RV Accidents: How to Prevent Them and What to do if You are a Victim

In Alaska, recreational vehicles (RVs) are part of the landscape when tourist season arrives. They can be luxurious, spartan, or anywhere in between. They often cost as much as a house; the difference is, of course, that they are driven on the road, often by drivers who are inexperienced behind the wheel of such large vehicles. There are some simple precautions that RV drivers can take to ensure that they drive safely. However, precautions do not always prevent accidents and the following will also discuss what to do if you become a victim of an RV accident.


Some RV Statistics

According to a University of Michigan study, some 10 million households own an RV. There are more than 18,000 campgrounds across the nation that accept RVs. The numbers of RV owners are expected to grow, with bullish outlooks of up to 5% growth annually. Taken together, this means that there are RVs everywhere on the roads these days and all signs seem to indicate that there will only be more. One thing that is important to note, however, is that none of the 50 states require a special license for vehicles up to 26,000 pounds so most RVs can be driven by anyone who is licensed to drive a regular car.


Dangers of RVs

RVs present a different set of dangers than your average automobile. There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Increased size of the vehicle and additional weight, especially when vehicles are towed behind
  • Relative inexperience of many drivers driving such a large vehicle
  • Poor visibility
  • Required reliance on mirrors to navigate
  • Increased turning radius
  • Larger surface area, increasing susceptibility to high winds


How to Prevent Accidents

First, proper preparation of the RV itself helps prevent accidents. Many RVs require navigation by mirror. This means that the mirrors have to be set properly for the specific driver. When driver change-outs occur, the mirrors must always be reset. Second, on tow-behinds or when towing, ensure that all lights work and that all safety systems are effectively installed. Third, it is incumbent upon RV drivers not to put themselves in situations in which they are overwhelmed. For example, a relatively inexperienced driver should make sure to avoid situations in which there is heavy traffic, tight quarters, or inclement weather. Getting flustered, frustrated, or confused in situations like these only serves to increase the danger that an RV poses to the driving public.


What to do if You are a Victim

An RV accident is not very different from a regular motor vehicle accident. While the normal rules such as exchanging information with the other driver and taking note of the conditions still apply, you must be even more detailed about conditions and the area in which the accident occurred. Often, RV accidents are caused by an inexperienced user being in a place an RV should not be. Miscalculated turns, areas with restricted height, and improper backing up are often the cause of RV accidents and are caused by the location where the accident occurs more than the actual actions of the driver. This means that documentation of the area is even more important than in a regular accident between two passenger cars.

RVs are a great mode of transportation when they are used safely. Unfortunately, too many users are inexperienced and do not take proper safety precautions before driving their RVs. Alaska sees an influx of RVs starting in the late Spring and, as a result, an increase in accidents involving these cumbersome vehicles. If you have been involved in an accident involving an RV or any other vehicle, you owe it to yourself to protect your rights. The attorneys at Power and Power Law in Anchorage have decades of experience making sure that accident victims get the results they are due. If you are a victim, give us a call at 907-222-9990 or toll free at 833-669-9990 or click here to set up your initial consultation today.