There are now more RV’s on the road then there ever was in the course of history. When you have this many vehicles of this size on the road, accidents are more likely to happen. In addition, there a lot of new RV owners that are driving their vehicles for the first time and are not familiar with all the do’s and dont’s of driving this type of vehicle. This can cause a lot of new drivers to be overly confident because they think they have the same stopping distance and can go the same speed as though they were driving a car. There are upwards to 75,000 people injured in RV accidents every year and that number is climbing.
One of the most important factors in causing RV accidents is speed. Just like driving a car, speed can kill. An RV is much longer and heavier than a car and it needs a lot more braking distance if you have to stop fast. In addition, speeding while tailgating is an RV absolute mistake. To make matters worse, if you are towing a trailer, you have even more thrust behind you and the situation is amplified even more. Keep the posted speed limits in fact, it is best to stay a little under the speed limit for optimum safety and for heaven’s sake, do not tailgate.
Another big issue for an RV is high winds. Usually, winds are not quite strong enough to flip an RV, but they can certainly cause you to swerve out of your lane if you are not careful. If you are towing a car or another trailer that swaying can cause a ripple effect that make you lose control completely or even jack-knife the vehicle if you are driving a large enough RV. Sudden gusts, especially travelling over a bridge, can in some cases flip the RV. Today, they are made much lighter than the older ones and it will not take as much force to turn over. This type of accident can be cause severe injury or death to not only your vehicle but to other vehicles that may be travelling near you. One solution is to take slower secondary highways on days when the winds are over 25 or 30 MPH instead of the Interstates or major highways.
Most folks are really anxious to get to their destination and will drive long hours to get there. A tired driver can be a huge risk especially when driving an RV. When driving a large vehicle, you need to be sharp and alert. If you are tired or sleepy, pull over and at the very least take a nap before proceeding to your destination.
One of the things that most folks do not think about is overloading their RV or loading the RV unevenly. Either scenario can make you a moving disaster waiting to happen. In fact, if you overload your RV and you have an accident, your insurance company may not even cover you. Just like a truck, overloading your vehicle is against the law. Just do not do it.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to help prevent accidents while driving an RV. Many accidents are preventable by using some common sense but some are simply not. Always drive defensively and watch what the other guy is doing.