Simply because of their size and the fact that they spend the vast majority of their lives on the road or safely in storage, recreational vehicles are far more likely to be in an accident than other types of vehicles. If you own an RV, proper RV insurance is pivotal. Alberta RV owners are well aware that the mobility of a motorhome comes with its risks, and that being careful and prudent at all levels of ownership are their best bet for safe travelling.
Unfortunately, accidents do occur, but knowing what to do can help alleviate the immediate stress that follows. Keep Bow Valley Insurance’s vehicle accident advice for RV owners nearby for quick tips.
Avoid Getting in an Accident on the Highway
According to the provincial government, 90 per cent of accidents involving RVs are the result of driver error. The most common causes of accidents include the following:
- Improper weight distribution and overloading – With higher capacity storage tanks, multiple slide-outs and room for all the comforts of home, it’s easy to see why RVs get overloaded. However, overloading and improper weight distribution causes tire blowouts, axle and suspension failure, and damage to brake systems. Weigh your RV to make sure you’re carrying less than the manufacturer’s recommended weight limit and always make sure everything is evenly distributed.
- Underestimating height – Drivers often misjudge height or fail to read clearance limits posted on overpasses and bridges. Although most major roadways are designed to provide sufficient clearance for RVs, when driving off of major roads, use extreme caution at bridges and overpasses.
- Making last minute and U-turns – Many accidents occur when drivers make last minute decisions and turn without signaling. Especially when pulling a trailer, failure to make wide enough turns causes many accidents. Whether you’re travelling in a motorhome or pulling a trailer, use turn signals and take your time when turning.
- Trailer sway – Commonly referred to as “Yaw” by truck drivers, these dangerous side-to-side movements cause serious accidents. Avoid them by reducing speed, paying attention to manufacturer weight limits, and distributing weight evenly.
- Improper maintenance – Although it might seem like common sense, many RV accidents are caused by improper maintenance. Regular safety inspections and timely repairs prevent accidents.
RV Insurance Alberta: Avoiding Common Off-Road Accidents
- Getting stuck – If you begin to slip off the road, don‘t over-correct by jerking the steering wheel or slamming on the brakes. Continue steering as straight as possible, and gently guide your RV back on the road. Even when not heavily loaded, RVs are extremely heavy and serious injuries can result if you attempt to dislodge the vehicle yourself. If your RV ever gets stuck, always call for assistance!
- Roll-overs – These accidents can cause serious injuries and liability issues, as well as serious RV damage. Evenly distribute weight and adhere to manufacturer weight limits when travelling off-road, and never climb or descend steep terrain in an RV not designed for the task.
Accident Advice Alberta: What to Do Immediately After an Accident
- Breathing deeply will help you regain control. While it’s normal to be afraid, remaining calm ensures your safety and the safety of others. As soon as you regain composure, take the following steps:
- Immediately switch on your hazard lights and call 911 if anyone is injured
- Scan the accident scene to make sure everyone is out of the way of oncoming vehicles
- Exchange information with other drivers involved in the accident including name, address and phone number, driver’s license information, insurance company and policy number
- Gather contact information from any witnesses
- Take photos of the accident to record damages
- Record weather and road conditions
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible so your claims process can begin
Vehicle Accident Advice Alberta: What Not to Do After an Accident
- Move the injured — unless they’re in danger of being struck by oncoming vehicles
- Leave the accident scene before directed by police
- Sign any documents other than a police report
- Accept offers of direct-payment from drivers — even if they admit fault
Alberta RV Insurance From Bow Valley Insurance
Unfortunately, RV accidents are common. With adequate RV insurance, however, Alberta RV owners can protect themselves and others. Based on the type of RV you own and how you use it, working with a broker at Bow Valley Insurance ensures your Alberta RV insurance has coverage to protect you.