The Slow-Moving Vehicle emblem is a familiar site in rural America. But now this old friend has an updated look.
The National Safety Council estimates 11,000 accidents involving farm vehicles occur annually. So Ohio State University researchers studied the design and investigated the logistics of farm machinery accidents.
The research revealed some surprising trends:
At least 78 percent of two-vehicle accidents occurred during daylight hours, with peak occurrence from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Only 18 percent of the accidents occurred under dark conditions.
Up to 42 percent of nighttime accidents were rear-end collisions.
At least 52 percent of the daytime accidents happened when the farm vehicle was making a left turn.
Some 15 percent of all crashes were caused by an oncoming car sideswiping farm machinery.
The new SMV design is the same triangular shape as the original, but the materials have changed. The fluorescent material at the symbol’s center alerts drivers during daylight hours. This will be replaced by material that lasts at least twice as long. In addition, the new reflective material surrounding the sign doubles visibility at night from 600 feet to 1,200 feet.
SMV kits can be purchased through your county Farm Bureau organization or area implement dealers. The kits cost about $15 each.
For more information on SMV updating kits, contact SMV Technologies, Odessa, Fla., at (813) 372-1512 or send a fax to (888) FARM-SMV.