Not Your Average Automobile: How Driving an RV Like a Car is Asking for an Accident

Throughout Wisconsin, it is many a family’s idea of a good summer vacation to hop in the RV and hit the road. With ample state parks to visit and miles of open sunny road, having an RV is a blank slate for adventure. However, many RV owners fall into the same dangerous trap – they drive their RV like they drive their car.

This dangerous trap is in due in no small part to the system that governs RVs, a system which treats them the same as a normal car. However, it needs to be clear that these vehicles do not drive like a car, and attempting to do so is a set up for an accident.

How Driving an RV is Different from Driving a Car

If you go to an RV dealership right now and buy or test drive an RV, there won’t be a training course for it. The salesperson will hand you the keys and politely shoo you away. However, there are some key ways that driving an RV differs from a car, and not knowing can be dangerous.

Unlike a car, and RV is:

  • Taller – Driving an RV means it is like driving a truck or two compacts stacked on top of each other. Suddenly you need to start paying attention to all those height requirement signs when going under bridges. This also means you need to actually know the height of your RV as well. Not knowing can be an issue when going under low bridges trying to navigate a drive-thru.
  • Heavier – As an RV is heavier, it means two primary things that make it more dangerous. As a heavier vehicle, it means it is more destructive, and it can be more difficult to stop. If you slam on the brakes, it will take longer to stop and accelerate as fast. As a heavy-duty vehicle, if you hit any one, it might not wreck your RV, but it will do quite a number on your standard car. Furthermore, if you are also towing a trailer or a car behind, stopping becomes even tougher and even more dangerous in the event of an accident for those in the RV.
  • Longer – Those buying an RV without first driving a longer vehicle, such as your standard U-Haul truck, are in for a surprise. Longer vehicles are more difficult to turn and require a much wider berth. This means you might not be able to sneak in those quick right-on-red turns, nor should you probably try.

Staying Safe in an RV

The key to driving an RV safely is to practice until it feels as natural as driving a car. This might mean doing a few laps in an empty parking lot or practicing your turns in the middle of the night on empty streets. However, putting in the practice with an RV gives the same result of putting in the practice when you were still a driving student – you get better at driving it.

The key to driving an RV safely is you want to be both comfortable and cautious at it. If you need to wait for the green light to make a right turn, do it. If you need to slow down a little sooner for the red light, do it. Car drivers may be upset, but everyone will be safer.

Accidents Happen

Unfortunately, no matter how skilled you are and how safely you drive your RV, accidents will still happen on the road. This is why RV drivers need to be prepared for the fact that they may get into an accident. In these cases, the RV will likely protect them from major injuries, but it will do a lot of damage to most other vehicles involved. If you have been in an accident with an RV or while driving an RV, contact us today. Depending who was at fault, we may be able to help you receive compensation for any injuries or damages to your vehicle that you received in the incident.