RV Crashes & Safety Tips
Vacationing in a recreational vehicle (RV) is becoming increasingly popular. Some individuals even choose to live in an RV full time, traveling the country. According to the RV Industry Association, sales of RVs increased in the past year. This means that the United States is likely to see an ever-increasing number of RVs on our roads.
RV travel and camping provides an appealing vacation option for American families according to recent Ipsos research examining consumer interest and planned actions on travel choices in light of the COVID-19 crisis. According to the research, 46 million Americans plan to take an RV trip in the next 12 months.
However, driving an RV can be much more challenging than driving a passenger car and the dangers of accidents with RVs are ever-present. Getting into a crash with a motorhome can be terrifying, dangerous, and costly. Much like commercial trucks and other larger and heavier vehicles, motorhomes can cause great damage to cars and horrific injuries to individuals.
Causes of RV Crashes
RVs are taller and wider than passenger cars, making maneuverability a bit tricky. Although they are significantly larger than personal vehicles, more similar to a commercial-sized rig, there is no special license or training required to operate an RV. Most common causes of RV Accidents include:
- Fires that occur from leaking LP gas (propane)
- Inexperienced driver
- Tire blowouts: Overloading, under inflated or old tires
- RV awnings and steps: RV outside steps not put away before traveling and not storing awning properly during travel and questionable weather
- Clearance and height driving mistakes: RVs hitting bridges and gas station overhangs
- Overloading: Uneven weight can cause restricted braking and steering
- Slide-Out: Making sure that the slide-outs are retracted before driving away
- Pests, bugs, rodent infestations: When the RV is stored for any period of time, mice, squirrels and many other rodents are well known for chewing on the wires, plastic and rubber lines in the RV
While there can potentially be numerous reasons for accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified driver error or negligence as the number one factor in motor vehicle accidents.
Safety is critical when towing or driving an RV. Preparation, education and planning can have a big impact on your safety.
- Learn How to Drive an RV: Driving a motorhome, or pulling an RV, has more in common with driving a tractor-trailer rather than a vehicle. An RV maneuvers very differently from a car, SUV or pickup truck so make sure you get plenty of practice.
- RV Insurance: Make sure your auto insurance covers your RV. Also be sure your roadside assistance specializes in RV towing.
- Reservations: Be sure you make reservations ahead of time. You do not want to be stuck without a place to park your RV at night.
- Check Road Conditions and Weather: Checking for road closures and severe weather ahead of time can help ensure your safety while traveling.
- Electrical Load: Make sure you know your RV’s electrical load and never overload circuits.
- Weight: Weight distribution can be critical when driving an RV. You must stay under the legal limits for your specific RV.
- Take it Slow: When driving an RV or towing a camper, slower driving is key. Braking will require a little more time, so maintain a greater distance from the vehicles in front of you, be aware and give yourself time to react.
For more RV safety information visit the RV Safety & Education Foundation.
RV accidents can result in severe injuries to accident victims, often resulting in significant financial burdens. If you’ve been injured in an RV accident, you may be entitled to much-needed compensation. Contact our experienced team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. for a free consultation. You can reach us via phone: 570-346-2600.