AMES, IOWA – With harvest season approaching, the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) and local law enforcement are reminding drivers to watch for slow-moving vehicles on rural roadways and exercise patience when passing them, according to There were eight fatal crashes involving farm equipment in Iowa in 2006, according to statistics released by the DOT. There were 21 serious injuries, 33 minor ones, and 134 other crashes involving farm machinery reported last year.

According to the DOT report, the most common time of day for collisions is between 4 and 8 p.m., when commuters return home after work and farm operators are returning from their fields. In recent years, most farm vehicle collisions in Pottawattamie County have occurred at the crest of a hill where drivers have no visual sense of oncoming traffic and tend to move toward the center of the road.

The DOT report indicated that collisions occur most often when a farm vehicle is attempting to make a left turn and the car behind it tries to pass.

Farm operators are instructed by the DOT to make their intentions known by signaling in advance and using hand signals, if necessary.

If pulling a piece of equipment without lights, a clean and reflective slow moving vehicle sign should be mounted as high and to the left as possible, according to