Bigger Vehicles, Bigger Dangers
Many of us have that instinctual drive to keep away from, or quickly pass, semis on the road. That feeling where the hair stands up on your arms and visions of news coverage or “Final Destination-esque” scenes play out in our head.
What about other large vehicles, driven by inexperienced drivers? We seem to have a reverse-logic, false sense of security. Tractor trailers and semis are professionally driven, requiring a CDL license endorsement, strict time laws and other guidelines. While truck accidents do happen, campers, U-hauls and other large transportation modes on the highways can pose significant risk, and are not governed by any of the aforementioned. Would you be surprised if I told you Ohio drivers need a special license to safely operate a motorcycle, but not to drive a large RV or rental truck?
Driving a large vehicle is complicated.
- Increased risk
- Inexperienced driving
- Emergency response ineptitude
- Lack of insurance
- Lack of operational experience
Dangers of Rental Vehicles – Accidents in Uhauls and More
Any adult with a valid license can rent a 16 or 26 foot (or similar size) box truck from local dealers across the area. This means any individual can grab keys and hop behind the wheel – With little to no instruction involved. In addition to the sheer size of the vehicle, many of us are not even sure how to properly start or operate it! A typical truck rented for moving is about 4 times the size and weight of a normal everyday car. EMPTY!
Factor in the stress of moving, weather related threats, other drivers and other factors, it can be a recipe for disaster. From the simple time it takes to stop, to the distance needed to change lanes, rental vehicles are a dangerous road hazard.
A 2014 study prepared for Congress stated that over a five year period from 2005-2010, 134 rental trucks crashes were reported. While this seems small by count, these crashes caused over 163 individual serious injury, and resulted in over 170 deaths. Driver errors and varying inspection standards and loop holes are partially to blame. Uhauls and other rental trucks have a long history of shady, negligent maintenance practices that can extend the danger.
Campers and Motor Homes
RVS, motor homes and campers add an entirely different element into the mix! While it may be a dream come true for some, campers and RVs can be a true nightmare. Distracted and inexperienced driving coupled with slower reaction times and maintenance issues, weather or traffic conditions, can make your RV hell on wheels.
Aside from additional registration fees, most campers and RVs do not require any additional training or licensing to operate! And aside from general insurance, most are not covered by more than a normal policy.
Even in perfect weather conditions, driving large or oversize vehicles can pose serious dangers.
- Assured distance
- Clear and wide turning
- Difficulty maneuvering
- Maintenance issues
- Distracted driving
- Tired driving
- Speeding and stop distance
- Overloading / imbalance
- Improper towing
A FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) report released sited that in 2012 alone, over 75000 people were injured nationwide in RV or motor home accidents.
Large vehicles driven by inexperienced drivers are a serious hazard on our roads. If you or someone you love was injured or killed in an accident with a Uhaul, rental truck, RV or motor home – You must contact my offices immediately.
As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.