Premier Jackknife Accidents Attorney
Trucks and truck drivers that have caused a jackknife accident may be held liable if an accident was caused, resulting in damages to one or another’s vehicle or worse yet, serious injury. Jackknifing is a term used to describe a type of truck accident involving a vehicle that is towing a trailer, such as a tractor-trailer or semi-truck.
Jackknifing occurs when the vehicle folds in such a way as to resemble a jackknife, with the tractor and trailer folding in on one another. If the tractor (the vehicle towing a trailer) skids out of control, the trailer may push it from behind until it spins around and faces backward. When this occurs, the tractor and trailer will be facing one another while still attached. It will be impossible for the tractor to move, and the vehicle will become stuck. Jackknife accidents are some of the most terrifying. When an average tractor-trailer is 80,000 pounds, this is an incredibly dangerous type of accident. If a truck jackknifes in the middle of the road, numerous secondary collisions may occur and traffic may be stopped for some time until the vehicle can be moved. Collisions like these can and do happen far too often, and they can cause very traumatic and chaotic accident scenes.
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Why do jackknife accidents happen?
Jackknife accidents, for lack of a better term, are often caused by something accidental. Accident reports may cite the weather as a primary factor in a jackknife accident. However, jackknife accidents are usually a combination of factors, involving the weather, the road, the truck, and the driver.
The reasons behind why jackknife accidents occur can be based on many factors:
- Brake failure
- Equipment failure
- Driver negligence
- Bad weather conditions
- Obstacles on or defects in the road
- The driver violated work hour and/or mileage limits
Something like inclement weather cannot be controlled. Yet, truck drivers are held to a higher standard than other drivers because of the requirements of the job and because they are entrusted by companies to handle cargo. Unfortunately, when they make a wrong move or push their limits, that is when an accident can occur.
Are jackknife accidents preventable?
Ultimately, jackknife accidents can be prevented through preparation and good driving. Truck drivers are expected to be trained to be aware of their own vehicles. This means understanding the physics of towing a potential load of 40 tons. While many problems can be addressed through regular maintenance, preventing a jackknife accident often comes down to the knowledge and skill of the truck driver.
For example, loss of control can be mitigated through correct braking. Stomping on the brake in an impending collision, especially with the powerful brakes of a tractor-trailer, causes wheels to lock and skid. This immediately makes the driver a spectator in his own machine. Good braking practices require two things: a large amount of distance between the truck and the rest of traffic, and slow and methodical brake pumping. Correct braking requires the presence of mind and respect for the truck’s weight and size.
Another common cause of jackknifing is incorrect or light loads. Believe it or not, the heavier a truck is, the less likely it is to skid. When a tractor-trailer is too lightly packed—or packed unevenly—the tires lose traction, making it much more likely to skid. In addition, the brakes were not designed for light loads, so wheels are likely to lock when the driver brakes with badly-loaded shipments. A simple mistake can result in terrible consequences.
These are all simple practices that can prevent a great deal of injury, death, and grief. Even when weather is poor or circumstances are not ideal, truck drivers are expected to do whatever they can to keep other drivers safe, whether that means driving slower, pulling over to rest, or ensuring their shipments are packed correctly.
To Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our Firm, Contact E&L, LLP, at 213-213-0000
If you are looking for more information regarding large truck accidents or were injured in a collision with a semi-truck, the attorneys at E&L, LLP, may be able to help you. Equipment failure, treacherous roads, and improper braking can cause a large truck to jackknife. By investigating the circumstances surrounding your crash, we can determine who may have been responsible for causing the collision and therefore how to best proceed in seeking financial compensation for your medical bills, damage to your vehicle, lost earnings, and possibly more.
Bringing negligent truck drivers and trucking companies to justice is not necessarily an easy endeavor. However, with our resources and experience regarding truck accidents, our personal injury attorneys at E&L, LLP, are equipped to handle these cases with the professionalism and attention they need. We keep our caseload small so we can give our clients the personalized attention they deserve, through the entire claims process. To learn more about our firm, our attorneys, and your rights as a truck accident victim, please call for a free case review.
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