Cincinnati, Ohio RV Accident Attorney reviewing motor home and recreational vehicle accidents for injured plaintiffs
Driving a large motor home or recreational vehicle is a lot different than driving an everyday car. Many RV accidents are the result of negligent drivers, who may be inexperienced behind the wheel of such a big vehicle.
This applies to motor homes, camper vans, hybrid trailers, pop-up campers, and tour busses. The only requirement to drive a recreational vehicle in the United States is a driver’s license and being at least 21 years of age. In one study, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, found that thousands of people have been injured in RV accidents.
Poor driving skills combined with potential poorly designed RVs can lead to tragic auto accidents. Some of the most common causes of an Ohio RV accident may include:
- Driver Fatigue—many RV enthusiasts put in long hours, trying to cover a lot of ground from destination to destination. Drivers may be drowsy and can make poor driving decisions.
- RV Defects—some RVs and motor homes have design defects and are poorly constructed. Such manufacturing defects can lead to unsafe road conditions and can cause accidents.
- RV Repair Negligence—auto mechanics who fail to repair brakes or other safety mechanisms on a vehicle may be liable for damages in an Ohio RV accident.
- Rollovers—RVs are more likely to tip over due to a narrow wheel base on such a large vehicle. Some RVs are more prone to rollover. Generally, the larger the RV, the more likely a rollover accident will occur. RVs are required to undergo rollover testing by Federal law, but there are still driving mistakes. Drivers may drive too fast around a curve or a bend, and lose control of the vehicle.
- Failure to Stop—some RV drivers fail to take in account extra stopping distance when operating a very large rig. Some motor homes weigh as much as a tractor trailer, and the weight adds quite a bit of stopping distance. The impact force is also much greater due to the weight of the vehicle. Rear end collisions are common. Miscalculating stops is common. RVs may also cause accidents because the braking system isn’t wired correctly from the trailer to the vehicle.
- Inexperienced Drivers—Ohio drivers are not required to pass a driving test to operate many RVs, and do not know how to safely handle such a huge vehicle. This endangers almost everyone on the road, and RV accidents are a lot more common than most motorists realize. As a general rule, drivers should not drive an RV or motorhome faster than 60 miles per hour.
- Blind Spots—RVs are massive and have a limited line of sight, even with cameras and added mirrors. An RV driver may not see smaller vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians and cause an accident. Many RV accidents occur when an RV is reversing, or backing up out of a parking spot.
- RV Tire Failure—just as trucks require careful attention to tire pressure and tire condition, RVs also experience tire failure that can lead to catastrophic accidents. RV owners and mechanics must pay attention to regular tire maintenance schedules to keep a safe RV.
- Poor Weather—bad weather and especially windy road conditions can lead to serious RV accidents. Controlling a large vehicle that catches wind can send an RV into other lanes, and cause severe auto accidents. Rollovers are a risk in windy weather.
- Overloaded Trailers—some motorhomes and RV trailers are too heavy for the truck that is pulling them. Many motorists do not know how much their RV weighs and overloads the hitch, which may lead to a loss of control or a runaway trailer.
- Improper Weight Distribution—Ohio RV drivers are urged to visit a public weigh station when their rig is fully loaded. RVs should meet the weight distribution regulations provided by the manufacturer, and hitch weight limits must be known. Tire blowouts often occur because an RV is too heavy. An unevenly loaded RV as hazardous as an overloaded RV. This can place too much weight on the tires and suspension.
- Driver Distraction—many drivers of an RV are on holiday and they may be distracted by a family in the rear compartment or other vacation concerns. A recreational vehicle may have so many added luxuries that a driver almost forgets he is driving. Drivers may even be drinking alcohol in some cases.
Types of Recreational Vehicles
Recreational vehicles or motorhomes all tend to be taller, wider and longer than other passenger vehicles. The classes of the vehicles are as follows:
- Class C RVs are built on a cutaway van chassis. The front end of the RV looks and operates like a large truck or van.
- Class B motorhomes look like van campers and have a wheelbase like Class C RVs.
- Class A RVs is what most people imagine an RV looks like. These are very large, and have the most comforts and amenities. Class A recreational vehicles can be up to 45 feet long and 8 feet wide. Class A RVs can weigh up to 30,000 pounds, putting them in a “large truck” class.
Ohio RV Accident Attorney
RV trailers are some of the more dangerous vehicles on the road. Rarely are drivers familiar with how these vehicles handle in a variety of road situations. Drivers pulling an RV extension do not need a special license and they may be inexperienced. As you prepare to contact a lawyer about potential legal action following an Ohio RV accident, consider the following questions:
- Was there a tire blowout or tread separation?
- Were the brakes functioning properly?
- Was the trailer properly hitched, or swaying wildly?
- Were the taillights working?
- Was the RV driver speeding or trying to pass another vehicle?
- How long was the driver at the wheel?
- Was the RV driver distracted in any way: eating, using a mobile device, drinking?
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an Ohio RV accident, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, an auto accident lawyer, and he will help you answer these critical questions.