Are You a Safe RV Driver?
August 9, 2016
We just talked to a friend of ours who drove to Rhode Island on the 4th and then Vermont last week to visit family. The thing he noticed with all that driving was the many motorized recreational vehicles on the roads. With gas prices so low, it’s no wonder. It’s a great way to travel and see the country while saving on hotel and food bills.
So we thought this mid-summer post would be a great time to help you bone up on some safe driving tips unique to RV’s. We consulted the website at DMV.org and found some terrific, potentially lifesaving advice.
- Obviously, RV’s are bigger than cars and pickups. So be aware of vehicles around you and in your blind spots. Check our post here for typical blind spots in tractor trailers that would be the same in your RV.
- When backing into a parking space, have one of your passengers get out and direct you. If you’re alone, get out before you park and check the space you’re backing into.
- Stopping an RV takes longer than a car! Be sure you increase your following distance to give you plenty of time to break if necessary. And start breaking sooner before turns, stops, and parking.
- The wind affects your RV more than it does a car. This, of course, depends on the height, width, and accessories of your vehicle, but always keep a good grip on the wheel if it’s windy. And slow down.
- Constantly monitor the traffic around you. Are there cars to your side? Behind you? Passing you? Be aware so your reaction time is quick if something goes wrong.
- Don’t ride the breaks on your RV because they could get hot and stop working. And slow down before you break, such as before an off ramp.
- RV’s require a much larger turning radius. That means you must pull out a bit further into the intersection before starting to turn.
- Since your RV is higher than a car or pick up, some bridges and overpasses might be too low. Get an RV road atlas that will list routes you should avoid.
- Watch your acceleration on downslopes as your heavier vehicle picks up speed faster than a lighter car.
- If you feel a sway or drag in the wheel, look at your tire pressure. RV’s handle best with good rubber on the road, so check that tire pressure every week.
- Finally, assert your authority over passengers in your vehicle. They are probably having a good time playing games or even watching TV. But as we said above, as the driver, you must be even more aware of the vehicles around you and in your blind spots. You have to break sooner and be careful of the wind. Distractions inside the vehicle don’t make any of this easier. If you’re distracted, ask your passengers to quiet down. After all, you’re responsible for their safety, too.
By the way, we offer comprehensive RV insurance at good prices. Call us at 315.792.0000 and we’ll answer your questions about properly protecting your RV and offer you a quote.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
Other SZW posts you might be interested in:
Getting Back to Your RV and a NYS Camping Season
Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.