By Julie Tomascik

You’re in a rush, and you get caught in traffic. The culprit? Large farm equipment.

It’s that time of year again, and harvest is in full swing across most of the state. That means more tractors and combines are on the road with you.

We’ve all seen them. They’re large, wide and slow. Your car is fast—much faster than the 25 miles per hour of the farmer’s equipment. But public roads are the only way to move it.

Those fast cars and slow tractors can be a recipe for disaster. Accidents involving farm equipment and cars happen every year. And families are forever changed.

Farmers respect your right to the road, but they’d like that same courtesy returned to them.

It seems, however, that awareness is often the toughest thing to grow. Awareness about what farmers and ranchers do, but also about farm safety—on and off the road.

That’s where we all come into play.

Use common sense when you see a combine or tractor on the road. Be alert and cautious. And give them space.

It can be frustrating, but those farmers are just trying to get to and from their job, too. Only it’s a little different. Their office is that tractor or combine you’re stuck behind. Their hours are likely sun up to sun down, and they’re trying to beat whatever Mother Nature is throwing their way.

But they get it. They know 25 miles per hour isn’t the fastest or most ideal speed. They understand you have places to be, deadlines to meet and families to see. They can relate.

But slow down, and enjoy some good tunes on the radio. It’ll only add a little extra time to your commute. And it could save your life and the farmer’s.