South Florida is a mecca for recreational vehicles. Many snowbirds drive south for the winter, where they park at one of the area’s many RV Parks. In other cases, a family may rent a recreational vehicle for a trip to Daytona International Speedway, Key West or the destination of their choice.
Ft Lauderdale car accident lawyer David I. Fuchs understands the risks these large vehicles pose – both to occupants and to other motorists on the road. Too often, a driver receives no special training before he is entrusted with a vehicle the size and weight of a bus or large commercial truck.
Because these vehicles are so much heavier, longer, wider and taller, they require experienced to operate safely on the road. Braking, accelerating and changing lanes are more cumbersome. Blind spots, traffic, parked cars and narrow roads may further increase the risk of an injury accident.
Most modern RV setups rival tractor-trailers for size. In fact, most are built on chassis comparable to those of a Greyhound bus. Many drivers never pilot anything as large until well into retirement – and then it’s to make a cross-country trip once or twice a year.
While some states require you to upgrade your license, regulations are not uniform and far too seldom followed. Investing in an RV training school also makes terrific sense – yet until such requirements are a matter of law they cannot be relied upon to reduce accident risks in any meaningful way.
Vehicle maintenance is another important issue and one you have more control over if you own your recreational vehicle. Still, sporadic use can result in brake rust, tire rot, electrical issues and a host of other mechanical problems that can increase your risks of being involved in a collision.
Weight distribution is a critical component too often overlooked by novice road warriors. Just as any private pilot can tell you his total passenger and fuel weight, so too do recreational vehicles have very specific weight limits and distribution requirements. Passengers, freshwater, wastewater, fuel, and luggage all have bearing on a recreational vehicle’s stability.
Lastly, passengers should be properly seated with seatbelts fastened during travel. Too often, occupants take traveling in an RV as a license to wander around, lounge on the couch, take a shower, or nap in bed. A recreational vehicle’s amenities are designed for use while stationary – not while traveling down the road at highway speeds.
As many Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys know all too well, the consequences of a collision with a recreational vehicle are often similar to a collision with a tractor-trailer or commercial bus.
At fault, parties may include the RV driver-owner, a recreational-vehicle leasing company or even a third-party, such as a leasing company’s mechanical contractor. And, in still other cases, a mobile home or recreational vehicle park may share blame for a serious or fatal accident.
The Florida Department of Health reports there are more than 5,500 recreational vehicle parks and camps in Florida. Routine inspections are designed to minimize the risk of disease or illness. Clean drinking water and proper waste disposal are also critical. However, in reality, these facilities are often overcrowded and understaffed. Serious or fatal injuries may warrant a premises liability claim.
Those involved in a recreational vehicle accident in South Florida can contact Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney David I. Fuchs for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. With more than 20 years of dedicated experience handling personal injury and wrongful death litigation in Fort Lauderdale, attorney David I. Fuchs is committed to the careful, individual representation of each client he accepts the responsibility of representing.