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Memorial Day Weekend Highways Fill for First Summer Fling

rv (select to view enlarged photo)

COLUMBUS, OH--May 25, 2013: --Vacation season kicks into high gear Memorial Day weekend with an estimated 5.8 million recreational vehicles (RVs) leaving hibernation and hitting the road.

“Traveling in a recreational vehicle is fun, but following a few safety tips can make the difference between delight and disaster”

Based on an analysis of historic claims data, Nationwide Insurance advises RV owners, renters and other motorists to follow some simple safe driving tips to avoid accidents as they roll out for the summer vacation.

Motorists sharing the road with RVs should:

  • Recognize that RVs need 20 percent more room to brake, so watch ahead and behind, according to the Recreational Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation.
  • Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and an RV. A good rule of thumb is to keep three seconds between you and a recreational vehicle on the highway.
  • Give an RV plenty of space when it turns.

"Traveling in a recreational vehicle is fun, but following a few safety tips can make the difference between delight and disaster," said Dawn Stoppelmoor, Nationwide product director, who has worked exclusively on RV protection for seven years. "We have patched many RVs on the road to salvage a vacation through our industry-leading onsite repair program, but some pre-trip maintenance and reminders can help keep you on the road and out of the repair garage."

Pause for a moment to consider these safe driving insights from Nationwide claims data on claims that occurred to RVs that were traveling.*

  • Tire problems account for nearly 60 percent of Nationwide's RV claims. Poorly balanced loads and tire maintenance are the most frequent cause of blowouts. RV operators should check tire pressure and tread before hitting the road.
  • Gas stations are potential trouble spots for RVs. One in seven claims occurs in those crowded spaces. Drivers frequently misjudge the length, width and height of the RV and clip awnings, hit poles and back into posts. Drivers need to be alert to not only hazards on the ground, but overhead as well.
  • RV drivers need to be alert to their surroundings especially in new places. One in 10 claims is from roof damage, Nationwide data reveals, that occurs when drivers misjudge the height of their RV or forget they are driving something taller than the family car.
  • When turning, RVs cut a wide path and not always gracefully. More than 15 percent of RV claims are the result of failing to stop or turn correctly. Make sure you have enough room to turn.

Other general safety precautions to keep in mind during Memorial Day weekend travel include avoid driving drowsy, wear your seatbelt and don't text and drive.

Nationwide has more tips to help RV drivers be safe on the road. You can check out all the things you need to do for your RV getaway.