Remember, Your RV Isn’t as Safe as You Think It Is

Buying an RV is exciting! You get to instantly plan tons of vacations for your friends and family. But when you get your recreational vehicle or motorhome, don’t forget that they can be dangerous. They can be as deadly as large trucks or SUVs in wrecks. 

How safe is your RV?

To drive a semi-truck, bus, or another large vehicle, you need training and a special license. However, even if your recreational vehicle is as large as a semi-truck, you can just get in and go. New RV owners are hitting the streets every day without any type of special training, making them potentially dangerous. 

Forest River Isata3 motorhome
Forest River Isata3 | Dynamax RV

According to the FifthWheelst, you need to be at least 21 to drive an RV, but that’s the only requirement. Also, about 10% of RV drivers are senior citizens over the age of 55. With increasing age, you get weakening vision and delayed responses to driving conditions. 

A report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) showed that 70,000 people were involved in RV crashes in 2003. This number steadily rose to 75,000 injuries due to t RV accidents in 2012. 

Now that we are facing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, there is a massive RV boom. People are buying RVs to have vacations with more social distancing, increasing the number of large vehicles on the road. 

What are the most dangerous causes of RV accidents? 

Well, as you may have noticed from driving a larger vehicle before, bigger can mean more challenging to maneuver. Hauling trailers can also be problematic. Also, you never know how much experience an RVer has behind the wheel. Visibility and maneuverability are reduced. 

An RV driving down a road in the woods
An RV driving to a campground | Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Recreational vehicles have large blind spots that can make reversing or driving through traffic difficult. Especially when you have trouble seeing if lanes around you are clear. Get the best towing mirrors or attachments to increase visibility as you can. 

RVs can be easy to flip, too. They don’t exactly have the best center of gravity. High winds, taking a turn too fast, performing an evasive maneuver, overloading the RV with too much weight, and more can cause a flip. 

2021 Jeep Gladiator towing an RV
2021 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

Other causes of RV accidents include overtired drivers, miscalculated stopping distances, poorly maintained tires, runaway trailers, speeding, losing cargo, and more. Just be patient when traveling. 

How to make your RV safer 

Make sure everyone is buckled up. Recreational vehicles are seen as a home away from home, so it can be tempting to roam around the cabin for snacks or a nap. But during a wreck, people and objects can shift. 

interior of a Unity Murphy Bed on a sprinter chassis
Unity MB interior | Leisure Vans

Slow down and give yourself plenty of room to stop. Keep plenty of space between your RV and the cars in front of you to lower the risk of rear-ending them. Also, don’t be in a rush and take your time. 

Pay attention to the road, and remember your no-zones. No-zones are areas of your recreational vehicle with limited visibility. They are found on both sides of your RV, up to 25 feet in front of it and 200 feet in the rear. 

Motorhomes parked along the coast at sunset with view over the sea
Motorhomes parked along the coast at sunset with view over the sea. (Photo by: Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

How To Avoid a Bathroom Disaster in Your RV

When packing up, do your best to distribute weight evenly throughout your RV. This will help balance the load and reduce the rollover risk. Also, if you get tired, pull over. You don’t want to drive your RV tired.