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Old 08-17-2014, 02:04 PM   #1
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Safety: Learning from Incidents, Accidents & Crashes

We constantly discuss towing safety concerns here: tow vehicles, hitches, tires, various accessories, etc. - and rightfully so. The idea of endangering someone else on the road is of great concern to me and I'm sure to us all. However, the discussions often quickly stray from the empirical into personal opinion. Perhaps the ultimate measure of safety is how often or how rarely there are incidents, accidents and crashes.

The FAA investigates accidents involving airplanes exhaustively in order to determine their causes and to prevent them from happening in the future. As far as I know, there is no investigation of RV accidents. I'm not sure where to even find statistics on how often they occur and what the major causes are. My thought is that we could try and document as many incidents involving Airstreams here as possible so we can all learn from them.

I'm going to do some research and start posting links here. Here's a recent one:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...ay-124057.html

It would be great if others could do the same. It's not for the sake of voyeurism, it's so we can all learn moe about safety on the road.

Thanks,
Poppy
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:57 PM   #2
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RV accidents would be investigated thoroughly should they involve a fatality. The fact that you mention they are not is a good thing. Most common MVA's are reported to the best ability of the officers that are dispatched. They record the information and diagram the final resting places of the vehicles as they see it. A full investigation is very time consuming and expensive, requiring many hours by investigators that have been trained in MVA reconstruction. If you could search I would bet there have been some that needed the full investigation. The State Police here in NJ have a commercial vehicle unit that does a fine job of investigating serious accidents. Even those not involving a fatality. Like RV's the large trucks require some special expertese as would some RV's.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdmaestro View Post
We constantly discuss towing safety concerns here: tow vehicles, hitches, tires, various accessories, etc. - and rightfully so. The idea of endangering someone else on the road is of great concern to me and I'm sure to us all. However, the discussions often quickly stray from the empirical into personal opinion. Perhaps the ultimate measure of safety is how often or how rarely there are incidents, accidents and crashes.

The FAA investigates accidents involving airplanes exhaustively in order to determine their causes and to prevent them from happening in the future. As far as I know, there is no investigation of RV accidents. I'm not sure where to even find statistics on how often they occur and what the major causes are. My thought is that we could try and document as many incidents involving Airstreams here as possible so we can all learn from them.

I'm going to do some research and start posting links here. Here's a recent one:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...ay-124057.html

It would be great if others could do the same. It's not for the sake of voyeurism, it's so we can all learn moe about safety on the road.

Thanks,
Poppy
Poppy.

The insurance division of Airstream, Caravanner Insurance Company, had me do many research tests in the early 70's. Airstream originally said that finding the cause of a loss of control accident was impossible.

After a very few short months, they were presented with some data, that indeed proved the cause of many loss of control accidents.

The cause of loss of control accidents was deemed impossible.

Yet, we proved over 85 percent of them.

That allowed us (Caravanner Insurance) to predict when someone was a statistic, waiting to happen.

After about 6 months of that research, we prepared a series of 12 questions that was sent to the owner that lost control.

We then would review the data that they sent back to us, and WOW, only 85 percent repeated time and time again.

I have many times tried to help owners with that information, and interesting enough, all too may people would say "that's old information that today is useless".

Very interesting that those owners willingly kicked PHYSICS TO THE CURB and want to argue.

I have invited others to do the research, including hitch manufacturers, and they all say the same thing, "LET SOMONE ELSE DO IT".

I have personally investigated over 1000 loss of control accidents involving Airstream trailers.

Since I do not travel anymore, I wonder why so many loss of control accidents occur, and people still say, "YOU CANNOT PROVE IT", or send then copies of the research data.

I do not have that data as it belonged to Caravanner, but I still have that knowledge in my brain.

If someone wants to listen, fine, but arguing is not my cup of tea.

Andy
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:37 PM   #4
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Here's a link to Paula's (Foiled Again) account of her rollover June, 2013:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ml#post1313059

Poppy
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:52 PM   #5
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Andy here on the forums worked for AS insurance co. He has lots of info, but ut might be out of date. Usually when he makes statements backed by facts the experts here on the forums just want to argue. That's just us I guess. Jim
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:52 PM   #6
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Links to members mentioning AS accidents:

Rollover of a 30 footer:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ml#post1314546

Unidentified TV/trailer in 2010:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ml#post1315153

I've just started doing some research and I'm surprised to find these so quickly.

Poppy
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:09 PM   #7
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2006 Rollover South of Shasta
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f351...nce-28912.html

Thread from 2003:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...over-4294.html

This is rapidly becoming a scary and depressing topic - sorry. But there's also some great information. The second thread above cites many accidents but also contains many good safety tips.

Poppy
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:02 PM   #8
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Why limited to Airstreams? I'm sure there are plenty of Travel Trailer accidents every year.

I'd also like to point out that in science, correlation does not imply causation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correl...mply_causation
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:30 PM   #9
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I'm concentrating on Airstreams because this is an Airstreams forum.

What I'm most interested in is the particulars of accidents - why they happened. Which can lead to better understanding of how to prevent them. I've personally learned *a lot* already in the brief research I have done today, particularly safety pointers. I've had professional training in racing Porsches on the track and I know how valuable it is. Unlike towing, you can't race without it. But I have never had professional training in towing. I would love to see this thread segue into a discussion about safety. For example:

Someone pulls in front if you and stops abruptly. In the fraction of a second that you have to react, how do you prioritize these actions?
1. Brake hard
2. Look for an open hole you can swerve into?
3. Hit them
4. Or a combination

A deer appears in the roadway at night. Do you:
1. Brake hard
2. Swerve
3. Honk
4. Hit it
5. Or a combination

If your trailer starts to sway badly, do you:
1. Brake
2. Accelerate
3. Turn up the brake controller
4. Or a combination

Do you take your trailer out to deserted areas and practice emergency maneuvers, such as swerving and hard braking?

I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know the answers to all of these questions when today begin. Based on the reading I have done today of the experiences of others, I think I do now. At least on a book-learning level - now I need to go practice them.

Poppy
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:40 PM   #10
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Andy...

I for one very much want to listen. Can you do a brain dump for us?

Thanks,
Poppy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Poppy.

The insurance division of Airstream, Caravanner Insurance Company, had me do many research tests in the early 70's. Airstream originally said that finding the cause of a loss of control accident was impossible.

After a very few short months, they were presented with some data, that indeed proved the cause of many loss of control accidents.

The cause of loss of control accidents was deemed impossible.

Yet, we proved over 85 percent of them.

That allowed us (Caravanner Insurance) to predict when someone was a statistic, waiting to happen.

After about 6 months of that research, we prepared a series of 12 questions that was sent to the owner that lost control.

We then would review the data that they sent back to us, and WOW, only 85 percent repeated time and time again.

I have many times tried to help owners with that information, and interesting enough, all too may people would say "that's old information that today is useless".

Very interesting that those owners willingly kicked PHYSICS TO THE CURB and want to argue.

I have invited others to do the research, including hitch manufacturers, and they all say the same thing, "LET SOMONE ELSE DO IT".

I have personally investigated over 1000 loss of control accidents involving Airstream trailers.

Since I do not travel anymore, I wonder why so many loss of control accidents occur, and people still say, "YOU CANNOT PROVE IT", or send then copies of the research data.

I do not have that data as it belonged to Caravanner, but I still have that knowledge in my brain.

If someone wants to listen, fine, but arguing is not my cup of tea.

Andy
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:52 PM   #11
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My opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdmaestro View Post
I'm concentrating on Airstreams because this is an Airstreams forum.

What I'm most interested in is the particulars of accidents - why they happened. Which can lead to better understanding of how to prevent them. I've personally learned *a lot* already in the brief research I have done today, particularly safety pointers. I've had professional training in racing Porsches on the track and I know how valuable it is. Unlike towing, you can't race without it. But I have never had professional training in towing. I would love to see this thread segue into a discussion about safety. For example:

Someone pulls in front if you and stops abruptly. In the fraction of a second that you have to react, how do you prioritize these actions?
1. Brake hard I would brake hard.
2. Look for an open hole you can swerve into? Swerving could cause you to hit someone else besides who caused the problem. And for you to be the cause. Or you to be a single vehicle accident.
3. Hit them You might have no choice other than to hit them.
4. Or a combination

A deer appears in the roadway at night. Do you:
1. Brake hard Brake hard and honk your horn; You still might hit it.
2. Swerve
3. Honk
4. Hit it
5. Or a combination

If your trailer starts to sway badly, do you:
1. Brake
2. Accelerate
3. Turn up the brake controller Manually hit your trailer brakes first, then slow down.
4. Or a combination

Do you take your trailer out to deserted areas and practice emergency maneuvers, such as swerving and hard braking?
No I wouldn't do this; You might just lose control and roll your trailer trying this. [or jackknife it]

I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know the answers to all of these questions when today begin. Based on the reading I have done today of the experiences of others, I think I do now. At least on a book-learning level - now I need to go practice them.

Poppy
Hi, I believe from what I have read, that most of these accidents were driver error; Some admitted later and others pacified by blaming the hitch. Some who blamed the hitch, or bought a different brand hitch later, never mentioned trailer sway during the accident.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdmaestro View Post
This is rapidly becoming a scary and depressing topic - sorry.
I actually feel differently. We have thousands of members on this forum, and in over ten years we have had very few accidents reported. There will always be some - driver error, rig setup, weather, other drivers, equipment failure. Accidents happen, but I don't feel a need to dwell on it. The vast majority of RVers have uneventful trips.

Take care of your equipment, get it setup right, and drive safe and sane when you are out there, and hope everyone around you does the same.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:01 AM   #13
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There is no single answer to any of those multiple choice questions because ironically enough, every situation is situational.

The best action when confronted with a potential accident is to avoid the accident all together, if this isn't possible, it is important to be in a position to choose the best bad option.

I have read some of the opinions on what to do as listed on some of the above links. I do not agree with all of them. Do not brake before an accident? Please, that is just ridiculous. A time to brake is an opportunity to mitigate the force of impact.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
That allowed us (Caravanner Insurance) to predict when someone was a statistic, waiting to happen.

After about 6 months of that research, we prepared a series of 12 questions that was sent to the owner that lost control.

I have personally investigated over 1000 loss of control accidents involving Airstream trailers.

If someone wants to listen, fine, but arguing is not my cup of tea.
First off. I don't want to argue with you about your data. What I do want to do is to learn.

PLEASE share your information with us. I would love to take your 12-question test. I think other forum members would too. Would you be willing to share that with us as well?

What conclusions have you drawn from the 1000 accidents that you studied? I think we all are willing to take a free opportunity to see what behaviors we might change in order to travel more safely with our trailers.
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