According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more than 4,000 people die in truck accidents annually. Truck accidents are scary and extremely dangerous. Other vehicles on the road are no match for the size and weight of a large commercial truck or tractor-trailer. The results of any truck accident can be deadly. However, one of the most dangerous types of truck accidents is a jackknife accident. Jackknife accidents can shut down highways and result in injuries to multiple motorists.
What is a Jackknife Accident?
A jackknife accident occurs when the driver of a large truck loses control of the vehicle. As a result, the trailer of the truck swings out to the side. The truck that is out-of-control then resembles a pocket knife folding in on itself. These accidents can block off multiple lanes of a highway. Motorists may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision, and multiple accidents can occur.
Causes of Jackknife Accidents
There are a number of different scenarios where a jackknife accident can occur, including:
- Speeding—stopping a large truck takes a great amount of force. The faster a truck is moving, the harder it is to stop. Slamming on the brakes can lead to a braking imbalance and cause the driver to lose control of the truck.
- Improper Maintenance and Brake Adjustment—if a truck’s brakes aren’t properly maintained or adjusted, they can lock up during a heavy braking incident. If the brakes lock, it can cause the trailer to drag and then swing around.
- Weather Conditions—sometimes, slippery roadways can make it more likely that a driver loses control of a vehicle. Drivers have an obligation to adjust their driving to the weather and road conditions to avoid an accident.
- Sharp Curves—when a driver takes inappropriate evasive maneuvers while negotiating a sharp curve, this can result in a loss of control with the angle causing the trailer to spin out.
- Fatigued or Inexperienced Driver—driver fatigue can lead to impaired driving and slower reaction times. In addition, drivers who have not been properly trained on how to handle a large truck properly may cause serious accidents.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a jackknife truck accident, you should have an experienced truck accident attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping the victims of truck accidents. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.