Sugar Beet Truck Accidents a Concern in North Dakota
Any kind of commercial or farm vehicle could be involved in a deadly accident, but the number of agricultural drivers across North Dakota makes this concern more important than in other states across the U.S.. Recently, North Dakota regulations for agricultural drivers are coming under fire.
Most people across North Dakota can easily tell when it’s sugar beet harvest time, as the numbers of trucks carrying sugar beets on North Dakota roads increases dramatically. If these truck drivers are not properly trained or experienced enough, however, a truck accident can quickly occur, leading to serious or even catastrophic injuries.
Laws in North Dakota exempt farmers from some truck driving regulations. These exemptions are put in place to allow farmers to do their jobs easily and quickly, but those concerned about the safety on North Dakota roadways believe that this lack of regulation heightens the chance for accidents with trucks and farm equipment.
In North Dakota, most drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, to operate any kind of truck. But farmers and their staff are allowed to haul crops across North Dakota roads without obtaining a commercial driver’s license, as long as the truck is appropriately designated and is within 150 miles of the farm after crossing any state lines. This means all an individual needs in order to operate a farm truck is a valid driver’s license, regardless of their additional training or their experience level.
In North Dakota, the sugar beet harvest season is focused primarily on speed, so hundreds of beet truckers work long shifts in order to move beets to processing plants across the region, usually within a two-week period. This leads to traffic congestion, but also increases the risk of accidents. During a major harvest day, as many as 50,000 truckloads of sugar beets will be processed at more than 38 receiving sites.
Serious accidents involving sugar beet drivers in North Dakota have been reported in the news recently. If you are sharing the road with a sugar beet truck, bear in mind that this individual may not have any commercial driving experience. Allow plenty space between the truck and your vehicle and avoid riding too closely behind.
If you have been involved in an accident involving a sugar beet truck, consult with an experienced North Dakota truck accident attorney at Larson Law Firm, P.C. as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Minot office at 701-484-4878 for a free consultation.