As the population ages and begins to retire, many retirees are purchasing recreational vehicles, giving them the freedom to travel around the country at their own pace and with their own itinerary. RVs have become more popular, and they have also become larger. Many of them (known as Class A motor homes) are so big that they resemble buses, have their own TVs, kitchens, and full baths, and can comfortably carry the entire family with all of its luggage.
However, along with the rise in Class A RVs has come an unfortunate rise in RV accidents. Although RVs are involved in the occasional fender bender like any other motor vehicle, many of them also crash due to problems with their tires. There are several reasons for this.
Reasons for Tire Problems
First, while RVs are growing in size, RV manufacturers are not taking into account their increased weight when deciding what size of tire to put on them. In 2006, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a report that, in part, faulted manufacturers for adding features to RVs that increase their weight without also increasing their tire size. The NHTSA specifically recommended the installation of larger tires and upgrades to other parts of RVs that carry the added weight in order to improve ride, handling, and safety.
RV manufacturers also spend little effort to engineer their motor homes for safe driving. It is alarming how few safety tests are conducted on these behemoth RVs when compared with other vehicles, such as cars and trucks.
Tires generally suffer from problems with age. Although most tire manufacturers will tell you that a tire is good for at least 10 years, many people have reported dangerous deterioration in both real and synthetic rubber tires after as few as six years. As time passes, the rubber used in the tire gets progressively more brittle, causing the tread to separate from the tire while driving. This kind of tire problem appears to be especially common in RVs, which often keep the same tires for many years because they are driven far fewer miles in a given year.
Finally, RVs are often driven under conditions that stress tires—during the summer, under maximum loads, and by drivers who are not familiar with driving such a large vehicle—after the RVs have been sitting unused for months on end. All of these conditions can increase the chance of tire failure, and prevention of tire failures requires RV owners to take a more active role in making sure that their tires have a good tread, are otherwise in good condition, and (most importantly) are properly inflated.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an RV accident caused by tire failure, tread separation, or the like, call us. We will be happy to discuss your legal rights and help you recover any damages you may be entitled to receive.
For more information on Recreational Vehicle (RV) Accidents visit the Worthington Law Group website.