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Tips for safely driving a recreational vehicle

Recreational vehicles are popular because they allow you to be comfortable on long trips and vacations. They're often used by those who want to go camping but who aren't keen on the idea of actually sleeping on the ground, in a tent. They don't want to rough it, but they don't want to stay home. The recreational vehicle provides that balance.

The problem, though, is that an RV is much larger than a traditional car or even a multi-passenger van. This can provide some unique driving challenges, especially for those who have little experience. These tips can help:

-- Have a passenger get out and direct you whenever you park the RV. This person can see things that the bulk of the RV makes it impossible for you to see in your mirrors.

-- Consider using a backup camera. These are becoming standard equipment on more and more vehicles, and they help a lot.

-- Keep a large following distance in traffic. The mass of the RV means you're not going to stop on a dime. Be sure you have plenty of space.

-- Merge carefully. This is true when changingaa lanes or merging onto the interstate. You need more space and it takes longer to get up to speed.

-- Be aware of your blind spots. Check your mirrors multiple times, especially before youa change lanes, so that you don't merge into another vehicle. It's important to always be aware of the traffic around you, even before you decide to switch lanes, so that you have some idea of whether or not another driver has moved into a blind spot.

Even if you follow all of these tips, that doesn't mean other drivers will. If an RV driver makes a mistake and you're injured in the resulting wreck, you may be able to seek compensation.

Source: DMV.org, "RV Handling & Driving Tips," accessed March 22, 2017

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