Summer is here and all sorts of recreational vehicles, from the smallest travel trailer to the largest coach are on the move but before they head for the highway, there are some things all RV owners should know about preparing for, preventing, and dealing with an accident.
Be Prepared Before An RV Accident Happens
The RV owner has planned his vacation right down to the style of his awning lights and which icemaker to purchase. He’s packed his sunscreen and bathing suit; his site reservations have been made well in advance and he is ready to roll. But before he pulls out of the driveway there is one more thing he needs to do, and that is to prepare in the event that he has an accident. In the article, What To Do Before You Have An Accident, Fran Crawford shares his suggestions for getting ready in case of an accident. Not surprisingly, many of his points parallel what any good driver – be it car, truck, or RV – should do:
- Stock Warning Devices, such as triangles, flairs, and reflectors
- Ensure The Vehicle, preferably with a company that specializes in recreational vehicles.
- Keep A Pad Handy, to write down details of the accident while they are fresh in the driver’s mind.
- Put Relevant Documents Together, Crawford suggests organizing the registration, insurance information, and emergency contacts in a zip lock bag in the glove box.
- Keep A Camera Handy, to record damage.
- A cordless ratchet is a must-have tool in your bag.
Tips For Preventing An RV Accident
While there is no guarantee that an RV driver can avoid a potential accident, there are safety tips he should know and abide by that might just end up saving him the frustrations and possible injuries a highway mishap can involve. Here are just a few:
- Practice Driving The RV Take time to practice things like emergency stops, emergency lane changes, and panic stops before getting on the highway. This is basic for the novice driver getting used to a new or used – new to him – RV as well as the seasoned driver who might be taking his skills for granted.
- Avoid Distractions In his article on RV safety, Bob Ram Muessig reminds RVers that driving is a full time job. Being attentive to what is going on around the driver every minute is imperative.
- Slow Down RV drivers should know when to slow down: Changing lanes, (using blinkers at all times), approaching traffic lights, construction, and driving at night are examples when slowing the vehicle is important. Hazard lights should be used when traveling at very low speeds.
What To Do When An RV Accident Happens
- Assess The SituationAfter checking for injuries, the driver should write down any details of the accident while they are fresh in his mind. He should also record any damage with his camera.
- Call Emergency Services – 911 is the emergency number is most, but not all of the United States and Canada. The RV driver should make a point of knowing what the emergency number is where he is traveling.
- Take And Share Pertinent Information. The driver should have his registration and insurance information handy and give it to the other drivers involved but he should never discuss whose fault the accident was or admit liability in any way. He should call his insurance company as soon as possible.
- Wait For The Police And Emergency Services To Arrive On The Scene The police will decide if the RV is drivable and if not, they will take care of having it towed.
The importance of RV safety can’t be stressed enough. Following these tips can help make an RV experience a healthy and happy one.