Blog: Tractors and road safety


Tractors and other farm machines share the roads with other users at all times of the year, but more so now during harvest. The NFU's Tom Price considers some common accident scenarios - and how to avoid them.

He writes:

An accident in Berkshire was reported on the Farmers Weekly website recently, serving as an important reminder for all of us to take care and stay safe on the roads this harvest. Cheshire Police have identified some common collision scenarios and give advice on how to minimise the risks here.

Head-on collision

The problem: When overtaking a tractor a road user may face another vehicle coming from the opposite direction. They do not have enough time to get out of the way, resulting in a collision.

The police advise that a collision could well be the result of poor judgement from the overtaking motorist and that the risk can be minimised by tractor drivers pulling over when safe to do so to allow tailbacks to pass.

Left-turn collision

The problem: The tractor begins to turn left at the same time that a road user attempts to overtake resulting in a collision.

The police advise that the tractor driver ensures all manoeuvres are clearly signalled.

Sideswipe collision

The problem: A motorist could be side-swiped by a tractor when attempting to overtake it. This could happen when the tractor is towing equipment which is extra wide or long.

The police advise that reflective materials should be used to mark the extreme front points of the equipment.

Rear-end collision

The problem: The road user does not see or mis-judges the speed of a tractor and hits the rear end.

The police advise that tractors not capable of exceeding 25mph may use an amber beacon to ensure that they are clearly visible to other road users. In certain circumstances the use of a beacon is obligatory. Tractor drivers should also make sure that their brake lights are fully working and brakes used to clearly show to other motorists that they are slowing down.

Last edited on: 25:08:2016

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