Collisions twice as likely on rural roads during harvest season - The Leamington Observer

Collisions twice as likely on rural roads during harvest season

MORE collisions happen on rural roads during harvest season than at any other time of year.

That is the conclusion from the latest claims data released by Stratford-based insurer NFU Mutual.

It is currently the middle of harvest season and with more farm traffic on the road, there is a significant increase in collisions involving agricultural vehicles.

NFU Mutual’s claims data shows that collisions involving agricultural vehicles were twice as likely between the start of May and the end of September than in any other months.

On average, there were some 420 such accidents per month during the silage cutting, hay making, and harvesting season, compared to 250 a month in the rest of the year.

As well as an increase in agricultural traffic, the summer months also coincide with the school holidays and more leisure traffic, with road users not necessarily used to rural roads, which can further increase the risk of accidents.

NFU Mutual spokesperson Andrew Chalk is calling for greater awareness and respect from all rural road users.

“Rural roads come with unique hazards, including narrow lanes, fewer road markings and often less well-maintained surfaces.

“NFU Mutual’s new research shows that a significant number of people are uncomfortable on rural roads, and sadly this is only more acute as agricultural machinery traffic increases in summer.

“Our claims data shows that accidents involving these agricultural vehicles and third parties are over 50 per cent more likely in the harvesting season, so it’s more important than ever that road users are patient and considerate for their fellow road users.

“Agricultural vehicles are generally large, wide and slow, which can tempt road users to overtake, but it’s vital that you remain patient and only overtake when it’s safe to do so – when you can see a clear road ahead, there are no field openings, and you have space to pass. With narrow rural roads, you may need to wait for a suitable opportunity.

“Farmers and contractors cannot drive too quickly, but they will generally either be going a short distance to an adjacent field or will – and should – pull over to allow built-up traffic to pass.”

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