Any type of traffic accident involving a commercial truck has the potential
to be severe in nature due to the weight and size of a large truck and
the type of damage these huge vehicles can cause. However, jackknife
truck accidents are some of the most catastrophic due to the fact that 80,000 pounds of
metal can suddenly and forcefully swing into another vehicle.
What Is a Jackknife Truck Accident?
Because large trucks are made up of two parts—a cab and a trailer—they
can fold in on each other where those two parts come together. When this
happens, a truck’s trailer swings out to the side and forms a 90
degree angle, which looks like that of a pocketknife blade folding into
the handle. Thus, this type of accident has become known as a jackknife accident.
Although jackknife collisions don’t occur that frequently on our
roads, they do happen from time to time. And for those motorists sharing
the road when a truck jackknifes, it can mean catastrophic injuries and
So How Do Trucks Jackknife?
There are some common factors involved in jackknife trucking accidents,
- Fast speeds. When truck drivers are speeding or traveling over the posted speed limit,
it can be hard for a big truck to make a sudden stop. If a truck driver
traveling at high speeds needs to slam on the brakes due to traffic or
a road hazard, there is a chance that the trailer will swing out of control
and jackknife. This is also the case when truck drivers are driving too
fast around curves.
- Rainy weather conditions. Tractor-trailers frequently travel in rain and inclement weather and these
wet road conditions can cause a jackknife accident. This is because any
time the wheels lose traction, a truck can slide and jackknife.
- Driver error. When truck drivers fail to use the brakes properly, lack experience needed
for road conditions, or drive while distracted, they may lose control
of the truck. When this happens, a large truck can sway and swerve—resulting
in a jackknife collision.
Were You the Victim of a Truck Accident? Contact Shevlin Smith For Help
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a jackknife truck accident,
you need to learn about your rights. We can answer your questions and
stand up to the giant trucking company on your behalf. For a
complimentary consultation, please fill out a short form on our
Contact Us page today.