MidAtlantic motorists can help reduce farm-related accidents.
Salisbury, MD (March 1, 2021) – The Delaware and Maryland Soybean Boards, with support from 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 and launched the campaign,” 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 Delaware motorists’ awareness of farmers on roadways,” said Cory Atkins, Delaware Soybean Chair. “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.
“Delaware is home to more than 2,300 farms 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,” said Atkins.
Burrier concurs. “Our state is small in size but ranks fifth in population density, which increases the chances Maryland motorists will encounter farm vehicles and equipment on public roads,” concludes Burrier. “We want drivers to be prepared and arrive home safe.”
About Delaware Soybean Board: Delaware farmers plant about 160,000 acres of soybeans annually, producing over seven million bushels of beans and generating approximately $60 million in value to the state. The Delaware Soybean Board consists of nine farmer-directors and the Secretary of Agriculture. Funded through a one-half of one percent assessment on the net market value of soybeans at their first point of sale, the checkoff works with partners in the value chain to identify and capture opportunities that increase farmer profit potential.
About Maryland Soybean Board: With a value of $173 million to the state’s economy, soybeans are one of Maryland’s top crops. The Maryland Soybean Board works to maximize the profitability of Maryland soybean producers by investing Maryland checkoff funds in research, promotion, and communication projects. Learn more about soybeans in Maryland by visiting www.mdsoy.com.
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Danielle Farace, Executive Director
Maryland Soybean Board / Delaware Soybean Board