Why Do Commercial Trucks Jackknife?

Jackknife accidents are among the most dangerous types of accidents in which a commercial truck can be involved. This is because a jackknifed truck is virtually impossible to control, meaning that it could easily slam into anything around it and that it will move in a very unpredictable way. For this reason, jackknife accidents often leave a trail of destruction and are capable of causing significant property damage and Serious injuries. Jackknife Accident Basics

A Jackknife accident is a type of accident that only happens to “articulated vehicles” — meaning vehicles that have a moveable joint. Articled vehicles include tractor-trailers, trams, trains, and some city buses. A Jackknife accident occurs when a trailing section of an articulated vehicle folds against the section ahead of it, resembling the action of a folding knife.

So, what causes jackknife accidents? The unfortunate reality is that many jackknife accidents are completely avoidable. Some of the ways that truck drivers, trucking companies, and companies who are responsible for loading cargo can negligently cause a jackknife accident include the following:

  • Failing to properly secure and load cargo
  • Speeding
  • Driving with inadequate training
  • Improper braking
  • Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Taking turns too quickly
  • Ignoring adverse weather conditions
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Distracted driving

You Should Always Call a Lawyer after Being Injured in a Jackknife Accident

If you have been hurt in a jackknife accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can. This is true even if the insurance company handling your case is not putting up a fight and is offering you money. As a victim, it is important for you to understand that the insurance company’s only goal is to pay you as little as possible, and they are under no obligation to make you a fair settlement offer. When you retain an attorney that is familiar with truck accident litigation, however, you can be sure that the settlement or award you receive accurately reflects the actual value of your case.

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