A safety official says stress on the farm could lead to more accidents this fall.   Minnesota Safety Council president Paul Aasen says the harvest is a challenge even when times are good.

“Stress makes everything worse. If you go to a manufacturing company and speed up the production line and everyone gets stressed, they get hurt. Same thing is going to happen on the farm (and) same thing is going to happen to me driving around the Twin Cities on my commute. If I’m stressed, I’m not going to be as good a driver.”

He says one area to focus on is sleep.

“Giving yourself a chance to get to bed and get a good night’s rest makes a huge difference. We don’t have good farm data, but in a factory, if you have seven to eight hours of sleep, you’re three to four times less likely to get hurt than if you have a couple of hours of sleep.”

Minnesota implemented a “hands-free” driving law this year and Aasen reminds rural drivers it isn’t just for people in the Twin Cities.