SHREWSBURY, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- After 4 deadly lawn mower accidents in our area, one tractor company advises people to use caution and care while cutting the grass.
A salesman with Southern York Turf and Tractor Inc. says knowing where the safety is on your mower and understanding how to cut grass in a safe manner, without cutting corners, is one of the most important aspects of tending to your lawn.
We are in the heart of the lawn mowing season. Just ask Doris Edie of Shrewsbury, York County.
"I mow my grass once a week, faithfully, if I can, weather permitting," said Edie.
It's also the prime time for lawn mowing accidents; there's been four reported deaths in our area involving lawn mowers - accidents which may have been avoidable, according to Clyde Adams, a salesman at Southern York Turf and Tractor Incorporated. The first thing you should do?
"Check the safety switches every time you use it. That's easy to check," said Clyde Adams, a salesman.
Many sit down mowers are already equipped with safety features like engines that turn off when weight is taken off the seat.
"If you're mowing with a tractor, and you have the blades engaged, and you attempt to get off the seat or are thrown off the seat, the blades will turn off right away," explained Adams.
Never turn the safety off on any type of mower. Adams says they are there for a reason, and don't push the mower to cut on steep areas, especially if the mower's rejecting it.
"If you're leaning far enough that you're taking weight off the safety switch, and it's doing it's job, it's the tractors way of telling you, you shouldn't be there," he warned.
Get those hard to reach areas with a hand mower or weed eater. Don't get too close to a body of water, and keep front end loaders close to the ground. If a mower's off, all parts should be grounded. Don't load a mower onto a truck with planks - use a trailer if you can.
"People mowing, in flip flops or heaven forbid, bare feet - that should never should be done," Adams advised.
The biggest tip of all? Cut using care and common sense.
"If the grass is wet, I don't even like to mow, especially on my bank there, cause you can fall," said Edie.
"Consult your manual, and follow all the safety recommendations and maintenance, and be careful and take your time. If it doesn't look safe, don't try it," said Adams.
Each year, 75 people are killed in mower accidents and 20,000 are injured. Also, 800 children are run over by mowers or small tractors annually - that's according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.