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More Die From This Than Ebola – Be Aware!

October 27, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow that ebola is in the headlines, along with the concern, panic or resignation that it’s going to spread, it’s hard to focus. Reality check – however serious it is, it’s not just about dying. If it was then folks would do something about that which we can control. That which has killed more people in the last year in one state than ebola has in the US. That which is in your complete control to change. Are you ready?

Accidents….car meet combine, truck meet tractor – accidents with farm equipment kill far more people. According to the Southeast Farm Press, 10 people in Georgia alone died last year.

Last year in Georgia, there were 462 farm equipment-related collisions on roads with 169 injuries and 10 fatalities, about 10 percent more than in previous years and, unfortunately, a growing trend, said Harris Blackwood, director of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, at a press conference during the Sunbelt Ag Expo.

What you do in your vehicle is your control. Your speed, your control. That text…is it worth dying for?

Even if the tractor is going 15 mph, it only takes a few seconds for a car to travel the length of a football field and into a potential collision with the tractor.

Fatal accidents involving livestock, are assumed to be the fault of the animal owner, but if a vehicle drives through a fence, kids or adults open gates or cut fences, or drivers aren’t familiar with livestock crossings where animals may cross the road, the consequences can be deadly.

Pit a small car – or even a large car – against a tractor, manure wagon, combine or other large equipment and it can be deadly. It takes seconds. Following a slow moving vehicle is not a major issue – it’s a couple stop lights in time. Those who live in or drive through rural areas know that spring and fall bring farm traffic to the roadways more than other times of year. Your driving skills, including awareness, distractions, speed and other factors are within your control. If you see buggy signs in Amish country, you can expect to see horse and buggies at any time and should drive accordingly. You should also be aware that runaway horses, cattle, farm equipment are possibilities.

If you see loose livestock slow down and stop if necessary. If they are along the road don’t assume they will stay there. If they’re being chased they can get in your path faster than you think. If you’re traveling 55 or faster, and they’re doing 10-15 miles an hour, you will be meeting them in seconds.

When you do, cars lose.

Slow down. Put down the phone. Focus. Make it where you’re going alive. Don’t be a statistic.

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