It’s no secret that everyday driving is a dangerous endeavor that requires caution and consideration from all drivers. But long-distance trips in recreational vehicles, or RVs, can be novel experiences that can trip up even the most experienced of drivers. Accidents in these vehicles may seem rare but can be deadly. Many RV passengers do not wear seatbelts, and there may be a risk of more projectile items in the vehicle that could harm passengers in a crash. Further, RV travelers may be more likely to be on road trips for long periods of time or be driving on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar jurisdictions, increasing the risk of an accident.
According to a recent article, a group of people traveling to New York Fashion Week from Houston was involved in an accident in Virginia. The RV they were riding in collided with a tractor-trailer, killing two of the passengers and injuring seven others. The 25-year-old driver has been charged with reckless driving and driving without a valid operator’s license and was the only person in the RV wearing a seat belt. The investigation, however, is still underway.
Seat Belt Laws in Virginia
While all drivers and passengers should wear protective devices to prevent serious injury and even death in car accidents, the law does not always require it. Seat belt requirements vary by state and can apply differently to different age groups or where a passenger is seated in the vehicle. For example, some states require every person in a vehicle to buckle up, regardless of age, while others only require seatbelts for the driver and front passenger. This is even further complicated by vehicles like buses and RVs, which aren’t subject to the same seat belt laws as traditional motor vehicles.
In Virginia, everyone in the front seat of a vehicle must be properly restrained, and anyone 18 or older can be ticketed. In the back seat, however, only those under 18 years of age are required to use a seat belt or child safety seat. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles still urges rear seat occupants to wear seatbelts regardless of age, as they can reduce the risk of death by 60%.
But in RVs, only individuals in the front of the vehicle must wear seatbelts. In the back, only children under the age of 16 are required by law to wear seatbelts. While it may seem common logic that larger vehicles are less at risk in car accidents, collisions with big trucks can still be fatal. And despite fewer RVs on the road than traditional passenger vehicles, government reports have estimated that RVs are involved in over 70,000 accidents per year on U.S. roadways.
Do You Need a Virginia Car Crash Attorney?
If you’re in an accident with a negligent driver, you need a Virginia personal injury attorney. Protect your rights by calling a team with extensive trial experience. The team at the Schupak Law Firm has the track record to help you maximize your compensation after a car accident. For a free, no-obligation consultation with a Virginia personal injury attorney, call 240-833-3914.