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Recreational vehicles (RVs), sometimes called motorhomes, enjoy incredible popularity in our country. Whether it’s for camping trips to a local lake or a multi-state expedition to see the U.S., an RV can be a practical solution when it comes time to take the family on a vacation. The steep costs of airline tickets and hotels, as well as security hassles at the airport, can be enough to convince you that an RV is the way to go.
The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) says that more than 355,000 motorhomes are sold each year on average, and that approximately 9 million RVs are on the road. That’s the highest number ever recorded.
As with any other motor vehicle, though, RVs have their hazards. Because of their size, they are difficult to maneuver, and they can be too much for someone to handle who is not used to it. Because all you need in all 50 states to drive an RV that is 26,000 pounds or less is an everyday, non-commercial driver’s license, the person behind the wheel may have little to no experience handling a motorhome 30 feet in length.
The NHTSA reported that in 2015 a total of 44 persons died in RV-related automobile crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) numbers for injuries in 2012 RV-related collisions totaled roughly 75,000.
RVs can be from 17 to 45 feet long, can weigh more than 26,000 pounds, and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Three classes cover all RVs:
While not an RV, some people tow travel trailers (“fifth wheels”). These campers can reach 32 feet long and weigh almost eight thousand pounds unloaded. A filled water tank and additional gear raises the weight by approximately 1,000 pounds.
As with many motor vehicle crashes, driver error of one form or another is usually the cause; but an RV’s size, lack of maneuverability, and reduced visibility because of blind spots exacerbate the following hazards:
Additional factors unique to RVs can also contribute to collisions:
If you already have a South Carolina non-commercial driver’s license, the state driver’s license regulations for RVs and travel trailers are:
To apply for a Class E or F license in South Carolina, you must do all of the following:
Be aware that if you are driving your RV through other states, they may have different regulations regarding special licenses. If your RV is over 26,000 pounds, you may need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in some states.
As with other types of vehicular crashes, any determination of fault could implicate the driver, the RV’s manufacturer, the maker of a mechanical or electronic part, or additional negligent parties. A personal injury attorney who is skilled at representing victims of motor vehicle collisions can be your best bet. They can fight for your rights so that you obtain the compensation you need and deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and property damages.
The lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm have represented injured South Carolinians in personal injury suits since 1959. With our firm on the case, you can rest assured that you’ll get the personalized attention you deserve. If you or a loved one was injured in a vehicular accident of any type, including those involving RVs, we can help you navigate the complexities of South Carolina’s laws, deal with the insurance companies, and assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, repair bills, lost income, and any other financial costs that the accident caused. Where appropriate, we’ll also seek compensation on your behalf for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses.
The deadline for filing a claim is already running, so call today for a free evaluation of your case. If you prefer, you can fill out our confidential online contact form.