Orlando RV Accident Attorney | Florida Motor Home Wrecks
Florida is a very popular destination for recreational vehicles (RVs), especially in the winter. Snowbirds can’t resist the pull of our green trees, blue skies, and relative warmth. But the sad fact is that many RVs are involved in serious accidents across the state of Florida. In those cases, calling an Orlando RV Wreck Lawyer should be high on your list of priorities.
Call An Orlando RV Accident Lawyer Immediately After Any Crash
If you’ve been involved in an RV accident, and you were not at-fault, you should quickly call an Orlando RV accident attorney. There are many (many many) traps for the unwary when dealing with insurance companies & medical providers after auto accidents. (You can poke around my website to learn much more about insurance company tricks, why your interactions with your doctors can change case value, and personal injury lawsuit basics.)
Fatal Florida RV Accident Near Orlando
This past week an extremely tragic RV accident happened on our roadways, near Ormond Beach (which is a small Florida town just north of the more popular Daytona Beach). You can read the terrible story here. In that case, the driver made what sounded like it would have been a minor mistake in any other vehicle. He went slightly off the road into a ditch, hit a tree, and his RV exploded in flames. His female passenger was walking in the living area, and was burned to death. One can only speculate as to what caused the driver to veer off the road, then what caused the explosion afterward. Perhaps miscalculating the distance needed to brake, then potentially operating a gas appliance while driving? I don’t know, but any regular RV drivers might want to read the good list of RV safety tips here.
Another common RV accident is having them flip over. You can see that this trailer flipped on it’s side, while driving on the interstate. Since accidents definitely happen, RV drivers should make themselves aware of the different safety techniques needed to stay safest during RV travel. Here is more advice, specifically about RV road handling.
RVs include Class A, B & C motorhomes. But they also may include trailers & hitches, trailer vans, vans, and even popup trailers. Class “A” RVs are the biggest, bus-sized motorhomes.
What If You Were Hit By An RV?
RVs are very similar to large commercial trucks, yet have no special licensing requirements. As a result, they can lead to serious injuries, or even death, for those hit by an RV.
RVs, especially Class A motor homes, have all of the same dangers as a large bus or truck on the road. Those are more dangerous to other motorists due to their sheer size, weight, and difficulty stopping, or steering. The scariest part is that the drivers have no special licensing requirements. In contrast, drivers of large commercial trucks are required to have special training, adhere to a long list of DOT rules, and get a special license. The DOT regulations limit just about every important aspect of large truck driving. This includes things like number of hours worked, weight and type of load, driver medical requirements, drug and alcohol testing, and cargo securement rules. But no government authority checks RV drivers. That is a terrifying thought.
Despite the fact that many RVs are just as heavy & dangerous, they can be loaded down far beyond manufacturer recommendations, travel as many hours per day or night as they want, drive without getting tires checked, and do basically whatever they want on the roadways.
Common Types Of RV Accidents
Driving such large trucks or vans is a very different experience from driving a normal car, truck or van. Some of the differences that can lead to serious RV accidents are:
- Rollovers. RVs are more likely to tip over than smaller vehicles because they are tall and narrow. The biggest rollover problem arises with Class A motorhomes. They tip over most often because of their size and design when approaching curves or moving to the right or left on the road (especially fast swerving).
- Failure to stop. Because of the massive weight (Class A RVs usually weigh tens of thousands of pounds), they need a much greater stopping distance, and have a much harder force of impact when they do hit something. This heavy weight puts them on equal standing with large trucks by DOT standards. Yet, again, RV drivers aren’t required to be tested or taught how to handle these vehicles.
- Limited line-of-sight. Similar to large trucks, RV drivers have more difficulty seeing the entire roadway, including other vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
- Equipment failures. Tire failures in particular are common, so these heavy RVs need regular maintenance to be safe.
Most Common Causes Of Motor Home & Trailer Accidents
There are many things that can cause any of these vehicles to be involved RV accident. Some of the more common examples are:
- Hitting another car in the lane next to the RV, during lane changes, or when moving into camp sites;
- run-away trailers;
- inexperienced drivers, especially on narrow roads, or when backing in or out of camp sites;
- poor weight distribution;
- overloaded hitches;
- Rear-end collisions when the stopping distance is difficult to estimate;
- Bicycle or pedestrian collisions caused by turns that are too tight;
- Bikes, racks, containers or other equipment not well secured to the RV;
- Defective RV parts, such as bad tires, leading to car failure or other accidents. RV tires are often at their maximum load, and the heat of Florida can cause tire failure, particularly if there are any tire defects; and
- Similar to large truck accidents, often the cause of RV accidents is driver mistake, or distraction.
What Is The Number One Cause Of RV Accidents?
The number one cause of RV accidents is improper weight distribution. So RV drivers really should visit a public weigh station when fully loaded. Their RVs should meet the weight distribution suggestions provided by the manufacturer. Also, pull vehicles & hitches often have separate manufacturer instructions regarding weight tolerances.
Weight is especially an issue when braking, or traveling up or downhill. Thankfully we don’t have many serious inclines in Florida. But still being aware of weight limits is important for RV owners. Proper weight distribution is very important to both braking, and steering. Tire blowouts are also more likely if an RV is too heavy.
Driving Distractions Particularly Serious RV Safety Issue
Distractions are a huge problem for all drivers these days. The number of serious accidents caused by distracted driving has been rising to scary levels every single year. But there are many more potential distractions to RV drivers, such as cooking (which shouldn’t be done while driving anyway), eating, families playing games or having lively conversations, watching television, pets climbing all over the place, etc. Another concern is that RV drivers often find themselves behind the wheel for long stretches at a time. This is also similar to transportation trucks, yet those guys have hourly limits each day, imposed by law. RV drivers should make sure they aren’t driving when they are too tired or distracted. Given the larger size of RVs, quick reaction time is essential. Taking corrective action while driving an RV is much more difficult than when driving an ordinary car. So RV drivers must plan rest & sleep stops frequently, and do whatever is needed to stay focused. When they are driving, they should not talk on the phone, text or (heaven forbid) watch television or operate a computer. Studies have consistently proven that even having a conversation with a bluetooth headset is a serious distraction, which has led to many accidents, including those with fatalities.
So RV drivers should focus only on the road. Thinking often about safety can be the difference between a fantastic Florida vacation, and total disaster.
Consult With An Orlando RV Accident Attorney
The sad fact is that there are thousands of fatal accidents caused by RVs each year. If you are involved in an RV accident, and believe another driver (or faulty equipment) may have been responsible, please give us a call. Calling an Orlando motorhome accident attorney right away is your best bet. We accept RV crash cases throughout the state of Florida. Telephone consultations are free, and you will speak quickly with a lawyer thoroughly versed on how to maximize auto accident case value. Our legal representation never costs you one penny until we win.
If you were very seriously injured outside the state of Florida, or the accident involved a fatality, then we might be able to help you find the best RV lawyer in your state. Also, I am licensed in the states of Florida & GA, so handle RV accident cases in both states.
Why You Want Tina As Your Orlando Auto Accident Attorney