New York Recreational Vehicle (RV) Accident Lawyer
Recreational vehicle (RV) is a broad term typically covering any vehicle that includes living quarters. There are a variety of RV types, such as motor homes, campers, trailers, campervans, caravans, and others. Many families purchase or rent RVs to travel for fun, visiting campgrounds, canyons, beaches, and mountains across the country. RV accidents are, unfortunately, a real risk. RVs are large, unwieldy vehicles, and there is little barrier to entry to start driving one.
If you’ve been injured in an RV accident in New York’s Hudson Valley, the Goshen RV accident attorneys at Dupée & Monroe are ready to help. We’ll investigate the circumstances of your accident, determine who should be held liable, and fight for your right to compensation for the harm caused to you and your family. Give us a call to discuss your RV injury case today.
RV Accidents in the U.S.
We might not think about recreational vehicle accidents on a regular basis, but they nevertheless pose a risk to drivers on state and federal highways. Nationally, there are more than 30 million RVs either owned or rented by RV enthusiasts. Over 8.9 million households own an RV. The most common type of RV is a smaller vehicle built on a van chassis, but which still weighs between 10,000-12,000 pounds. Federal seat belt standards apply to the front seats for these vehicles, but not for rear occupants.
While exact crash statistics for RVs are hard to put together due to the lack of a standardized definition and targeted studies, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that more than 75,000 hospitalizations a year are connected to “large truck” accidents, which include “motor homes” and other RVs. RV accidents happen, and when they do, everyone is at risk– RV occupants and other motorists alike.
What Causes RV Accidents?
RVs are like other large vehicles: They have a higher center of gravity, they are larger by weight than other vehicles, and they are harder to control. In New York, you need a Class B Non-Commercial License to drive a vehicle larger than 26,000 pounds, but for smaller vehicles (which includes most RVs on the road), you need no special driver’s license. That means that most RVs are driven by people with no special experience or training. Accidents can and do happen.
Many RV accidents are caused by drivers who are not used to the special challenges caused by driving an RV. Although many RV accidents are caused by the same factors leading to other traffic crashes–distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving, speeding, etc.–RVs carry specific additional risks, including:
- RVs have a different center of balance than smaller passenger vehicles. They are significantly more prone to rolling over as a result of unsafe speeds, sharp turns, and tire blowouts. Even a heavy wind–common in mountainous areas where RVs are popular vacation transportation–can cause an RV to tip, sway, or rollover. Unbalanced weight can greatly increase the risk of a rollover accident, even without impact. Should the vehicle be side-swiped or otherwise hit by another vehicle, rollover is a major risk.
- RVs must be loaded properly and within the weight recommended by the manufacturer. If an RV is overloaded, the vehicle has to work harder, causing engine, transmission, brake, frame, and axle problems. Drivers of overweight vehicles are more likely to lose control, especially in combination with other factors such as wind and road conditions.
- Blind Spots. All vehicles have blind spots, but larger vehicles have larger blind spots. RVs, especially long motor homes, have much larger blind spots than most drivers are accustomed to. Other drivers might not even realize they’re riding in the RV’s blind spot. RV drivers and other motorists must be especially careful not to increase the risk of a blind spot accident.
- Driver Error. Driver error is always a risk for any vehicle on the road. RVs, however, pose special challenges and must be handled carefully. Most RVs are driven by people with no special experience, training, or licensing. Miscalculating braking distance, speeding, overloading, turning too quickly, or making any number of other errors can lead to a catastrophic accident. The risk of driver error is heightened by other negligent behavior such as drinking and driving, consuming narcotics, texting while driving, engaging too much with passengers, or driving without sufficient sleep.
Experienced New York RV Crash Attorneys Ready to Protect Your Rights
If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident involving a camper, trailer, motor home, RV, or other vehicle in Orange County or New York City, find out if you should file a claim for damages by contacting the dedicated and comprehensive Goshen personal injury lawyers Dupée & Monroe at 845-294-8900.