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Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer: Bobtail Trucks and Rigs without Trailers Come with Their Own Set of Dangers

This week, we covered the story of a Newport News truck accident that took place when a tractor-trailer cab lost control on I-64, slamming into another car and seriously injuring three people. Unfortunately, commercial truck accidents involving trucks not pulling tractors – often referred to as bobtail trucks – are somewhat common. While trucks pulling trailers come with their own dangers and hazards, it is important to understand that cabs that aren’t hauling loads present a different set of dangers on the road. 

Different type of vehicle, different hazards

Bobtail trucks – cabs weighing over 10,000 pounds that are not hauling a trailer – are a challenge to drive, especially since the truckers behind the wheel are often much more used to driving a loaded tractor-trailer. Driving bobtails takes experience and skill – and the knowledge of common dangers. 

  • Bobtail trucks are prone to lurching. Because truck cabs were designed to haul extremely heavy trailers, they are much more powerful than they need to be when driving on their own. The result is that the vehicles may lurch forward if there is an inexperienced or careless driver behind the wheel. 
  • Truckers may have difficulty driving a bobtail in reverse. When driving a tractor-trailer, truckers should steer in the opposite direction that they would like to go. When driving a cab alone, they should steer in the same direction that they would like to turn (as with a traditional car). When truckers forget this important difference, accidents can happen. 
  • Truckers may lose control while braking. Truck cabs are designed to haul trailers. When they aren’t, they don’t function quite as they should. If truckers brake as they normally would, instead of more gently, the rear axel of the cab may skid and the driver could lose control of his rig. 
  • Bobtail trucks can easily be mishandled. Again, cabs are meant to have a trailer. Cabs driving without a trailer have a high and forward center of gravity. They don’t handle like a tractor-trailer, and they don’t handle like a car. 

Virginia Beach truck accident attorneys 

Cabs without trailers can be a serious danger on our roads and interstates – especially to drivers who don’t realize their hazards. If you have been involved in a commercial truck accident, you could be owed compensation. Contact the VA truck accident attorneys at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan today to request a free, confidential case evaluation: 800-752-0042. 

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