Slow Moving Vehicles: Driving Around Construction, Maintenance and Farm Vehicles (2023)

Slow-moving vehicles are those designed to operate at a speed of 25 mph or less, such as farm vehicles, animal-drawn vehicles, road maintenance vehicles and motorized construction equipment. By law, slow-moving vehicles must display an orange triangular emblem at their rear to warn road users approaching from behind of their low speed.

  1. Avoiding collisions with farm vehicles
  2. Horse-drawn vehicles
  3. Low-speed vehicles
  4. Funeral processions
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All motorists should decrease their speed around slow-moving vehicles bearing an orange warning sign. You should also keep in mind that these vehicles take longer to accelerate when entering a stream of traffic and will lose speed on long or steep hills.

Avoiding collisions with farm vehicles

Farm vehicle related collisions are on the increase in the United States. This is happening as more city workers move to surrounding rural areas and commute to work using two-lane rural roads; as more farmers own or lease land that is separate from their main farm and as many two-lane roads now permit high-speed driving.

Data appears to show that these collisions are often deadlier for the occupants of the passenger vehicle than they are for the farm equipment operator. The following information will help you to stay safe and avoid collisions with farm vehicles. This guidance was issued by the Georgia Farm Bureau but will be relevant in all areas where farm vehicle collisions prevail.

  • Most collisions are caused by a motorist attempting to pass a farm vehicle that is turning left. The tractor will pull closer to the right-hand side of the road in preparation for the left turn, which may appear as if they are pulling over to let vehicles behind them pass. Always keep an eye on the left side of the road when following a farm vehicle, to see where they may be likely to turn.
  • Be prepared to sacrifice your time to protect yourself. Exercise patience and do not rush to pass a farm vehicle. Even following such a vehicle at 20mph for two miles will only take up six minutes of your time.
  • Remember that it can be difficult to judge traffic speed from a distance. Reduce your speed as soon as you see a tractor or farm vehicle ahead of you. Otherwise, you may misjudge their speed and hit them from behind. When following a slow-moving vehicle from a distance at normal speed, you will close the gap between you at a rate of roughly 59ft per second.

Horse-drawn vehicles

Always be on the lookout for horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles. These road users are governed and protected by the same rules of the road as motorists. By law, you must respect riders and horse-drawn vehicles, approaching at a slow speed, with care and while maintaining a safe distance. You must not sound your horn or pass a horse rider at speed; this would likely startle the animal and cause a collision.

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Low-speed vehicles

Some states have additional rules relating to “low-speed” vehicles that may be converted for use on public roads, such as golf carts and electric “toy” cars. It is important that you understand the rules these vehicle operators are subject to, should you encounter them on the roads.

Where low-speed vehicles are considered a separate entity to slow-moving vehicles, their definition and permitted use will be different in every state. Always read through your state’s own driving manual thoroughly, to ensure you know with whom you may be sharing the road. In general, low-speed vehicles have four wheels, a maximum speed of 20 to 25 mph and are powered by electricity - though this is not always the case.

In Texas, certain lightweight golf carts, tractors and farm equipment may be driven temporarily on public highways without being registered, inspected or required to display a license plate. Be aware that you may encounter these vehicles, particularly on rural roads. Exercise caution and patience when approaching a low-speed vehicle; do not attempt to pass unless you are certain it is safe.

The rules in Florida are quite different, allowing golf carts and other vehicles with a maximum speed of 25mph to use any public roadway with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. Though, such vehicles must be registered, insured and equipped with headlamps, stop lamps, turn signals, tail lamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rear-view mirrors, a windshield, seat belts and an identification number. Drivers of these low-speed vehicles have the same rights and responsibilities as any other motorist, though their vehicles will afford them less protection if a collision occurs.

(Video) Changes To Slow Moving Vehicle Signs

Funeral processions

Funeral processions travel at a reduced speed. This typically includes a maximum of 30mph on ordinary roads and 45 to 55mph on highways. You must reduce your speed and yield to funeral processions when you encounter them.

Keep in mind that once the lead vehicle has cleared an intersection, all other vehicles in the procession may follow it through, irrespective of the traffic signals. Drive respectfully around funeral processions. Never cut in between two cars in the procession, sound your horn or try to pass when approaching from behind.

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(Video) Slow Moving Vehicle Safety

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When a slow-moving vehicle has ____ or more vehicles behind it the driver must pull over when it's safe to do so and allow the vehicles to pass? ›

Explanation If you are driving a slow-moving vehicle on a two-lane road where it is unsafe to pass and five or more vehicles are in a line behind you, you must pull over and stop to let them pass, if it is safe for you to do so.

How do you deal with slow-moving vehicles? ›

Yield to wide equipment on narrow roads. Pass slow-moving vehicles cautiously, and only if conditions are safe, and there is no oncoming traffic. Be patient and be alert to possible turning vehicles. Share the road safely with large and slow-moving vehicles.

Should slow-moving vehicles such as farm tractors pull onto the shoulder and allow faster traffic to pass? ›

Farm equipment operators are not required to drive on the road shoulders. If safe, the operator may pull off to allow traffic to pass. Wide equipment may extend into the oncoming traffic lane.

When following another vehicle how much driving time should you maintain between yourself and the vehicle you are following? ›

The National Safety Council recommends a minimum three-second following distance. Determining the three-second gap is relatively easy. When following a vehicle, pick an overhead road sign, a tree or other roadside marker.

When considering passing a slow vehicle on a two way road how far away should the oncoming vehicle be from you before you make your move? ›

When considering passing a slow vehicle on a two-way road, how far away should the oncoming vehicle be from you before you make your move? As a general rule the oncoming car should be at least 10-12 seconds away - At 55 mph, this is 1600 feet, or 1/3 of a mile.

What are the 3 ways to slow down a vehicle? ›

I've broken down the different ways you can slow down into 5 different categories: Straight Line Threshold Braking. Straight Line Partial Braking. Trail Braking.

What are the most common slow moving vehicles How fast do they travel? ›

A slow-moving vehicle is a vehicle with a top speed of 25 miles-per-hour. The most common type of SMVs are farm vehicles. Although they are most commonly found in rural areas, they often need to use the same roads as urban traffic to access their fields.

What is the first thing you should do to slow down driving? ›

The proper way to slow down your manual transmission-equipped car is to downshift. When you take your right foot off the brake, you press the clutch with your left foot, shift down a gear. You will have to touch the accelerator pedal to do some rev matching before releasing the clutch.

What is slow moving means of transport? ›

By water: Water transport is one of the slowest modes of transportation. It is generally used to transport heavy products over long distances when speed is not an issue.

What is a moving vehicle called? ›

Transit vehicle means a bus, rapid transit vehicle, railroad car, street railway car, water vehicle, taxicab, or other type of public transportation vehicle or individual unit, whether operated singly or in a group that provides public transportation.

What is the slowest form of transportation? ›

W​hile the slowest mode of transport is the NASA crawler, the slowest mode of transportation that's actually widely used is the cargo ship.

Why should you drive slowly around farm vehicles? ›

Recognizing that you're in an agricultural environment and being alert will help you avoid dangerous situations as much as possible. Slow down. Farm vehicles often travel at slow speeds. To reduce the risk of a collision, begin braking when you see the slow-moving vehicle emblem.

When driving in slow moving heavy traffic you should leave a gap between yourself and the vehicle directly in front of not less than? ›

allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster-moving traffic and in tunnels where visibility is reduced, doubling the gap on wet roads and increasing it still further on icy roads. remember, large vehicles and motorcycles need a greater distance to stop.

Do construction vehicles move slower than the rest of the traffic? ›

Often, these speed limits are ten or twenty kilometres per hour slower than on the rest of the road, and sometimes even lower. In some cases, drivers may also need to come to a stop in response to instructions from workers at the site.

What is the minimum proper following distance you should at least maintain while following another vehicle? ›

Sometimes Three Seconds Is Not Enough

The three-second rule is recommended for passenger vehicles during ideal road and weather conditions. Slow down and increase your following distance even more during adverse weather conditions or when visibility is reduced.

What should you do when approaching and driving through a construction zone? ›

Work Zones Safety Tips
  1. Pay Attention. You should always keep your eyes on the road, but this is exceptionally important in work zones. ...
  2. Slow Down. Lane closures, traffic pattern shifts and reduced speeds are common in work zones. ...
  3. Move Into The Open Lane. ...
  4. Keep Your Distance.

When following other trucks What distance between vehicles should be maintained? ›

Did You Know? If you are driving below 40 mph, you should leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. For a typical tractor-trailer, this results in 4 seconds between you and the leading vehicle. For speeds over 40 mph, you should leave one additional second.

When approaching an emergency vehicle on a two-lane road you must slow down to a speed that is many mph less than the posted speed limit? ›

Shall slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or greater; or travel at 5 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, when driving on a two-lane road, except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement ...

What is the correct way to know if the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you is safe whilst driving? ›

Road rules: safe distance

As a general rule, when following a vehicle, you should travel three seconds behind the vehicle in front to provide enough time to avoid a crash. An easy way to estimate this is to count how long it takes you to pass the same object as the vehicle in front of you.

When driving slower than the rest of the traffic on which lane should you be driving? ›

Slower traffic must keep right. Vehicles proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic must keep right. The left lane is reserved for passing where the speed limit is 65 MPH or faster.

What makes drivers slow down? ›

Road Humps, Speed Tables, and Cushions

These devices reduce speed by introducing modest up-and-down changes in the level of the street, thereby requiring drivers to decelerate. Road humps (or "speed humps") are rounded mounds, approximately three inches high and 10 to 12 feet long.

What happens when a vehicle slows down? ›

When a force is applied to the brakes of a vehicle, there is work done on the friction between the brakes and the wheel. This reduces the kinetic energy of the vehicle, slowing it down and causing the temperature of the brakes to increase.

What type of force is used to slow down a moving vehicle? ›

Thus, the force of friction comes into play on applying the brakes. This force is responsible for slowing down of vehicles.

What vehicle is most vulnerable in slow moving traffic? ›

Motorcyclists can easily become hidden in a blind spot, and in slow-moving traffic, they might be moving faster than you are.

What speeds do vehicles work most efficiently? ›

Avoid high speeds

Most cars, vans, pickup trucks and SUVs are most fuel-efficient when they're travelling between 50 and 80 km per hour.

What vehicle is most common for transporting? ›

According to Statista's Global Consumer Survey, 76 percent of American commuters use their own car to move between home and work, making it by far the most popular mode of transportation.

What is the 1 second rule in driving? ›

The rule of seconds advises that if you're driving below 40 mph, you should maintain at least one second of distance for each 10 feet of vehicle length. Over 40 mph, add an extra second. For a truck driver cruising in a longer, heavier vehicle, more space and time is needed.

What percentage of drivers pass their test first time? ›

Where you take your test can matter. The average pass rate for a practical driving test in Great Britain is 51.6%.

How do you slow down without braking? ›

By moving into a lower gear, your engine can help you slow. If you're in an automatic, move down to 2 or 1. On a manual, simply downshift through the gears as you slow down.

What is an example of slow movement? ›

Landslides and slumping are examples of slow mass movements.

What are examples of slow transportation? ›

1st tier – walking, wheelchairs, etc. 2nd tier – bicycles, cargo bikes, pedicabs, skateboards, etc. 3nd tier – e-bikes, e-cargo bikes, e-pedicabs etc, (no faster than 20 mph with supplemental assist engaged.

What is a slow movement called? ›

Bradykinesia is slow or difficult movement. It can occur along with muscle weakness, rigidity, or tremors.

Which transport moves slowly? ›

Water transportation is the least expensive and slowest mode of freight transport. It is generally used to transport heavy products over long distances when speed is not an issue.

What is working on vehicles called? ›

Automotive service technicians and mechanics, often called service technicians or service techs, inspect, maintain, and repair cars and light trucks.

What is used to move vehicles? ›

A vehicle mover is an electric machine that is used in industries such as automotive production, garages, and mechanical workshops, to move cars quickly from one place to another. Vehicle movers are specially designed to move heavy vehicles with minimal effort.

What is the most efficient transportation? ›

A standard lightweight, moderate-speed bicycle is one of the most energy-efficient forms of transport.

Which transportation is easier for long distance? ›

The Indian railway network is vast and is the cheapest means of transport for long-distance travel.

What is the least safest transportation? ›

Motorcycles. While it's often an exhilarating experience, riding a motorcycle is the least safe travel method. Sadly, 212.57 deaths occur per every million miles of travel that takes place on a motorcycle.

Why is it important for moving vehicles on the road to maintain distance from one another? ›

This gives you more time to react in case the vehicle in front slams on the brakes or hits another car. It also gives you more time to see the road ahead and scout for any hazards that you or the vehicle in front might have to face.

How does the slow-moving vehicle affect the capacity of roads? ›

The effect of slow moving vehicles on capacity of a road is also presented. It is found that capacity of a road reduces as the shoulder width reduces and its condition changes from good to poor. The slow moving vehicles in the traffic also reduce capacity of the road.

Are slower moving vehicles a concern in rural driving environments? ›

Reducing speed

The slower you are traveling, the more time and space you will have to react and avoid potential dangers. You cannot see oncoming traffic because of the landscape, an obstacle or poor weather conditions. Driving at night. Visibility will be poor and nocturnal wildlife may enter the roadway.

What are some of the concerns when driving around construction vehicles? ›

Keep in mind, there could be workers within a few feet of where you're driving. Construction zones often require you to stop suddenly, turn sharply, or change lanes quickly. If you're too close to the car in front of you, you could end up rear-ending the vehicle.

What speed do slow moving vehicles typically operate at? ›

Vehicles such as tractors, farm equipment, and those with oversized loads that travel at a speed of 25 mph or less are identified by the Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) sign.

Are slow moving vehicles required to pull over? ›

According to Rule 169 of the Highway Code, motorists should not hold up a long queue of traffic, especially if they are driving a large or slow-moving vehicle. It informs drivers to frequently check their mirrors, and if necessary, pull in where it is safe and let traffic pass.

Do slow vehicles have to pull over? ›

The Highway Code asks slow moving vehicles to pull in when safe to allow traffic to pass. Rule 169:“Do not hold up a long queue of traffic, especially if you are driving a large or slow-moving vehicle. “Check your mirrors frequently, and if necessary, pull in where it is safe and let traffic pass.”

When slowing down behind another vehicle you should? ›

When slowing down behind another vehicle, you should: Apply your brakes early as a signal to the other vehicles behind you. Before turning left, the right-of-way should be given to oncoming cars: Until it is safe to turn.

How do you pass a slow-moving vehicle quizlet? ›

  1. Get in your ready position by keeping at least 3 seconds of following distance.
  2. When it is safe to pass, signal for a left-lane change and glance over your left shoulder to check your blindspot.
  3. Change lanes smoothly.
  4. Accelerate at least 10 mph faster than the vehicle you are passing. ...
  5. Make your final evaluations.

What does the Highway Code say about slow-moving vehicle? ›

Rule 169 of the Highway Code states that motorists should not hold up a long queue of traffic, especially if they are driving a large or slow-moving vehicle. It informs drivers to frequently check their mirrors, and if necessary, pull in where it is safe and let traffic pass.

Why should you not pull in front of a truck or other large vehicles and slow down or stop suddenly? ›

Slowing suddenly can cause a traffic crash. Watch for large trucks and small, underpowered vehicles on steep grades or when they are entering traffic. They can lose speed on long or steep hills and it may take longer for these vehicles to get up to speed when they enter traffic. Never stop on the highway itself.

How many cars before a tractor has to pull over? ›

"The police recommendation to slow-moving vehicles is to pull over, where it is safe to do so, and make use of lay-bys, when you have six or more vehicles behind you." What other advice is given to farmers?

What vehicles are least likely to get pulled over? ›

10 most, least likely vehicles to get stopped by police
6 more rows
Oct 20, 2010

What is Rule 123 of the Highway Code? ›

Rule 123. The driver and the environment. You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.

What is the 4 seconds rule in driving? ›

To reduce the risk of collision, it's safest to stay 3-4 seconds behind the car in front of you. To measure this, pick a stationary object on the side of the road. Note when the car in front of you passes it, then count the seconds until you do.

What is the 3 second rule in driving? ›

Every driver must cultivate healthy driving habits to limit their risk of causing accidents. A general rule that helps many drivers maintain safe following distances is the “three-second rule.” It requires leaving three seconds of space between your vehicle and the vehicle driving in front of you.

What is the speed of travel in a slow moving operation? ›

Any other vehicle or combination of vehicles, including those specifically exempted from the display requirement, may display a slow-moving vehicle emblem when operated at a speed of 25 MPH or less.

What is an example of a slow-moving vehicle a driver may share the roadway with? ›

Slow-moving Vehicles

They can take longer to get up to speed when entering traffic. Large trucks, bicycles, and some cars lose speed on long or steep hills. Some slow-moving vehicles have an orange and red triangle on their back, such as road maintenance vehicles, which usually travel at 25 mph or less.

At what speed do slow-moving vehicles typically travel? ›

Slow-Moving Vehicle Description

All vehicles that operate at less than 40 mph, including: tractors. self-propelled agricultural equipment. road construction & maintenance machinery.


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