Inexperienced RV Drivers Are More Than a Nuisance—They Are Dangerous

RV Traveling on the HighwayHitting the road in a house on wheels is an appealing way to travel for many people. Whether they own a camper or camping trailer or rent a Class A motorhome, these adventurers can be seen on Indiana’s roads year-round. Unfortunately, our injury lawyer adds, not every RV driver can safely handle the rig they have, and not every RV has been maintained adequately to be safe on the road.

If you have a run-in with an RV in Indiana and you are seriously injured, you can hold the driver—and potentially other parties as well—liable for damages.

Our Indianapolis car accident attorney has experience in investigating the causes of RV crashes, and we will make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your losses.

What Are the Most Common Causes of RV Accidents?

Campers and motorhomes are large, awkward vehicles, and driving one is nothing like driving a regular car or even a pickup truck. Camping trailers are also difficult to maneuver and control, even when they are attached to the driver’s everyday vehicle. Because of this, the number-one cause of RV crashes is driver error, but there are other factors as well.

If you were injured in a crash with a motorhome or truck towing a camping trailer, we will investigate to determine if one of the following contributed to the cause of the crash:

  • Driver inexperience. Unfortunately, almost anyone can buy or rent an RV and hit the road. Unless it is a Class A RV weighing over 26,000 pounds, you do not need a special license to drive one in Indiana. These vehicles don’t handle like cars, they don’t stop as quickly as cars, and they have features and controls that are nothing like what you’re used to in a car. When someone heads out on a trip without thoroughly familiarizing themselves with the vehicle, they can cause an accident.
  • Driver age. RVs are most popular with retired folks, so you do see a lot of older drivers behind the wheel. While many seniors are perfectly competent drivers, others lack the eyesight, strength, focus, and quick reflexes necessary to drive an RV and handle sudden emergencies, such as an obstacle in the road or traffic back-ups.
  • Distracted driving. By definition, most RV drivers are on vacation, so they are more likely than other drivers to be distracted by a GPS, passengers in the vehicle, and having a good time. Because people might be walking around, watching TV, and even making dinner in the back of a motorhome while it is in motion, the driver has many added distractions that can result in a crash.
  • Trailer problems. Far too many recreational campers don’t know how to properly attach a trailer to their vehicle. They might not have the right kind of trailer hitch, the car they are driving might not be rated to tow the weight of the trailer, and they might not have any experience maneuvering with a trailer on the back. Jackknifed campers are all too common a sight on Indiana roads.
  • Weather conditions. High-profile campers present unique challenges in high winds. Older RVs might not have tires that can safely manage wet, snowy, or icy roads. Even drivers who do slow down in bad weather pose a threat by disrupting the flow of traffic. If a driver does not adequately handle weather conditions, they could be liable for a crash.
  • Improper loading. How many times have you seen RVs on the road with gear loaded on top, towed behind in a makeshift trailer, or stored in an after-market cargo carrier attached to the back? This kind of loading can lead to an imbalance that makes the rig difficult for the driver to control.
  • Mechanical problems. Tires in poor condition, loose panels, broken trailer hitches, and engine problems can create hazards on the road for other drivers. The owner of the vehicle could be at-fault if one of these situations causes a crash. If that is not the driver—for example, it could be a rental company—then you might have more than one party to hold accountable.

Whether the RV driver who caused your crash is from Indiana or is a visitor from out of state, Keller & Keller will help you hold them accountable for your injuries.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller