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Over The Network

Highway width restrictions

Forum members perdiocally ask about the fact that most new larger RVs are 102 inches wide, while some roads impose a maximum width limit of 96 inches. Gary Brinck had this response for one member.

Unfortunately there is no simple answer. However, it is not something to be terribly concerned about.

The 102 inch (8.5 feet) width is legal on the entire US highway system, including interstate freeways and and U.S. national highways, unless specifically restricted for some local safety reason (which must have the concurrence of the US DOT). On state and local highways, state and local regulations prevail, but there are few places that actualy restrict width to less than 102". Few, however, does not mean none and a trucker's road atlas will identify those places.

You should also be aware that the 102 inches does not include "safety equipment" such as side view mirrors. Neither does the 96 inches, if that is the restricted width. Things like awnings are counted though.

Are you automatically at fault in an accident? No. However, an opposing attorney will surely do his best to argue that any excess width somehow contributed to the accident. Whether it did or not, and whether a civil jury believes it did, would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

John Davis reminds us that the Woodall's guide to campgrounds contains a state by state listing of laws we need to know, including width restrictions.