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What is Bobtailing and How Can It Cause Truck Accidents?

The front profile of a bobtailing semi-truck.

Trucking is an integral part of our logistics and supply chain, but with it also comes unique risks – Which is especially true when it involves bobtailing. Understanding what bobtailing is and how it can contribute to serious road accidents is crucial for all road users, including everyday drivers. 

If you’ve been injured by a bobtailing semi-truck in Virginia, our attorneys are here to help. Contact us to discuss the details of your case. Continue reading to learn the ins and outs of bobtailing, including what it is, why they happen, and what to do if you’re involved in an accident.

If you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, we are here to help. Sharif Gray has won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. Call us at (804) 915-1611 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We will get justice for you.

What is Bobtailing? 

Bobtailing is the act of driving a tractor-trailer without a trailer attached. On the surface this seems rather benign, but in reality, it can be incredibly dangerous. In many cases, it’s done by truck drivers who are moving between terminals or even picking up a new trailer. However, this necessary act can be very dangerous for a myriad of reasons. 

Why Bobtailing Can Make Emergency Maneuvers Challenging 

The way a semi-truck handles is very different when it’s not hauling a trailer behind it. That’s because the weight distribution of the bobtailing truck isn’t even. Thus, it results in less than ideal stability and even increases stopping distances. 

Further, it makes it much harder for large trucks to perform emergency maneuvers (i.e., sudden braking, swerving, etc.). This is especially true when conditions are wet or slippery, as that greatly increases the chances of a skid or losing control of the vehicle. Lastly, mechanical failures (i.e., issues with brakes or tires) can increase the likelihood of a bobtail accident scenario. 

How to Stay Safe While on The Road With Semi-Trucks

It’s impossible to prevent all accidents. However, if you’re on the road with a Semi-truck, there are a few things you can do to limit the chances of being involved in a serious collision:

  • Be aware of your surroundings – Know where the truck is and its blind spots. 
  • Give large trucks their space – Be sure to leave plenty of space between you and a truck in front of you, especially when it’s bobtailing. 
  • Don’t pass trucks on the right – This side has the most blind spots
  • Use your headlights – Helps you maintain visibility
  • Avoid cutting off trucks – Sudden stops for bobtailing trucks are challenging and can lead to an accident. 

Common Causes of Bobtailing Accidents

Sometimes, events outside of a truck driver’s control cause bobtail collisions. However, in many cases, commercial drivers involved in these kinds of accidents are guilty of distracted driving, not following protocol, speeding, and more. 

Less experienced drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents while they’re bobtailing and: 

  • Moving between terminals 
  • Picking up new trailers
  • Taking a break between loads
  • Making a small delivery 

Further, other drivers making dangerous maneuvers or ignoring traffic laws greatly increase the chances of a collision with a bobtailing commercial vehicle. In cases like this, it can be difficult to determine fault – Which is why it’s essential to connect with a bobtail accident lawyer as soon as possible after such collisions. 

Steps To Take If You’re in an Accident With a Bobtailing Truck 

Suppose you’re injured in an accident that involves a negligent bobtailing truck. In that case, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your health as well as your ability to seek damages. First, your health is your ultimate wealth, so seek medical attention as soon as possible (even if you don’t currently feel pain). 

Next, contact the appropriate authorities and exchange information with others who were involved (i.e., truck driver, bystanders, etc.). Then, quickly collect evidence at the scene – This can include photos/video of the scene, damages, and your injuries. After you’ve notified your insurance company, it’s generally in your best interest to reach out to a skilled Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Call Us Today To Discuss Your Bobtailing Accident 

Commercial truck accident litigation is incredibly complex and notoriously hard to understand – But we’re here to walk you through the claims process step-by-step. If you’ve suffered injuries due to a negligent truck driver, it’s absolutely critical that you get the legal help you need and deserve. 

An attorney who understands the nuances of an accident involving bobtailing can give you an accurate assessment of the viability of your case, guide you through the process, and seek maximum damages on your behalf. Don’t wait until the statute of limitations expires before you seek compensation. 

Contact RVA personal injury lawyers to speak with the best Truck Accident Lawyer in Virginia today.

“We Get Justice For Injured People, and We Love What We Do”

We are not settlement lawyers. Sharif Gray has proven that he can and will get results in court, and the insurance companies know that. If you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, we can help.

Sharif is committed to trying cases well. Because of that, he does not handle hundreds of cases at a time. He is selective in the cases he takes so he can get justice for the people he represents. In every case, he has three goals:

  1. Hold the responsible corporation or individual fully accountable.
  2. Make the community safer, so others are not also harmed.
  3. Compensation that recognizes the full and fair value of what was taken from your health and quality of life.

We love what we do, and we are proud of the positive impact we have had and will continue to have on the people we represent and the community we live in.

If we can be of help to you, please do not hesitate to call us at (804) 915-1611 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We will get justice for you.


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