I was follwing a line of cars that were following a farm tractor pulling a wagon. the 5 cars in front of me passed the tractor successfully on a rural state route 58 in ashland, ohio. my turn was next, there were all indications that passing was not illegal, and safe to pass; nosolid lines in road, no oncoming traffic, the car in front of me passed successfully and cleared the tractor. tractor was travelling at approx. 20 mph, had no lights, no flashers, no slow moving vehicle sign, no indications that he was going to turn left, no hand or arm signals, as well as the tractor driver did not look to his left before turning into me as I was passing, nor did the tractor ever slow down to make the turn. tractor driver was in an open cab with full visibility.
I drive a farm-tractor and know full well that you need to look on all four sides before making any maneuver on the highways.
As I was passing in an unmarked area, that indicated there was not a crossroads (county township road and state rt.) the tractor abruptly turned into my rear quarter panel, spun the bright red jeep around, causing $5K damages to the jeep.
In my report to the State Hgwy Patrol, I wrote that there was NO indication of the tractor driver turning left, visibility was good weathere wise, but the rural sideroad could not be seen when I started to pass, as well as a bush on the corner of the intersection and a slight bump in the road that completely obliterated the fact that there was a road there, let alone the tractor driver would turn left.
As I started to pass, I kept my eye on the front tire of the very large farm tractor until I could see the tractor driver, that gave no indication he was turning left., again, no signals, not even a hand signal. there was a car behind me that started to pass, witnessing the entire event, and agrees that the tractor driver, made a sudden move with NO indication of slowing or turning.
I was already passed the driver and the front of the tractor, as well as when I visualized the tractor driver, he was looking straight, a further indication he was not turning left.
The tractor driver, as if an after thought, suddenly turned left into the rear of the bright red jeep.
There is no way he could have missed the bright red jeep if he would have only looked to the left, also, it was an area where many cars were passing him.
Originally the officer called it a 'No fault' accident. I was moderately hurt with neck pain and the tractor driver came over to me in the car and said. " what were you doing passing at an intersection?' no mention if I was hurt or not.
Two weeks later the officer shows up at my door and issues a ticket for $104.00, explaining that in ohio, one cannot pass within 100 feet of an intersection. He further explained that he didn't think the ticket was fair and suggested to take it up with the Judge at traffic court. When I asked the officer regarding tractor turn signals, he claimed that they werent required."
My concern is that the road was not marked, the highway had no solid yellow lines, the tractor had no signals, flashers or anything.
There were two subsequent tractors about 1 minute after the incident, that were turning left onto the same township road., BOTH tractor drivers, completely stopped, got off their seats and looked around their grain wagon to see if any traffic was coming, before they turned left. neither of the second set of tractors had any flashers, turn signals.
my question is regarding proper turn signals or any type of turning indications with farm machinery, not just turn and plow into people.
Thank you, I would appreciate any information.