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What Is Deadhead Trucking?

What is “deadhead” in trucking? Riding deadhead refers to times when a truck is hauling an empty trailer. This can include an empty dry van trailer or an empty flatbed.

What does deadhead mean in trucking? Most often it means lost money. Truck drivers rarely get paid to haul empty trailers. If you’re an owner-operator of your rig, you want to be hauling things in your trailer for as much mileage as possible. Otherwise, you’re spending time and gas money on not getting paid.

Deadhead trucking is also particularly dangerous. Trailers and tractor cabs are designed to function a certain way while they’re hauling a full or mostly full load of goods. When a trailer is empty, then there’s no weight to hold it down or keep it under control on the road. The trailer can move unpredictably, and it can also be more prone to slip, swerve, or overturn.

According to one long term research study, trucks hauling an empty load are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in an accident.

Dry van trailers are especially dangerous during deadhead runs because they have high walls that can be caught in winds. When enough wind pushes on the side of a deadhead trailer, it can knock it over and cause a truck rollover accident.

Why Deadhead Trucking Can Matter in a Truck Accident Injury Case

When a truck is involved in an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney will want to ask important questions. One of the most important questions is: what was the truck hauling, and was the driver qualified to do it?

Deadhead trucking requires a unique set of skills and poses its own set of risks. If a driver is inexperienced or put in a situation where their haul is made unreasonably safe, the act of driving deadhead can be seen as a breach in their expected duty of care. When an accident results, those mistakes, and oversights could form the basis of a negligence claim, allowing the injury victim a legal basis to seek compensation.

If you have been involved in a tractor-trailer collision and have questions about liability or how to obtain compensation, an experienced truck accident injury lawyer can help you with your case. An attorney can assist with investigations and apply relevant laws, industry regulations, and past case outcomes to determine the best strategy for your unique situation.

Call 800-559-5741 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney from Auger & Auger Accident and Injury Lawyers today.