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The Dangers Of Driving In Harvest Season
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) We've seen a number of serious crashes in the last few weeks.
Some have resulted in fatalities; others have sent our family, friends and neighbors to the hospital.
With harvest season well underway, there's no secret hay trucks and farm equipment are becoming part of the traffic, but they're also part of collisions.
Driving behind a tractor is nothing new in southern Idaho.
And with its size, you’d think this big equipment would stand out to a motorist, but that's not always the case.
"They're a big piece of equipment, but with the sun coming up and the other traffic around you, sometimes they're not seen and they're a big solid piece of equipment that could cause injury," said Lt. Daron Brown, of the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office.
Farm equipment tends to be wide, and law enforcement urges operators to pull over to the side of the road and allow cars to pass.
"If that opportunity isn't there, be patient, stay slow and make a safe pass when appropriate," Brown said.
The county of Jerome has reported two fatal accidents in just the last three weeks.
"I would say maybe we are seeing a little more for this time of year, fatal accidents that are happening, don't really know the cause of that. I don't know if that's related to inattention, mobile devices, don't know why that would be higher now,” said Captain Jack Johnson, of the Jerome County Sheriff’s Office.
Recent data shows aggressive and distracted driving combine for 77 percent of motor vehicle crashes, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.
"When people do take to the roadway, they need to be mindful of not only following the rules of the road and making sure that you're being a responsible driver, but being responsible in that you're paying attention and keeping your focus on the roadway," said Nathan Jerke, from the Idaho Transportation Department.
Avoiding distractions in route to arriving safely at your destination.
The Idaho Transportation Department reports 35 people died in fatal crashes last year in the Magic Valley.