“I Shouldn’t Be Alive.” Man Thrown Out Of RV Into Oncoming Traffic

We’ve heard some pretty terrifying stories from RVers during their adventures. However, very few are worse than what recently happened to Cordell Patrick.

The accident he experienced is a reminder to all of us about how dangerous RVing can be. After you hear his story, you’ll likely have no problem remaining seated with your seatbelt on.

Today, we’ll look at the accident he experienced just a few minutes from home. We’ll even share tips to help you stay safe if you crash in a motorhome.

Let’s get started!

Wife Dozes Off Behind the Wheel of RV

Cordell Patrick and his wife were recently traveling home after a road trip with their RV. They were approximately 30 minutes north of Los Angeles and only 10 minutes from home.

As many of us know, getting behind the wheel of an RV can be exhausting. Unfortunately, Mrs. Patrick dozed off while driving their motorhome.

The timing of the incident couldn’t have been worse for Cordell. He had just stood up to use the restroom inside their camper.

Their RV started shaking uncontrollably, and he ran towards the front to check on his wife. Sadly, it was too late, and the motorhome hit the freeway center divider, which tossed him out of a driver-side window.

Husband Ejected from Vehicle

As Cordell was ejected from the vehicle, he slid approximately 170 feet on the freeway. When he stopped, he immediately noticed the extent of his injuries. His right ankle pointed in the opposite direction, making it impossible for him to walk away from the scene.

Luckily, he scooted himself to the side of the freeway and avoided any additional injuries. While his road to recovery wouldn’t be easy or painless, Cordell is on the mend.

The accident was captured on the dashcam of a fellow driver. After seeing the footage, Mr. Patrick told NBC Los Angeles, “I just got down on my knees and thanked god because I shouldn’t be alive.”

How to Stay Safe During a Crash in a Motorhome

While crashes in a motorhome are rare, they do happen. Luckily, there are several things you can do to help keep you and your fellow passengers safe. Let’s take a look!

Remain Seated and Wear Your Seat Belt

As Mr. Patrick revealed, you should always remain seated and wearing your seatbelt. While it may not have prevented the accident, he likely would have avoided getting ejected from the vehicle.

Despite what many people think, you should avoid the temptation to move about inside a motorhome when traveling. Even if you are a safe driver, a blown tire and other unexpected events can cause a dangerous or deadly situation.

A woman bucking her seatbelt

Secure Loose Items

In addition to wearing your seatbelt, it’s also vital that you secure any loose items. Those items will fly inside your camper whether you’re in an accident or must stop quickly. These projectiles can be hazardous and cause serious injuries.

Before hitting the road, look for any items that could create a problem. Find a storage space or a way to strap them down so they stay put.

If you are involved in an accident, you don’t want to make it worse by having unsecured items flying into you and your fellow travelers.

Maintain Safe Speed

Speeding is never a good idea, especially in a motorhome. Your RV’s increased size and weight will drastically increase your stopping distance. As a result, it’s best to keep a close eye on your speed.

We recommend never exceeding 65 miles per hour, even if the speed limit is faster. This helps maximize fuel economy and keeps you and your loved ones safe. You’ll have more time to stop and respond to other drivers on the road. 

A close up of an odometer showing the car going 50 mph

Get Plenty of Rest

You should never hit the road without first getting a solid night’s sleep. If you find that you’re getting tired, find a place to pull over and take a nap. While this may delay your arrival to your destination, it’s better than getting in an accident.

Luckily, if you’re in an RV, you’ll likely have easy access to a bedroom and bathroom. Find a rest stop or large retail parking lot to park for an hour or two.

Use the restroom and get some sleep so you can hit the road with more energy. Over 300,000 drowsy driving accidents happen each year, and we don’t want you to be one of them.

React Appropriately

How you respond when involved in an accident is critical. While it may be easier said than done, keeping both hands on the wheel is crucial. This will help you to maintain control of the vehicle, which can help you avoid a more severe accident.

When possible, do whatever you can to avoid running into other vehicles. If you’re impacting a wall or guardrail, it can be best to steer into it. This will increase the drag and help you to stop sooner.

One of the most significant risks is overreacting from the driver. Making major or dramatic moves with the wheel can cause you to overcorrect and tip your RV onto its side. As you can imagine, this can be extremely dangerous and cause extensive damage.

Keep Distance

In addition to watching your speed, it’s vital to keep your distance. Since you’ll require more stopping distance, you’ll want to maintain space between you and other vehicles.

Unfortunately, many drivers won’t return the favor and may cut into the space you’ve placed between you and other automobiles.

RVers frequently experience this, and it can be especially frustrating. However, you must make the necessary adjustments to keep yourself safe.

Following too closely can be extremely dangerous, especially if the other vehicle needs or decides to stop quickly. You won’t have time to react and stop, which will likely result in the front of your motorhome crashing into the back of their vehicle.

A sideview mirror of a car showing a semi truck behind them and mountains.

Stay Inside if Safe

If you’re involved in an accident, the best thing you can do is to remain inside your vehicle. Resist the temptation to get out, especially until traffic comes to a complete stop. You could be putting yourself in further danger by getting out of the vehicle.

A fellow driver may not be paying attention or see the accident. They could come crashing into your vehicle or another automobile involved in the accident.

Like bumper cars, they could crash into a vehicle and cause a secondary accident. If this occurs, the last place you want to be is outside your vehicle. Remain in your seat with your seat belt on until authorities arrive and secure the scene.

RVer Learns a Hard Lesson During Accident

It’s safe to say that Cordell Patrick learned a profound lesson from the accident. We firmly believe the best way to learn is from others.

If you want to avoid finding yourself in Mr. Patrick’s shoes, stay seated at all times while traveling in your motorhome.

Keep your seat belt fastened and only get up when you’ve stopped and it’s safe. You don’t have to be in an accident to learn this crucial lesson.

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