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Iowa driver misreads hand signal, tractor driver hospitalized


An Iowa motorist mistook a tractor driver’s hand signal Monday, crashing into him and causing the tractor to roll over.

The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office said the tractor driver gave a left hand signal to turn into a driveway. However the 19-year-old Jeep driver misunderstood the signal and attempted to pass the tractor as it was turning left.

The 64-year-old driver was transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. His condition is unknown.  The driver of the Jeep was uninjured and cited for passing in a no-passing zone.

The Iowa Department of Transportation cautions farmers to make their intentions known when turning by using signal lights or the appropriate hand signal in advance of the turn.

Below are the basic hand signals the DMV says drivers should use if they have no signal lights or they are not working:

Left Turn

When making a left-hand turn or changing lanes from right to left, you’ll need to make a left-hand turn signal by extending your left arm sideways from the driver’s window, keeping your arm straight and your fingers extended.

Right Turn

When turning right or changing lanes from left to right, make a right-hand turn signal by extending your left arm out of the driver’s side window. Bend the elbow at a 90-degree angle so that the hand is pointing up and your palm is facing forward.

Stopping or Slowing

When you intend to stop or slow down, signal your intentions when pressing on the brake by extending your left arm out of the window. Bend your elbow and point the hand down toward the road with your fingers extended. Your palm should face the drivers behind you.

The Iowa DOT also says to drive slow-moving vehicles in the right-hand lane as close to the edge of the roadway as safely possible. Traveling partially on the shoulder may cause motorists to risk passing in a dangerous situation. Also avoid encouraging or signaling motorists to pass. Pull over where it is safe, and let the traffic go by.

Tags: Driving, DMV, Farm Safety, Tractors
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