KIMT News 3 – Tall stalks are a great sign for things to come this harvesting season, but if you’re not careful driving along them, you may miss what’s coming around the corner.
Those with the Iowa Department of Transportation are warning drivers of the potential for the large stalks to obstruct their view, something Randy Heitz knows all too well as a farmer.
“They’re cognisant of the opportunities that the intersections might cause for accidents and I think it’s important for those on the roads to slow down and approach those intersections,” said Heitz, Regional Manager with the Iowa Farm Bureau.
The Iowa DOT reports that last year alone, at least 33 accidents were reported because of obstructed views by crops or trees.
Local law enforcement officials are hoping that by making folks aware of the dangers, they will take more precautions.
“This time of year, our intersections are becoming blind as far as the corn getting tall and more motorists not being able to see the oncoming traffic or opposing traffic from different directions,” said Heitz.
Rural roads can cause more issues when you’re not ready for driving on gravel and according to Deputy Schupanitz, it’s better to always keep your eyes open for other drivers.
“Don’t expect the other motorists to do the right thing. You want to drive in a defensive way and slow down, stop, make sure the coast is clear then continue on safely,” said Deputy Brent Schupanitz with the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department.
“We live in a great state and a great area of the state where agriculture is so important and I think everybody needs to work together and this is a good example so we don’t have any accidents,” said Heitz.
Those with the department of transportation say that in those same areas, the tall grass can also make it difficult to see trains.
So make sure to yield at those crossings especially in rural communities.