Recreational Vehicle Accidents
There’s something quintessentially American about hitting the open road in a recreational vehicle for a driving tour of the nation’s landmarks. Camping in an RV is a popular way that many people spend their summers or retirements, and a tricked-out motorhome can be just as comfortable and luxurious as someone’s house — perhaps more so. Unfortunately, RVs also can be a hazard to other drivers on the road because of their size and lack of maneuverability.
Motorhomes come in many varieties. Some can be as long as a truck, but while people who drive commercial trucks or semi tractor-trailers have to have commercial driver’s licenses, it only takes a regular driver’s license to hit the road in an RV. Motorhomes are harder to handle than a car or even an SUV because they can be longer and taller than a personal vehicle, and drivers who are inexperienced at handling RVs commonly cause accidents on Illinois roads.
Common Causes of Recreational Vehicle Accidents
Some common driving behaviors that can cause RV accidents include:
- Taking turns too fast
- Underestimating the space needed for a turn
- Inability to see other vehicles in the RV’s blind spot
- Not properly securing items being towed behind the RV
- Overloading the RV or having an imbalanced load
- Miscalculating the stopping distance needed for a heavy vehicle
When a motorhome driver does any of these things, it’s possible the vehicle may roll or tip, which can endanger not only other vehicles but also pedestrians or cyclists on the roadway. The RV may sideswipe or rear-end another vehicle, or items being towed may become loose and damage other vehicles or hit bystanders.
Many of the people behind the wheels of RVs are senior citizens, and it’s a sad fact of life that sometimes our driving suffers as we age. Aging is correlated with slower reaction time, vision changes, hearing problems, declines in cognitive functions, and medical conditions such as heart disease or high blood pressure that could present sudden life-threatening emergencies on the road. Many seniors are able to drive safely, but if you happen to encounter one whose ability to drive has been affected by factors related to age, the resulting crash could alter your life forever.
Seniors also are more prone to injury or death when involved in traffic accidents. Bone density tends to be reduced as we age, making our bones more likely to fracture in an impact. If you’re a senior who was a passenger in an RV that was involved in a collision, you may have experienced significant injuries that will require weeks or months to heal, and that may have aggravated medical issues you already had.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by an RV either as the driver of another vehicle, a passenger in the other vehicle or RV, or as a pedestrian or bicyclist hurt by an RV that crashed, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your accident and injuries and discuss with you the possibilities for a successful claim. Your lawyer can help you direct your claim to the right people, negotiate with insurance companies to get you a settlement, or file a lawsuit and work to convince a jury to award you the compensation you deserve.