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Watch in horror as this semitruck slides down the highway. Know these safe driving tips

What would happen if you were in the situation in the video below where a semitruck (or box truck which appears is being towed by a similar truck) was sliding straight toward you? What would you do? It would be hard enough in a car, but can you imagine trying to maneuver a 20,000- to 40,000-pound RV around a sliding truck speeding toward you on its side? This driver did an impressive job, but we can’t imagine everyone would react like this. Study the safe driving tips below so you know how to react in case anything like this happens to you.

Driver reacts calmly to a tight situation from nonononoyes

Safe driving tips

Stop

  • Stopping distances are greatly increased in an RV more than in a car. The much-heavier RV will require several times the “normal” distance to stop.
  • Begin braking for stop signs, lights, and construction areas well in advance of when you normally would. Even if you could stop quickly, you won’t want to. The typical motorhome is a large collection of loose objects such as books, cameras, dishes, and pets, which can all fly forward.

Wear seat belts

  • Wear seat belts. Ever notice that reports of vehicle passenger injuries, and particularly deaths, indicate if they were wearing a seat belt or not? There is a reason for that.
  • Make the passengers wear their seat belts, too. And use a car seat for the kids.
  • If you’re in a motorhome, it is a good idea to stop for potty breaks rather than walking around in a moving vehicle.

No tailgating

  • Don’t tailgate! Make it a habit when driving your RV to never follow another vehicle too closely. Allow space to stop or change lanes in an emergency. The suggested distance is at least 300 feet between vehicles.
  • Allow room for faster traffic to pass or merge.
  • Dim headlights within 200 feet of an oncoming vehicle ahead of you. It’s the law!

Watch the weather

  • It is much more difficult to control an RV in bad weather. Be aware of weather events in areas you are driving in and to. There are a number of good apps to help do that.
  • Slow down in heavy rain as well as dusty, windy and icy conditions.
  • Know when to stop and take a break or find a campsite.

Plan for the worst and know your surroundings

  • Drive defensively and always have a plan.
  • Keep an eye open for an escape and know your surroundings at all times. Is the shoulder solid? Are there places to exit or turn off in an emergency?
  • Can you avoid stuff on the roadway without swerving or hitting it?
  • Can you pull back if items on the vehicle in front of you come flying off? Even semitruck loads come free sometimes, not to mention the casual pickup truck that’s full of household items. Ever notice the stray pillow or broken chair on the side of the highway? I have found that recycling trucks can spew a snowstorm of paper.

Call 911 to report driving safety hazards

Erratic drivers? Distracted or inebriated? Call 911 and report. You could save someone’s life.

##RVDT1916

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Al litch
5 days ago

If you zoom in, you can see that the truck hits the top of the parked car just before going on its side. Wonder where the 2 people were when they barely escaped death.

Sharon B
10 days ago

Pulling a truck with a short chain at that rate of speed?? Is he/she nuts?? So lucky no one was killed.

Don
10 days ago

Obviously some commenters missed your point. I witnessed a semi with a box trailer ride down a mountain in a curve with the trailer half way into full jackknife. Fortunately it was an interstate Hwy with plenty of room so he didn’t get into oncoming lanes. He also had a state trooper escorting him (only God knows how these two came to be in the same place at that time). Amazing part? I followed him for over a mile after overtaking this. Once they got away from the ice on the road the truck driver was able to get everything in a straight line and pull over to the shoulder. This guy really had a cool head.

Ardis
10 days ago

I had something similar about 15 years ago in the good old USA. Going eastbound on I-20, about 50 miles east of Dallas in small class A, in terrible cold rain, the traffic began to slow down to a creep for some reason. I was worried about the traffic behind me, so I was watching the rear camera and the side mirrors. I could see a tractor trailer (from a very well known national company) sliding sideways and coming toward us. The trailer was getting ahead of the truck and was like a bat swinging. It was knocking vehicles off into the ditch, like ground balls. Reactively, I moved up as close to the stalled traffic as possible.

It got so close that I lost sight of the sliding rig, in my side mirrors. In my rear camera, I saw it slam into a Ford Expedition that had stopped behind me. The Ford, in turn, was slammed into my tiny little towed Tracker. The tracker became the “crush zone”. The people in the Expedition were seriously injured and trapped in the vehicle.

Ardis
10 days ago
Reply to  Ardis

Of course, the tow bar and Tracker were totaled. Our motorhome had a couple of thousand dollars worth of damage only from flying debris. We were not injured, except for my daughter in law that had a mild whiplash. I never knew what happened to the people in the Expedition, nor the multiple vehicles that were knocked into the ditch.

The little red Expedition saved us.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
10 days ago
Reply to  Ardis

Wow, Ardis! How scary! I’m sorry for the folks in the Expedition and others involved, and for your Tracker, but I’m glad it wasn’t worse than it was. And with your very descriptive explanation of what you witnessed, I could really “see” it in my mind’s eye – probably very similar to what you saw, but without the terror. Thank you for your reminder about the importance of staying alert to everything going on around you when you’re driving. Take care. 😀 –Diane

Donald N Wright
10 days ago

does not matter where or what, the lessons are the same. going into the ditch less expensive than slamming into the truck.

Bill
10 days ago

This is stupid from a foreign country. The truck that overturned was being towed with a short chain at high speed. Tricks we don’t allow in the USA, for obvious reason.

Forest
10 days ago

Thanks, Nanci, for the refresher!

Gary
10 days ago

Standard youtube car crash video followed by a clickbait Johnny robot article.
Tell us something we don’t know. Stopping distances are longer in and RV? Wear seatbelts.
Capt. Obvious is everywhere…

KellyR
10 days ago
Reply to  Gary

Obvious to some but not necessarily to all of those newbies that just bought their new “escape COVID” RVs. The point to me is, ‘keep aware of your surroundings and have an escape route in mind.” Shoulder, or no shoulder, guard rail, or no guard rail, ditch, etc. One must constantly re-compute an escape route as they travel at speed.

Scott
10 days ago
Reply to  Gary

thanks for the comment Indy driver Gary…Nanci is making a point about facing the unexpected when driving and options to consider besides death. Now go back to your left hand turns or consider writing some articles that will share your vast bank of pearls for the uninformed masses

DW/ND
11 days ago

Outstanding reminders of how to control an expensive large vehicle like our Rv’s of today. (Do’s and dont’s). Complacency and lack of daily experience can result in tragedy in the blink of an eye! The video is obviously of foreign origin, which makes no difference what so ever. It can and certainly has happened right here in the USA. Thanks Nanci for the reminders and visual impact you presented.

Ralph Moore
11 days ago

This exact scenario happened to me! East of Vegas on a two lane a car towing another car came straight at me. I was driving a 3/4 ton pickup with a LARGE overhead camper. I did the right thing and strayed off the highway barely missing the car. My wife following in another car wasn’t so lucky and endured some damage. The damage to my rig wasn’t covered because he didn’t hit me and it was my choice to avoid the crash. Go figure!

Ken
6 days ago
Reply to  Ralph Moore

Yep, this is one more gotcha that insurance companies pull. You’ve avoided a major accident but unless you carry comprehensive or collision you can be screwed for your incidental damage. And you’re out your deductible too. You may have to have the offending individual hit you in order to be covered. Just one more risk that life has.

Tom M
11 days ago

Nanci, thanks for the article. It’s always good to be reminded to be alert when on the road. Too bad some people can’t see the article for it’s value and not need to criticize.

Ellie
11 days ago
Reply to  Tom M

I agree! Thank you Nanci! Remember THINK before you speak (write). Is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind? And if you really feel you need to add your two cents–filter!!!

Mindy
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom M

💯 I agree as well! Thanks, Nanci! So much criticizing & judging anymore 😞.

Ray
11 days ago

I’d title this one “An Accident looking for a place to Happen”. They probably never pulled a second vehicle before. Way too fast and the manner in which the chain was connected would have pulled the second vehicle into oncoming traffic, which it did. Maybe an article on the art of pulling a vehicle with a chain would help people understand the when, where, and how to pull with a chain. It isn’t as simple as it may seem.

Joe
11 days ago

Obviously not someone pulling a 5er, tag behind or MH. I seriously doubt that I could have maneuvered my motorhome around that, more than likely it would have been curtains for me.

Bob p
11 days ago

Obviously this happened in a foreign county where safety standards are more lax. True this could happen anywhere but I think you could’ve used a more appropriate illustration for your article. Just like the lead pic, even though you did clarify that pic was not the truck involved, it’s obvious it is a foreign country in the style of the truck. It is not a credit to your journalism to grab subjects off the internet and start writing without researching them at least a little.

Dan
11 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

Welcome to Journalism 2022. Hey, here’s an interesting video, let’s write a story about it without knowing what really happened.

Bob p
11 days ago
Reply to  Dan

Amen! Never thought of it as Journalism 2022. This has been going on since the internet has provided subject matter without verification. It just gnaws at me that “alleged journalists” pick something to write about without any research whatsoever. I guess journalism has gone the way of the dodo bird.

Snayte
11 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

It is a real shame that we are forced to consume this content.

Jewel
11 days ago
Reply to  Snayte

I think the point is that the whole thing is misleading, from the headline to the video.
If they titled it “rules for driving”, no one would read it. Pretty much clickbait in a newsletter that we are asked to help support monitarily.

While I appreciate the idea that not everyone knows all the practical driving laws they should, it would be nice not to be subjected to the bait and switch tactic here.

Tom
11 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

The subject matter is the object of the story. Because of lawyers, dash cameras are much more common in Europe. All my daily drivers and the RV have recording dash cameras. The toad, as tail end charlie, is going to have a rear facing one.

Roger V
11 days ago

Wow! Nerves of steel in that video. Well done driver. And right there’s one more reason to pay attention and not play with your phone while driving.

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