LUBBOCK, Texas — The Texas Soybean Board (TSB), with support from the Maryland Soybean Board and the United Soybean Board, is partnering in the “Find Me Driving” road safety campaign to raise motorists’ awareness of farm equipment drivers on the roads this spring.
“As rural accidents are increasing in number with greater physical and economic losses, the Maryland Soybean Board proactively identified farm vehicle road safety awareness as a priority,” commented Belinda Burrier, MSB Chair and USB Director. “We are delighted that our fellow soybean organizations are joining in this safety initiative.”
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only 30% of the total vehicle miles traveled in 2017 were in rural areas, yet 46% of all traffic fatalities in 2017 occurred in rural areas. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. was 2.1 times higher in rural areas than urban areas. Every state reported a higher percent of rural area fatalities than urban areas.
“We applaud the Maryland Soybean Board for initiating the campaign on this important safety issue to help increase Texas motorists’ awareness of farmers on roadways,” TSB Chairman Daniel Berglund said. “These helpful resources are available for everyone to use to learn about what to look for on rural roads and how to prepare for safely navigating rural roads in our region. As farm planting season activity increases, drivers can increase awareness to help prevent accidents.”
Online Find Me Driving campaign resources feature SAM, the campaign’s mascot, whose name means ‘Slow down, Assess your surroundings, Move with caution’ and resembles the high-reflectance slow moving vehicle triangle emblem required on all vehicles traveling under 25 mph. Visitors to the site can find tips about how to safely drive when encountering farm equipment and encourages motorists to look for the bright orange triangle on tractors, combines, maintenance trucks and other large, slow-moving vehicles. Resources also include lighting and marking guidelines for farm equipment, as well as tips when driving slow moving vehicles in traffic.
“Texas is home to more than 400,000 farmers and this time of year, these farmers are planting crops across the state using large, slow-moving machinery that sometimes needs to be on roads with fast-moving cars and trucks,” Berglund said. “The state has a lot of Farm to Market roads that are shared with commuters not directly related to agricultural production. In busy seasons such as planting over the coming months, the amount of farm machinery traffic will increase. We hope this campaign will bring awareness to be mindful of one another on Texas roadways, and to please be patient and stay safe.”
About Texas Soybean Board:
The Texas Soybean Board (TSB) consists of a farmer-driven board responsible for managing the soy checkoff program at the state level for Texas soybean farmers. The soy checkoff helps ensure a strong and profitable future for soybean farmers.
About United Soybean Board:
United Soybean Board’s 78 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit unitedsoybean.org.
–Texas Soybean Board
United Soybean Board