Watch The Roads This Spring

Town and Country

After a later start, growing season is here; it's a good idea to take caution on the back roads.

Published on: May 24, 2013

It's the end of May, and with it is construction season, and this year, delayed planting. This means more traffic on the highways and more to watch out for, with a higher likelihood of an accident.

After an interview last Friday, I was driving east back to Kansas City on I-70 near Paxico, Kansas, when I noticed a line of stopped cars ahead. It turns out there was a series of four accidents in a construction zone, which apparently has had several accidents recently.

Several drivers, myself included, took a scenic detour to avoid waiting on the interstate, opting for the gravel roads through the Flint Hills instead. I'm not sure this really saved any time, but it was a Friday afternoon after all. Residents in the area were probably wondering what cars with Texas and Colorado plates were doing following a Buick from Iowa down a gravel road.

Especially on curving hill country roads, it's not a bad idea to take it slow and enjoy the scenery, not to mention avoid hitting a tractor or ATV around the corner. With this year's planting window, it seems more farmers are in the fields at the same time, meaning more machinery on the roads. I noticed a couple tractors and ATVs just on this 13-mile roundabout, as well as several planters while driving through the countryside north of Kansas City last night – where shoulders are almost nonexistent.

I've heard of farmers being hit while completely on the shoulder, some having to jump in the ditch and abandon the tractor to avoid being hit, as was the case with a farmer from my hometown. Unfortunately, it can be easy to get in a hurry on these roads, especially when you're used to the interstate or driving in an urban area like Kansas City like I am. So, even more reason to be patient, cautious and alert, especially when rounding a corner and going over a hill.