LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Harvest season is huge for farmers across Mid-Michigan and so is their equipment. While efforts are nearly full-swing, farmers have a reminder to all drivers to slow down and share the road during this busy time of year.
This includes Brett Roberts, who is no stranger to the lifestyle. “I’ve been farming my entire life, grew up on a farm here in Eaton County,” Roberts said. “This is all part of our family operation. I still farm with my father.”
He’s calling on drivers to stay alert while behind the wheel. “We need drivers to slow down, take caution, we have flashing lights, we have all of these other things on this equipment to try and make us visible,” Roberts added.
Data from the Michigan State Police said that crashes involving farm equipment rose nearly 10% from 2021 to 2022. “If you hit this farm equipment, it’s usually devastating for both parties,” he said.
The farmer said that he could even speak from personal experience. “I have been in an accident with a piece of farm equipment. Somebody was trying to pass me with multiple vehicles that were following all at one time and making a left turn, and they hit me. The person who hit me ended up in the hospital so we don’t want to see that. We don’t want to be on the roads, we try to limit that, but we have to use them to get from field to field to harvest,” he said.
Just last year, 60 injuries were reported from these crashes across the state. Which is why farmers said it’s important to be on the lookout. “Especially this year as we come into fall with this being later and our weather windows shrink, there’s going to be more equipment on the road simultaneously,” Roberts said.