Summer is the prime time for travelers to take to the roads in recreational vehicles. Whether you’re operating a motor home or towing a camper, it’s vital to understand the basics of safe RV driving. These tips from the Team at Stanley Law provide some best practices for safe RV driving, which can make your trip more enjoyable and help you feel comfortable behind the wheel.
Know Your Vehicle’s Size And Plan Accordingly
Being aware of your RV’s height, length, and weight can help you understand the vehicle’s maneuverability. Choose routes, gas stations, and other stops that work best for you. RV and trucking apps can help you plan and alert you to weight restrictions, construction, low bridges, and other potential hazards. It’s important to consider size and maneuverability when evaluating possible routes.
When you’re new to driving an RV, keep in mind that it can be challenging to drive in heavy traffic. Being aware of all vehicles around you when merging and changing lanes in a busy city can help you learn your vehicle’s blind spots. When getting gas, make sure to choose a facility that offers plenty of overhead clearance and space to maneuver around pumps and parking lots.
Take It Slow
Driving at a reasonable speed for road and weather conditions can help you avoid crashes. Because of your RV’s large size and weight, you’ll need to maintain a greater distance from the vehicles in front of you. Slowing down gives you more time to react and helps you save on gas — reducing highway speeds from 75 mph to 55 mph can reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%. Driving at an appropriate speed can also help you avoid tipping or rollover accidents, which often occur when vehicles with high centers of gravity, such as RVs, take curves too fast.
Be Aware When Making Wide Turns
Safe RV driving also involves learning how to take wide turns, especially when you’re turning right. Turning too sharply can result in your rear tires hitting the curb or driving over a sidewalk or lawn. To stay in your lane when turning, pull out further into an intersection before beginning to turn. Use your rearview mirrors and physically turn your head to look behind you to make sure no cars are in your blind spots. It’s also essential to take it slow and be aware of what’s in front of you when turning because you never know what’s just around the corner.
Be Mindful Of Weather Conditions
Another common cause of RV accidents is driving in poor weather. Driving or towing an RV in high winds, rain, snow, ice, and fog can lead to deadly accidents. Always check the weather forecast for the areas in which you’ll be traveling. If you’re caught in an unexpected storm while on the road, pull over at a rest stop or exit to wait it out, which is especially important if there are high winds. Even if you lose an hour or two, waiting until inclement weather passes can save your life and the lives of others.
Inspect And Maintain Your RV
Before embarking on any trip, it’s a good idea to inspect your RV to ensure everything is in good working order. Some things that should be on your checklist include:
- Inspect belts and hoses for cracking
- Assess oil, antifreeze, and other fluid levels
- Make sure headlights, taillights, and turn signals are working
- Examine hitches or towing equipment
- Inspect tire treads and check the air pressure
- Make sure propane tanks are working properly to avoid leaks or explosions
Keeping your tires in proper shape is particularly important, as blowouts are one of the leading causes of RV accidents. Tires that are underinflated or don’t have sufficient tread can lead to serious crashes that cause catastrophic injury and death. It’s also vital to make sure your RV isn’t overloaded since this can also cause tire blowouts and affect your ability to come to a stop safely.
Contact An Attorney To Learn More
Although safe RV driving can help protect yourself, accidents happen. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an RV accident, it’s critical to contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Stanley Law Offices, we evaluate your case and advise you on the most effective course of action to recover compensation. Our team works to get you the MAXIMUM AWARD you deserve.
Call 866-553-7125 or 800-372-3760, or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. Our offices are located in Binghamton, Syracuse, Watertown and Rochester, New York, and Montrose, Pennsylvania. Se habla español.