Causes of jackknife truck accidents

| Nov 23, 2020 | Personal Injury

Semi-trucks are an essential part of Houston’s economy. In fact, if semi-trucks stopped running the economy would come to a halt. If you purchased an item in a store, there’ s a good chance it there via truck.

However, having so many large trucks on the road has consequences. Many serious traffic accidents involve big rigs.

Despite efforts by policymakers to make roads safer for passenger vehicles and trucks, accidents persist.

Accidents may occur for any number of reasons, but they’re particularly destructive if the truck enters a “jackknife” position.

A semi-truck enters a jackknife when the truck and the trailer fold at the joint holding them together, resulting in the truck and trailer facing in opposite directions.

Jackknifing trucks are especially dangerous because of their unpredictability. The trailer often swings back and forth repeatedly, smashing anything that crosses its path. In fact, collisions with a jackknifing truck account for 10 percent of all semi-truck accident fatalities.

Unfortunately, a jackknifing truck only comes to a stop after colliding with another object, such as a car.

Jackknifes have a few different common causes.

Weather

Jackknifes are more likely in bad weather. If the roads are wet or covered with snow a large truck is more likely to skid and slide, which could cause the trailer to swing into a jackknife position.

Unbalanced load

A properly balanced trailer load is the best way to prevent a jackknife. If the trailer cargo is of insufficient weight, or that weight is unequally distributed, it becomes easier for the trailer to swing.

Brake failure

Bad brakes could cause the truck to skid, making a jackknife possible. Worn brakes could also result in the driver overcompensating by braking too hard, causing the trailer to swing.

A jackknife truck accident, or any truck accident for that matter, can cause incomprehensible levels of damage to property and person.

Even if a person survives the accident, they may be left with debilitating injuries. Fortunately, if the accident was caused by wrongdoing, they can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for their losses.

An experienced truck accident lawyer can evaluate the merits of a case, provide candid advice, and craft a legal strategy to achieve the objectives of the client.