More heavy machinery can be seen using Manitoba roads and highways as farmers move from field to field this harvest season. RCMP are, again, asking motorists to share the road responsibly.

"There are so many variables, and that's why people need to pay attention when they drive," stresses RCMP Sergeant Paul Manaigre.

While distracting behaviours such as speeding and using cell phones are perhaps the most obvious risk for drivers, Manaigre says visibility also plays a big role in keeping everyone safe

The collision risk increases considerably in the dark of night. At times, Manaigre says it can be difficult for drivers to realize that the blinking lights in front of them are a large piece of slow-moving equipment with implements that extend beyond the body of the machine.

"Unfortunately we've had fatalities to that effect, where people were not aware of what was in front of them," he states.

Manaigre says all farm machinery needs to be clearly indicated with proper lighting and flagging before travelling on any Manitoba roads.

As for motorists approaching the large equipment from behind, Manaigre says it is important to make sure the road ahead is clear before passing, that includes waiting until dust being kicked up by the machinery settles.

"A lot of times we'll see collisions where people are passing when they are being blinded; they can't see anything, but they assume no one is coming so they change lanes and try and go around not realizing there's a vehicle coming at them and so there's a head-on collision," he explains. "If you can wait, wait. If it's safe to go around, then go around, but make your intentions clear by using turn signals to let people know what you're doing."

It is also important for oncoming motorists to remain vigilant as well. Drivers, he says, should assume there is another vehicle behind the unit looking to pass and he says that driver might be impatient. While you may have the right-of-way in this scenario, Manaigre says this is where your defensive driving should kick-in.

"In reality, you should be thinking, 'I need to pay attention here. I need to react to what might happen in front of me'."

Finally, Manaigre urges all motorists to wear their seatbelts as the loss of life in a collision can almost always be prevented by their use.