Practicing Safe Navigation Around RVs in Orange County
Orange County is a destination for many travelers from other states and cities who come to enjoy the weather and the many attractions in the area. Our freeways and city streets are busy with RV tourist traffic, endangering other drivers sharing the roadways. When driving near an RV, it is critical to exercise great caution, as the vehicle operator may be inexperienced, distracted, or driving negligently.
What Causes RV Accidents?
The most common cause of an RV accident is excessive speed. These vehicles are large, heavy, and more challenging to control, and when traveling too fast, harder to bring to a stop. RVs are involved in over 76,000 road accidents per year, many of which cause serious or fatal injuries. The types of driving conduct that contributes to the staggering numbers of accidents include:
- Tired driver: An RV driver may have been on the road for days or even weeks. When driving tired, reflexes are slow, and awareness is diminished. A tired RV driver can cause a serious collision, whether on city streets or one of the many freeways in Orange County.
- Windy conditions: The large flat-sided profile of an RV will make it more likely to be affected by powerful wind gusts, which are not uncommon in our area. An RV driver that fails to slow down in windy conditions puts other drivers and their passengers at risk.
- Overloaded RV: Some RVs are pulling heavy loads, such as boats, cars, or motorcycles. The weight of the load affects the ability to come to a stop and can result in a driver being unable to come to a stop when encountering a road hazard or a sudden halt in moving traffic, resulting in a rear-end accident.
- Uneven load: Some types of RVs are travel trailers, which, when unevenly loaded, pose a serious threat to other drivers and their passengers. The trailer can begin to sway if too heavily loaded at the back of the unit, with a dangerous side-to-side motion that can cause an accident with other vehicles.
- Inexperienced RV drivers: Some RV drivers have rented the vehicle, drive it rarely, or it is the first time they have been behind the wheel of a large vehicle. RVs are designed differently than other vehicles, are longer, heavier, have a larger turning radius, and require more road to come to a stop. When driven by an inexperienced driver, it can be a recipe for disaster.
- Impaired drivers: Vacations, for some people, means consuming drugs or alcohol. When a driver is intoxicated, the risks to others sharing the road are extreme.
Driving Near RV’s: The Do’s and Don’ts
If you are driving near a large RV, following these rules could help save your life.
- Stay out of blind spots: If you cannot see the RV driver’s face in the mirror, they can’t see your vehicle. Avoid driving in an RV’s blind spots by moving into another lane, moving forward, or dropping back.
- Do not follow too closely: The driver of the RV cannot see your vehicle if you are too close behind them. Always use a safe driving distance when traveling behind an RV.
- Be careful when merging: If you need to move into a lane with an RV, give them plenty of room as these vehicles are unable to slow down as quickly as passenger vehicles.
- Be alert to RVs turning right: When an RV turns right, the vehicle will take up a large intersection area due to the longer turning radius. Stay out of the way to avoid being hit.
Injured in a Santa Ana RV Accident?
If you were injured in a collision with an RV, get legal help as soon as possible. The injuries sustained in these accidents can be extremely serious, require extensive medical treatments, and make it impossible to work and earn a living for weeks, months, or a lifetime. At HN Injury Lawyers, our Santa Ana auto accident attorneys represent the injured in RV accident cases and are proud to be known as the premier personal injury law firm practicing in the area.
We offer a free case consultation – call us today at (657) 333-5726 as early as possible after the accident.