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Shapiro & Appleton

Preventing Bobtail Truck Accidents in Virginia

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After a commercial truck cab that was not hauling a trailer crashed in Newport News along Interstate 64, we decided it was time to write about the often-ignored dangers of bobtail trucks—big-rig cabs that are driving without an attached trailer. 

Why are bobtail trucks dangerous even though they are smaller, lighter, and shorter than tractor-trailers? Very simply, truck cabs are not meant to drive without trailers attached to them – and truck drivers are not used to driving their cabs without their loads. The result is a vehicle with an odd center of gravity, a disproportionate amount of power, and a driver who might not have much experience. 

How can you avoid bobtail truck accidents when sharing the road with trailer-less truck cabs? 

  • Be prepared for lurching. When a bobtail truck goes from a full stop into forward movement, it will sometimes lurch forward because of the power of the engine and the inexperience of the trucker. If stopped in front of a bobtail truck, try to leave extra room. 
  • Give trucks some extra room. Truckers driving a bobtail rig may have difficulty stopping – or they may stop too quickly and lose control of the back end of their vehicle. The best way to avoid becoming involved in these accidents is to give these trucks room to make mistakes. 
  • Stay out of the way when bobtails are backing up. Truck drivers are used to backing up tractor-trailers, not cabs. When backing up, it’s not uncommon to see a cab turn in the opposite direction than the driver intended. Keep this in mind if you are anywhere near one. 

Have you been involved in a Virginia commercial truck accident involving a truck cab or bobtail rig? You may wish to seek the council of an experienced VA personal injury attorney. To learn more about your case during a private session with a truck accident lawyer, call Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan today: 800-752-0042. 

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