Over the past decade, recreational vehicles (RVs) have become an increasingly popular buy. Not only have millions of people purchased them to go on outdoor adventures, but people are even converting them into long-term homes. While RVs create the ultimate traveling experience for some, others can be seriously impacted by inexperienced RV operators.
The effects of a high-speed wreck between an RV and a passenger vehicle can be catastrophic, both in terms of vehicle damage and bodily injuries. If you were involved in a collision with a negligent RV driver, you may feel like your life has been turned upside down. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a fatal RV accident, speak to an RV accident lawyer at Sutliff & Stout to ensure the proper parties are held accountable for the harm that was caused. With personal attention and aggressive representation, success is just around the corner.
Understanding RV Class Types and Requirements
An RV is a motorized or towable vehicle with sleeping quarters that can accommodate a specific amount of people depending on the size. There are three general RV class types: Class A, Class B, and Class C, with the following specifications:
- Class A: These RVs are the largest of the three and are generally referred to as motorhomes, weighing anywhere from 13,000 to 30,000 pounds and ranging from 21 to 45 feet long.
- Class B: These RVs are considered the smallest and are known as campervans, weighing anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 pounds and ranging from 17 to 19 feet long.
- Class C: These RVs are classified as middle-sized and are called mini motorhomes, weighing anywhere from 10,000 to 12,000 pounds and ranging from 20 to 31 feet long.
In addition, you may have seen towable RVs pulled behind another vehicle. Common types of towable RVs include:
- Folding trailer
- Travel trailer
- Expandable trailer
- Fifth wheel
- Toy hauler
Are RVs Unsafe in Houston?
Now that you’re aware of just how large RVs can be, you may have concerns regarding safety regulations. In some cases, RVs can weigh as much as semi-trucks, yet they do not have the same rules and regulations when it comes to training or obtaining a license.
Most states don’t require RV owners to hold a special license. Houston does require RV owners that operate a vehicle over 26,000 pounds to have a class A or B non-commercial license; however, most RVs don’t come close to that weight limit. Also, this does not consider RV owners who are traveling from different states that might not have any regulations in place. Licensed or not, many operators do not prepare themselves for driving a longer, wider, and heavier vehicle in fast and busy traffic—potentially putting themselves and others in extreme danger.
Since RVs are larger vehicles like trucks, they can be difficult to maneuver and are prone to the following types of accidents:
- Tire blowouts
- Runaway trailer accidents
- Rear-end crashes
- Squeeze play and wide turn accidents
Reasons Why RV Accidents Happen in Houston
You can never be too cautious when driving near an RV on the road, especially since these types of accidents happen more frequently than you might imagine. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), approximately 75,000 RV accidents occurred in 2013. With Houston being a popular hub for parks, campgrounds, and lakes, on the many roads and interstates that lead to these, you always need to be attentive and alert.
Unfortunately, some accidents are unavoidable. Some main factors that play a role in RV-related accidents include:
- Blind spots
- Distracted driving
- Unbalanced loads
- Overloaded RVs
- Inexperienced or fatigued drivers
- Unmaintained RVs
- Defective equipment
- Runaway trailers
In these types of accidents, RVs might sustain only minimal damage. However, passenger vehicles may not be as fortunate. Injuries can range from whiplash and broken bones to traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, which can impact your career, family, and lifestyle in countless ways. After you seek the medical attention you need, save all documentation and reach out to an attorney that specializes in RV accidents. That way, you can be confident that your accident will be investigated by someone with experience in these types of situations.
Contact a Houston RV Accident Lawyer Today
The road to recovery can be scary if you don’t have the financial means or support to get there. If you were hurt in an RV accident by the other party’s carelessness, you may be able to prove negligence was the cause. When determining an act of negligence, things can get complicated. Rather than trying to juggle everything alone, consult the Houston RV accident attorneys for a free, no-obligation case review regarding your legal rights and options moving forward.
At Sutliff & Stout, we believe that building constructive partnerships with our clients will allow our relationships to be founded on trust, communication, teamwork, and respect. When we have strong relationships with our clients, we can deliver even stronger results. When you partner with our Board-Certified accident attorneys in Houston, you can rest assured that we will work tirelessly to preserve your rights and seek the meaningful compensation you are rightly due. Call (713) 987-7111 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.