It’s too bad the folks driving          just looked around him and
actual claim submitted by an             these tractors can’t count on other         didn’t see anything, so I started
American Family Farm/Ranch policy-       drivers to obey the law and use             to pass and then he turned
holder. Doug Crandall, a claims          common sense around these slow-             right in front of me.”
manager who handles several rural        moving vehicles. Tractor drivers
Wisconsin counties, says we see          need to pay more than average               Tractor driver: ”All of a sudden
many similar claims in the spring        attention to the rear while they’re         I hear tires squeal, and there’s
and many more at harvest time.           downshifting and preparing to               this little red pickup and it hits
                                         turn,” Doug says.                           my rear tire. If he had been
   “It usually happens when the
                                                                                     driving the speed limit, this
tractor driver swings wide to the           Doug recalls working on a
                                                                                     never would have happened.”
right to prepare for a left-hand         tobacco farm years ago, driving
turn, and the driver behind thinks       trucks that were piled so high with         Pickup driver: ”I didn’t see any
the tractor is turning right or giving   tobacco, he couldn’t see anything           signals when I was coming up
some extra room to pass,” says           to the rear. “We see so many                on the tractor and the passing
Doug. “Often the tractor won’t           claims involving loaded hay racks,          lane was clear, so I thought it
have working turn signals and the        some with two or more hitched               was safe to pass.”
tractor driver doesn’t use hand          together so there’s no way to see
signals.” Hand signals can still do      what’s behind you,” he says. If you
the job, Doug points out, especially     can manage it, have another person        lights on until it is time to turn,
with open tractor cabs or closed         drive a car or truck behind the hay       then signal the turn and protect
cabs that are quite visible because      racks, Doug suggests. The follow-         the tractor from traffic until the
of their height.                         vehicle should have its hazard            tractor is off the road.
                                                                              ADVICE         FROM    PREVENT     READERS

                  e safe —dbeh sghts inexpensively
                                                                              If you haul large implements on the road at
                 B       tte wit li
                                                                              night, and the machinery was made before
                                                                              lights (or hook-ups for lights) were standard
            ery can be fi
Older machin
                                                                              equipment, it’s worth the small investment
                                                            not               of time and money to install some sort of
                                         If you’d rather
                                                   a standard                 lights, suggests our Farm/Ranch policyholder,
                                                             to               Don Telford of Suring, Wis.
                                          seven-pin plug
                                          accom    modate a set               Don says more gravity boxes, bale racks,
                                                            as the
                                           of lights such                     chopper boxes, etc. seem to be on the roads
                                           break-   away warning              after dark now. He mentioned that a county
                                           light (bottom),                    sheriff pulled him over one evening and
                                            can ge   t a variety of           “suggested” he get some lights for a gravity
                                            effective lightin                 box he was hauling. “He said I wasn’t legally
                                             devices   for around
                                                                              required to have them, but if I was involved
                                             $20 (top, left),                 in an accident after dark I’d probably be
                                             according to Da                  liable for the damages.” Don bought a kit
                                              Hemling, parts                  made by Westbar, Inc., for about $250 and
                                              manager at M                    installed it himself. He said he spent a little
                                              Power and     Equipment
                                                                Wis.          more for the kit because, although inexpen-
                                              in Columbus,                    sive magnetic-clip lights work fine at tractor
                                               One option is                  speeds, they can fall off equipment that is
                                               batte  ry-operated             hauled by a truck at highway speeds.
                                                                  ht (top,
                                                mini-strobe lig
                                                right ) with a magne
                                                             ose used to            SHARE YOUR        EXPERIENCES
                                                clip, like th
                                                 mount Slow M                 Got a piece of advice about safer farming? Have
                                                 Vehicle sig  ns.
                                                                              your American Family agent pass it along to
                                                                              Prevent editor Glenn Harrison in the American
                                                                              Family Insurance Corporate Communications Dept.

                                                                                                             BULK RATE
                                                                                                            U.S. POSTAGE
                                ®                                                                           MADISON, WI
                                                                                                           PERMIT NO. 25
American Family Insurance
6000 American Pky
Madison WI 53783

Advice about safer farming from the
claim files of American Family Insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6000 American Pky., Madison, WI 53783. If you have questions or would like extra copies, contact your American Family Agent.
                                                                                                                                Prevent is published for Farm/Ranch policyholders by American Family Mutual Insurance Company and its subsidiaries,

In this issue, learn to prevent:
two common causes of crashes
between cars and farm vehicles
   s Tractor turning left across passing lane
   s Hauling large equipment at night
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Editor: Glenn Harrison, Corporate Communications