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Old 03-29-2015, 01:55 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Yes, we were all young once and surely have all made terrible mistakes - some of which produced horrific consequences, others which escaped such a fate.
I was once told, "The price of stupidity varies from 'nothing' up to 'death' and is determined entirely at random." Unfortunately the price of stupidity is also cost-shared with innocent bystanders.

I'm one of the folks who expressed concern over the fate of the teen-aged driver. I for one don't think the lad was necessarily texting while driving. I think he was fully in control of his vehicle at the time of the accident, based on the description in the original post:
Quote:
He was attempting to merge into our lane and either saw the truck and not the trailer or just blew it. The kid slammed into the left side of our trailer, bounced off and hit it again. He then flew across six lanes of I-20 and bounced off a couple other cars.
Just speculating here, but this is how I think the incident may have played out… The OP, like many of us, was going slower than the speed limit while towing. The teenager, like many of us when we were his age, was going faster than the limit because hormones plus motor vehicles naturally equals speeding. The teenager misjudged the OP's speed, and once he checked to see when to merge he then turned around eyes front and proceeded to merge, not realizing that the truck towing the Airstream was going slower than he thought. Instead of tucking neatly behind the trailer as he expected, he slammed into the side of it.

Simple inexperience and the resultant inability to keep track of where other traffic actually is— versus where he thought it would be— leads to the same accident without the need to postulate that the teen driver was texting.

Now having said that… once the OP described the accident, and we all expressed condolence for one or both drivers, the thread had fulfilled its purpose, and thread drift into the related topic of highway safety in general, including the subtopic of texting while driving, was inevitable. The teen driver in this scenario just happens to be an unfortunate stand-in for all of the teens we've seen texting and driving in this discussion, even if he personally wasn't guilty of that offense. And since we may never know for sure…
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:14 PM   #58
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Call me a lightening bug...

When I tow, I turn on the LED's over the rear dinette and open the curtains. On a dull day or at twilight, my tail glows!

Inexperienced drivers causes wrecks. I'm guilty, I admit that I was once a teenage driver.

In my high school class, two juniors "lucky" enough to have their parents GIVE them cars died in fatal accidents before the start of senior year. Poverty helped me "choose" a beat to crap Honda 160 motorcycle as my first vehicle. (Society in 1966 dictated that my reputation went from prude to "hey I want to date HER" overnight.) Truth was that I got almost 100 mpg, and insurance was $66 per year. You gotta want to go to college to drive a motorcycle in December in Ohio. I was a cautious driver from day one because of that choice.

Helping teenagers become better drivers:

One of the wisest mothers I know took each of her four children out for an educational excursion the minute they passed the test for a driver permit. It was scheduled from 10 PM until 3 AM at the area's biggest emergency room on military payday Friday. (TV gore is sanitized, no vomit smell, lacerated guts or femoral artery torn open, pumping the life out of a person in 20 seconds ... and they never show the faces of the parents who become OLD and broken when they're given the news that their child won't recover.) Her four children? traumatized yes, in accidents? No serious ones in 20 years. Her grandchildren? All getting the same reality check by their parents.

Helping myself become a better driver:

A) Facing mortality and aging. Eye exam, hearing exam, Senior driver refresher course. B) getting creative - making my Airstream more visible.

When you watch an Airstream leave a rally or campground on an overcast drizzly day... look! You don't see shiny silver, even on a mirror shined vintage unit. It's GRAY on GRAY. The teenaged driver may have been careless, or maybe we only think everyone sees and drools over every Airstream. (A few times I've seen that silver glitter off in the distance - and driven up on a milk truck.) There IS a reason that many commercial trucks are WRAPPED - to make them rolling billboards - obnoxiously noticeable. I want to be a little obnoxious myself.

We can all turn on our headlights and the trailer's running lights every time we tow. I've wondered if there might be an insert for the center trimline that is reflective. "Blue Streak" could have a whole new meaning. I have a 2012 FB that came with all LED lights, and the wimpy factory solar - Why shouldn't I tow with the blinds up and the main lights on?

I know there is red & white reflective striping available at every truckstop, and I think there might be restrictions on how much can be put on a commercial tractor trailer. Are there any restrictions on RV's? I'd like to consider a tasteful stripe in white reflective tape around the edge of the belly pan.

ArtStream - who hasn't been active lately - had some kind of blue lights installed under his trailer - and had them softly glowing when he was camped. Thinking about it, I've seen several rope lights that change color. Wouldn't that be an attention getter if hooked up to the edges of the belly pan and left on while towing? Anyone know if it would be illegal anywhere? I can't get out of Virginia Beach and NOT be on a busy interstate for at least 20 miles... I'd run with any lights legal or otherwise in that situation.

Happy trails, Paula
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:46 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
We can all turn on our headlights and the trailer's running lights every time we tow. I've wondered if there might be an insert for the center trimline that is reflective.

I know there is red & white reflective striping available at every truckstop, and I think there might be restrictions on how much can be put on a commercial tractor trailer. Are there any restrictions on RV's? I'd like to consider a tasteful stripe in white reflective tape around the edge of the belly pan.
This may do you.
Amazon.com: 1/2" by 37.5' White reflective pin stripping tape: Automotive
It's a roll of white reflective tape, only half an inch wide so it's not gaudy. One stripe directly above the belt-line all around, one stripe directly below, and you're in business. I recently ordered some of this stuff to highlight my Airstream Interstate— and my toad— after seeing a Sprinter van used by a Cox Communications driver that used something similar. I plan to install it sometime this week, before my next trip.

A reflective stripe around the belly pan would not be amiss, but a beltline stripe is higher, more visible, and less likely to be covered by road grime.
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:52 AM   #60
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Driving is dangerous and potentially deadly on a good day. We depend on the other guy to be on the same sheet of music, at the same bar, on the same note. No matter who is at fault, anything you can walk away from, is OK.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:34 AM   #61
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SteveSueMac: Thanks for the reply. I agree, there were quite a few people that expressed concern for the young man. I think even a few in direct response to the original post. That's why I tried not to generalize by qualifying my response with "Some". But point taken. Thanks.

I do agree that distracted driving is something that really needs to be addressed. It goes beyond just cell phone use. The interior components designed into the automobile now can be a very big distraction.
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:33 PM   #62
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Statistically young drivers have greater odds of causing an accident than middle agers, but our first trailer demise was the fault of an older (70s? I couldn't tell) woman making a very long road trip on her own, who claimed she fell asleep at the wheel. My sense was that Granny shouldn't have been driving on such a long trip on her own. In our accident, it was a miracle that she wasn't seriously injured or dead. I agree that sympathy for the "perpetrator" is always called for; and that if our own defensive driving can't avert an accident, at least start out with really good RV insurance. Because, you never know. And that insurance may just get you into your next AS.
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:12 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
I know there is red & white reflective striping available at every truckstop, and I think there might be restrictions on how much can be put on a commercial tractor trailer. Are there any restrictions on RV's? I'd like to consider a tasteful stripe in white reflective tape around the edge of the belly pan.
My B190 stripe had a white strip that was reflective, stock from Airstream. It was pretty cool when I had it parked in our driveway because we'd come around the corner down the street and that stripe was the first thing we'd see. In this picture you can see it glowing, as I used the flash to illuminate the shaded side of the camper.

Quote:
ArtStream - who hasn't been active lately - had some kind of blue lights installed under his trailer - and had them softly glowing when he was camped. Thinking about it, I've seen several rope lights that change color. Wouldn't that be an attention getter if hooked up to the edges of the belly pan and left on while towing? Anyone know if it would be illegal anywhere? I can't get out of Virginia Beach and NOT be on a busy interstate for at least 20 miles... I'd run with any lights legal or otherwise in that situation.
I'm pretty sure that's illegal in many states.

My feeling is that if you can't/don't see an Airstream in front of you, you probably shouldn't be driving. They're huge compared to cars and SUVs on the road, they have ample marker lighting, and they have a reflective surface. I'm just not sure how much more we can do, and we're not going to avoid every accident.
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:34 AM   #64
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The US population has increased by 100 million since 1976, that alone changed more things than you can imagine.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:26 AM   #65
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Does the OP have an update on repairs to their repairs? Was it able to be repaired and where were they completed?
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:34 AM   #66
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Does the OP have an update on the condition and prognosis of the 18 year old?
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