Expert weighs in on lawn mower safety following death of Fort Wayne woman

Sue Method died after her riding mower went down an embankment and rolled on top of her. Joe Mutton said accidents like this are avoidable.

Posted: May. 12, 2018 10:07 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- After a Fort Wayne woman died in a lawn mowing accident Wednesday, the manager of Mutton Power Equipment weighed in on how you can keep yourself and your family safe this mowing season.

Sue Method died after her riding mower went down an embankment and rolled on top of her. Joe Mutton said accidents like this are avoidable.

Mowing safety tips

  • Don't mow with loose clothing or open-toed shoes.
  • Read your owner's manual, know the recommended incline.
  • Mow when someone else is home.
  • Make sure kids and pets are indoors or out of the way.
  • Mow when it's light outside.
  • Watch out for items in the grass that could be thrown. (bottles, rocks, etc.)

"The biggest thing is just being aware of how you feel on the mower. I mean, you can tell if you're stable or unstable," he said.

Mutton said mowing can be dangerous, and while he doesn't see accidents often, they do happen.

"Manufacturers recommend only being on inclines up to 15 degrees slope, which is not very steep, really, if you measure it out," he said.

Lawn mowers today are full of safety features, and if something goes wrong, it's important to be aware of them.

"The biggest one, for safety, is probably the seat switch, making sure you're firmly planted on the seat. If you're leaning off to the side too much, or even if you bounce off the seat, once that switch loses contact it will shut the blades off," Mutton said.

It's also important to make sure kids and pets are inside while you mow, and if you can, only cut the grass when someone else is home.

"If you do have an accident, you want somebody there to help you if it happens," Mutton said.

Loose clothing and open-toed shoes often play a role in accidents, and the same rules apply to push mowers.

"They are dangerous. They can hurt you severely, and being aware of it is just the most important thing," Mutton said.

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