Collisions between farm vehicles and third parties are over 40% more likely between May and September, according to NFU Mutual claims data. As summer field work and harvesting gets underway and agricultural traffic increases, the rural insurer is urging all road users to take extra care over the coming months.

According to claims data, in 2021, collisions were 42% more likely between the start of May and the end of September than in any other months. On average, there were 456 of these accidents per month during the silage cutting, hay making, and harvesting season, compared to just 263 per month between October and April. Analysis of official figures conducted for the campaign showed that, between 2018 and 2020, rural roads saw 66% more fatalities than urban roads.

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Gregor Belcher, a farming specialist at NFU Mutual, urged visitors and rural dwellers alike to remain aware of tractors, trailers, and other agricultural machinery.

He said: “Unfortunately, our data shows that accidents involving agricultural vehicles and third parties are over 40% more likely during this period.

“Farmers and contractors cannot – and should not – drive too quickly when pulling a heavily-laden trailer so we urge motorists and cyclists to be patient to avoid driving too close and attempting risky overtakes on narrow or unsighted roads.

"In turn, farmers should pull over to allow built-up traffic to pass when it is safe to do so."