Collisions between agricultural vehicles and third parties are more than 40% more likely between May and September, according to claims data from NFU Mutual. As field work and summer harvests begin and agricultural traffic increases, the rural insurer is urging all road users to be extra careful over the coming months.
According to claims data, in 2021 collisions were 42% more likely between early May and late September than in any other month. On average, there were 456 such accidents per month during the silage, haymaking and harvesting season, compared to only 263 per month between October and April. Analysis of official figures conducted for the campaign showed that between 2018 and 2020, rural roads recorded 66% more fatalities than urban roads.
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Gregor Belcher, agriculture specialist at NFU Mutual, urged visitors and rural dwellers to stay alert for tractors, trailers and other farm machinery.
He said: “Unfortunately, our data shows that accidents involving agricultural vehicles and third parties are more than 40% more likely during this period.
“Farmers and contractors cannot – and should not – drive too fast when towing a heavily laden trailer, so we urge motorists and cyclists to exercise patience to avoid driving too close and attempting risky overtaking on narrow or invisible roads.
“In turn, farmers should pull over to allow built-up traffic to pass when it is safe to do so.”