POSEY CO., Ind. (WFIE) - It is a busy period for some farmers during National Farm, Safety and Health week as they harvest their crops.
With many farmers traveling down the roads during this week, it is important for drivers to be safe.
“The first thing you should look for is where can I pull off, is there a driveway, is there a roadside without a ditch,” Purdue County Extension Director Hans Schmitz explained.
Farmers said they work hard to keep you safe during harvest season, but there is only so much they can do while driving this massive piece of machinery.
“Very likely there’s not too many combine drivers out there that are going to be able to in a timely fashion, reverse or alter their course to allow you around,” Schmitz said.
In the 2018 Indiana Farm Fatality Summary, researchers found that 34 people died in Indiana from farm-related incidents and that number is well above the 10 year average.
“Anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of farm fatalities involve tractors," Schmitz said. "Whether someones being run over or it’s rolling over on top of them or they’re falling from tractors, combines and machinery of the type.”
According to the farm fatality report, Posey County saw nine farm-related deaths since 1980, Gibson with 12 and both Vanderburgh and Warrick had each.
“So if you see a combine, coming over a hill, you know fairly well, that that large of a vehicle is more of a safety issue for you than it is for the farmer in the combine,” said Schmitz.