Get Help While You Recover After a Truck Jackknife Accident
A jackknife accident is described as the skidding of a hitched vehicle resulting in the rotation of the trailer to the point where the tractor is rotated against the trailer in a manner similar to the closing of a jackknife.
That definition comes from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute that focuses on all sorts of accident causes on U.S. highways.
A large truck, tractor-trailer, big rig, or 18-wheeler is made up of a cab and at least one trailer. A jackknife often results when the vehicle folds together.
What Causes a Large Truck to Jackknife?
- Sudden Application of Brakes – When we hear about jackknife truck accidents, we generally look first at the sudden application of brakes in a large truck. When a large truck weighing up to 80,000 pounds loaded slams on the brakes, it leaves the trailer with nothing to do but skid, jackknife, or rollover.
- Improperly Adjusted Brakes – An unloaded trailer can also jackknife when the brakes are improperly adjusted. Oftentimes a driver can travel many miles with soft brake pedals, which can signal brake failure, but the driver may fail to adjust them immediately.
- Driver Error – A driver braking and swerving at the same time can cause a jackknife.
- Truck Axle Locks – When the truck brakes are not designed properly and the truck axle locks sooner than the tractor axles do, a jackknife can occur.
- Speeding – Speeding and unfavorable conditions can contribute to a jackknife accident.
There is very little a driver can do when he takes a curve and realizes his 18-wheeler is sliding on the highway. He has essentially lost control and the situation can turn deadly to both the driver and other motorists on the road.
When a large truck jackknifes it can spill its load on the highway putting other drivers at risk of serious injury.
Large Trucks & Jackknife Accident Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) calculates that large trucks were involved in about 368,000 traffic crashes with about 4,500 resulting in fatalities. 77,000 injuries resulted to both motorists and truck drivers.
In a FMCSA report, 5% of truck accidents where drivers were determined to have caused the crash, resulted in a jackknife.
With all of the possible causes that can lead to a jackknife accident such as high speed, road conditions, problems with the driver, improperly maintained brakes, or failure to properly maintain the vehicle, an investigation will need to be conducted immediately before important evidence disappears.
Call Our Jacksonville Jackknife Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation 24/7
If you or a loved one have been injured in a jackknife accident you don’t have to go it alone. The Jacksonville truck accident attorneys at Farah & Farah can help you file a claim and seek justice from responsible parties. For more information and a free consultation, call us today at 877-245-6707.