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What Is a Jackknife Accident?

What Is a Jackknife Accident?

Sometimes, professional truck drivers who are expected to know how to safely maneuver their vehicles fail to do so and leave their vehicle in a position where it is blocking part of the roadway, which creates a danger to oncoming traffic. When a large commercial truck enters into a skid and the trailer swings out and stops at a 90-degree angle, it is known as “jackknifing.” If a driver jackknifes their rig, it is likely to cause a rollover accident, regardless of how fast the truck is driving.

Why Do Jackknife Accidents Occur?

A driver might find their truck in a jackknife position if the drive wheels lock when they go over a slick spot while the front wheels and the trailer keep rolling forward. Jackknifing usually occurs on slippery roads and when a driver takes a curve too fast or has to swerve to avoid hitting another vehicle.

Driver fatigue and inexperience is another common cause of jackknife accidents. When drivers are tired their reaction time and judgment is impaired, making them more likely to jackknife the truck in an accident scenario. Unfortunately, trucking companies often hire new drivers who lack experience and don’t receive adequate training, leaving them unprepared to handle or properly respond when they encounter a dangerous situation.

How Can Truck Drivers Avoid Jackknifing?

Truck drivers should do the following things to avoid a jackknife crash:

  • Always maintain a safe distance between the truck and other vehicles sharing the road
  • Don’t decelerate when turning or approaching bends
  • Try to brake early and spread it over the longest distance possible
  • Don’t swerve or take sudden evasive actions
  • If the truck starts to skid, steer in the direction of the skid

Have you or someone you know been injured in a jackknife accident caused by a reckless truck driver? If so, call (918) 505-7741 to set up your no-obligation consultation with our legal team to discuss all of your options under the law.

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