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.
Safe driving tips
- 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.
- 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.