JOPLIN, Mo. — As harvest season begins, car vs. farm equipment collisions become a bigger problem.

According to Cox Health, transportation collisions between vehicles and farm equipment are the leading cause of death in the farming and agriculture industry.

Nationwide, over 15,000 collisions involving farm equipment occur each year. 70% of these crashes happen between the hours of 3 PM and 6 PM on rural roads where vehicles are traveling over 50 mph.

Most of these accidents happen when vehicles follow too closely or try to pass large equipment.

“If you’re traveling with a large load or a very large piece of equipment and there’s a safe place for you to pull over and let vehicles pass and go around you, we would encourage that, you know. If you find a safe place where you can pull off to the side of the road and let 4 or 5 vehicles get around you and then continue on down your journey, you know, especially if you’re traveling a long distance, that is going to help with traffic flow and it’s going to significantly decrease the potential of a crash either around you or involving you,” said Lucas Spain, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Cox Health.

Most of the collisions occur during harvest season any time between now and early November.