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Illinois drivers: beware of road hazards near farms

It may still feel like summer, but fall is just around the corner. For farmers across Illinois, that means that it is almost time to start harvesting crops. 

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, there are more than 74,000 farms in this state covering millions of acres of land. A great number of these farms are used to grow plants like corn and these crops in particular can impact the safety of people who drive near farms during this time of year.

Corn stalks can grow to be several feet high before they are harvested which can lead to some serious visibility problems on the roads around corn fields. Whether you are driving through farm country on a road trip or take small, gravel roads every day to get to work, you can find it all but impossible to see other people or vehicles when corn stalks grow higher than a car.

In addition to the visibility issues that can crop up around corn fields, there can also be a lack of adequate traffic signs at rural intersections. It may not seem like a very big deal, considering the very low traffic levels in these areas, but the fact is that it creates an environment ripe for accidents.

It is important to be especially cautious when driving through areas near corn fields because of the visibility problems, but many people do not. They may be so used to the roads being empty that they don't slow down at intersections or pay as much attention as they would on other roads.

Sadly, serious accidents can and do happen and they can be devastating. We want to encourage people to be especially careful and focused on driving during the fall when corn stalks can be at their tallest. But in the event of an accident, it can be crucial to discuss your legal options to pursue compensation with an attorney.

Source: RRstar.com, "In Illinois and other corn-growing states, tall crops pose seasonal road hazard," Scott McFetridge, Sept. 15, 2015

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