Staying safe when driving a motorhome

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Your own nomadic home allowing you to go pretty much anywhere? The appeal of motorhomes are clear, but here’s how to stay safe in one

Motorhomes are more popular than ever before. This is primarily due to the domestic travel trend that has dominated the decade so far, with many choosing to explore the country via the open road. A total of 16,608 new motorhomes were registered with the DVLA between 2020 and 2021, an 8 per cent increase on pre-pandemic levels.

The draw of owning a motorhome is clear: unrestricted, independent travel with instant access to the comforts of home. However, these vehicles are large and bulky and can be cumbersome to operate. This can lead to accidents both on the road and during manoeuvres.

Accidents are not always avoidable, and it is best to invest in comprehensive motorhome insurance for financial protection in the event of a collision. However, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from common mishaps and stay safe when driving a motorhome.

How to stay safe on the road in a motorhome

Plan your journey

When preparing for your next trip, take time to plan your journey in advance.

Motorhomes are considerably bigger than cars, which means that narrow roads are a challenge. Insufficient space and infrequent passing places can make country lanes almost impassable for motorhomes. Plan your route with the size of your vehicle in mind, sticking mainly to A roads.

You will also need to consider your overnight pitstops if you are going on a longer journey or a multi-stop tour of your destination.

Consider the weather

Before you set off, consider the weather conditions on driving days and adjust your plans if necessary.

In situations of heavy rain or snow, or even low sunlight, visibility is poor. This can exacerbate problems with mirrors and blind spots and leave you reliant on knowing the dimensions of your vehicle. This is challenging enough in a car, let alone transport as large as a motorhome.

The size and shape of motorhomes also makes them vulnerable to wind. Unlike a car with sleek lines and curved panels, motorhomes give the wind nowhere to go but straight into the sides of the vehicle. This can lead to motorhomes being blown off course or even over, in high winds.

Travel together

One of the most important things to do is to travel together where possible.

Having another person with you is infinitely helpful. For one, they can stand outside of the vehicle when you are performing manoeuvres and direct you away from collisions. For another, they can assist with navigation, leaving you free to concentrate on driving.

Your travel partner is most valuable if they are also able to drive the motorhome. Fatigue is a factor in 4 per cent of fatal crashes in Britain, so balance the driving between you to avoid becoming tired behind the wheel. Regular rest stops are also essential to staying safe on the road in your motorhome.

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