As a matter of convenience and comfort it’s hard to beat an RV for long-distance travel. But RVs also pose a range of risks for personal injury that are unique to these types of vehicles. Before hitting the road an RV owner should take stock of the risks. Planning ahead—by buying appropriate insurance and adopting safe practices—can prevent a lot of trouble later on. Here are examples of how personal injury can arise while using an RV.
An RV typically contains electrical equipment, heaters, hot plates, and other potential sources of fire. A cigarette dropped on carpeting or upholstery can also cause a blaze. Special care needs to be taken to ensure that potential fire hazards are addressed in advance. In particular, be careful about making modifications to electrical systems that leave wires exposed. Also make sure that any propane tanks are kept outside the vehicle in appropriate containers.
- Unsecured passengers.
In Nevada all passengers in a vehicle over the age of 6 must wear seat belts while the vehicle is in motion. Nevada is a “secondary seat belt law” state, meaning a police officer won’t pull over a vehicle solely because someone is visibly not wearing a belt. But just because a traffic cop won’t pull over your RV doesn’t mean that passengers should be allowed to freely roam around the living space while the vehicle is moving. Passengers can fall and suffer serious injury as a result.
- Inadequate driver training.
A driver who is inexperienced with operating large vehicles poses an increased risk of accidents, especially while driving in congested areas like city streets, parking lots, or gas stations. Nevada requires drivers of RVs that weigh 26,001 pounds or more to qualify for a Class A or Class B driver’s license. These are ordinarily commercial licenses covering large combination vehicles, like tractor trailers (Class A), or busses (Class B). A separate qualification, Endorsement J, is necessary to tow a vehicle over 10,000 pounds. A driver who lacks these qualifications must not drive a large RV. For example, a family should not allow an unqualified teenaged driver to take the wheel simply to give the primary driver a rest.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning.
An idling RV poses a special risk of causing carbon monoxide poisoning. Modern RVs are equipped with carbon monoxide sensors, but it’s important to ensure that the sensor is working correctly before going on a trip. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, often making it undetectable until the harm has already been done.
The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury and auto accident cases for over 45 years. If you have been injured in an accident involving an RV call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or ask us to call you through our contacts page.