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 fatalities.
So How Do Trucks Jackknife?
There are some common factors involved in jackknife trucking accidents, including:
- 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.