The Risks and Realities of Recreational Vehicles
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Summer has arrived, and that means seasonal travel has already begun. A recent vacation survey showed that almost 80% of Americans are planning to hit the road this summer – on two wheels or four, or more. (Figure 1)
Let’s take a deeper dive into the numbers to get a better sense of how each set of wheels stacks up.
RV adoption has steadily grown to record highs over the last 12 years (Figure 3), with 67 million Americans planning to take an RV trip in 2023, but there are some unforeseen costs to consider.
RVs are involved in about 70-80,000 collisions each year in the U.S., and while this number is significantly less than the 2 million passenger vehicle crashes that occur annually, RV accidents are sometimes more dangerous due to their heavy weight, large size, and increased stopping distance.
According to CCC data, nearly 20% of RV claims were flagged as total losses in 2022, and the average total cost to repair an RV jumped from $4,507 in 2019 to $6,086 in 2022. (Figure 4)
The post-pandemic motorcycle market has been on a bit of a rollercoaster in recent years. It boomed in 2021, shrank slightly in 2022, and is now projected to skyrocket to nearly $7.3B in revenue by 2027 as Americans seek out more cost-effective, fuel-efficient private transportation options. (Figure 5)
Despite their personal mobility benefits, CCC data shows that motorcycles have a higher total loss frequency than most vehicles. Almost half of all motorcycle claims from 2018 and 2022 were considered a total loss, and not always because they were involved in an accident. About 13% of the time, it was because they were stolen. The total cost to repair damaged motorcycles increased 10.2% in 2020, and 20.3% in 2021, peaking at an average of $5,037. (Figure 6) But the most harrowing statistic on motorcycle travel is that more than 80% of reported motorcycle crashes result in the driver’s injury or death. (Figure 7)
The OHV market – which consists of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) with more than two wheels – has grown significantly in recent years, with the number of claims increasing more than 83% in 2022, compared to 2021, CCC data reports.
When it comes to off-highway vehicle casualties, 2020 saw 112,300 total injuries, and while this pales in comparison to the number of passenger vehicle injuries each year, it’s significant in that almost half of those injuries were sustained by children 16 and under. (Figure 8)
CCC data also showed that the average total cost of repair for off-highway vehicles in 2022 was a whopping $7,460, but with a total loss rate of over 60%, it’s more likely they’ll be totaled than repaired. (Figure 9)
As the market for powersport and recreational vehicles continues to grow, it’s important to understand risks and realities as drivers weight the benefits of a fun vacation with the true costs of their summer road trips.