Recreational vehicles (RV) of all kinds including camper vans, fifth wheels, motor homes and toy haulers are a very popular way to travel and vacation all across North America. RV accidents are a real risk, however, as they are prone to problems such as blind spots, extended braking distance and lack of maneuverability. Federal law requires that all SUVs, charter buses and semi-trucks go through crash and rollover tests but obviously accidents can happen anyway.
There are many common causes of RV accidents; one of the biggest problems is the fact that states do not require that drivers receive special training or permits to drive an RV, although drivers must be 21 years old. Also, 10 percent of RV drivers are senior citizens over the age of 55. This age cohort has increased impediments to driving such as weakening vision and delayed response to driving conditions.
Most common causes of RV accidents
Although some of these common causes of RV accidents overlap with causes of car accidents, they are exacerbated in an RV where sheer size plus reduced visibility and maneuverability increase the risk factors for a crash.
- Inexperienced drivers
- Senior drivers
- High winds
- Overtired drivers
- Overloading the RV with too much weight
- Runaway trailers
- Rollover caused by higher center of gravity
- Poorly calculated turns
- Miscalculated stopping distances (heavy vehicles require longer stopping distances)
- Poorly balanced loads
- Failing to see another vehicle in the lane beside the RV due to a blind spot
RV accidents facts and statistics
A report released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety administration’s report in 2003 said that more than 70,000 people were involved in RV accidents that year. In 2012, they reported 75,000 injuries due to RV accidents.
A Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) analysis of data between 2000 and 2007 found that a total of 212 people died in RV accidents in those years. At 26 deaths per year, the rate of RV deaths has an average fatality rate of 1/3 of the average rate of all vehicles or 0.44per 100 million vehicles miles versus 1.48 for all vehicles in the US.
How is fault determined in an RV accident?
It is not necessarily easy to determine fault in an RV accident; one of the drivers, the RV manufacturer or a property owner may be responsible. A personal injury lawyer who works with victims of vehicle accidents is best qualified to help fight for the rights of the injured party.
An RV accident lawyer will help you fight the insurance agency for the most damages to cover the cost of medical bills, property damages, lost wages and more.
If you or a loved is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!