As the weather warms, more and more recreational vehicles can be seen rolling along highways. Driving next to such a large vehicle can be intimidating, so treat the RV as you would a semi-truck (some RVs are nearly as large, and have the same mirrors and handling capabilities).
When driving near an RV, keep these 5 tips in mind, and take the same precautions when you’re on the road with any large vehicle.
1. STAY AWAY FROM BLIND SPOTS
The rule that often appears on semi-truck shock absorber stickers applies here too: if you can’t see the wagon mirrors RV, the driver won’t be able to see you. Avoid driving in the side blind spots of an RV for longer than a few seconds. The driver may try to change lanes without realizing that you are there.
2. Don’t Follow Closely
The same principle applies to following closely. If you are directly behind the RV, you are likely out of the driver’s field of view. Use the 3 or 4 second rule to determine a safe driving distance.
3. Watch for Right Turns
Longer vehicles, such as trucks, buses, and RVs, often have to swing into an intersection to make a wide right turn. Watch these turns and keep your distance until you’ve moved your RV safely through the intersection.
4. Don’t Cut Them
RVs have a longer stopping distance than most cars. If passing or merging in front of a large vehicle, leave plenty of space between the RV and the space you are moving into.
5. Let them into traffic
It is common to allow motorway merging drivers to merging drivers into the highway, so don’t forget to extend This is a compliment to recreational vehicles. Larger vehicles have more difficulty integrating because they require a wider traffic opening. If your RV is trying to blend into your lane, go into an adjacent lane or make room whenever possible.
RV safety extends to RV drivers as well. If you own an RV, check out the list of RV safety tips from the US Department of Transportation. And don’t forget to read our other posts on RV travel this month.