Most Common Reasons For A Jackknife Accident


The trucking industry is a necessary and vital part of American life. It is responsible for transporting retail items like food all across the country. Without those huge trucks and the people willing to drive them, there would barely be an economy to speak of. However, as necessary as trucks may be, they can also be extremely dangerous if they get into an accident. That is because the sheer mass of a truck dwarfs that of any other vehicle on the road.

One of the more common kinds of truck accident is the jackknife accident and there are a lot of reasons why that kind of accident can happen. But if you are involved in that, or any other kind of truck accident, then you don’t care about the cause, you care more about how you will pay for the various expenses caused by the accident. An experienced injury attorney can help you to get the compensation you need from the trucking company that is responsible for the truck involved in the accident. So contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as you can after you have been in an accident.

What is a Jackknife Accident?

This kind of accident occurs when the trailer being  towed by a semi-truck swings around so that it is to the side of the truck rather than behind it. The truck and the trailer end up creating a sort of V-shape, like a partially opened jackknife. This usually happens when either the truck or the trailer loses control. A jackknife incident can be very dangerous because the trailer swinging around could hit multiple cars and since the truck is practically impossible to control when the trailer goes out of control, the truck could end up colliding with other vehicles as well. Basically, a single jackknifing truck could end up being responsible for a multi-vehicle pileup.

The Common Causes of a Jackknife Accident

A jackknife accident usually occurs when a truck loses control and there can be many different reasons why that could happen.


When a truck is going too fast and needs to stop suddenly, the driver will naturally jam on the brakes. The sudden deceleration can cause the trailer to lose control and swing around. This can lead to a jackknife accident on straight roads but it is far more likely to happen on a curved road since the trailer is already out at a slight angle. That is one of the many reasons why speeding is far more dangerous in a truck than it is in a car.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Every part of a truck and its trailer needs to be properly inspected and maintained on a regular basis. The brakes are especially important because they need to be correctly adjusted so that the vehicle comes to a smooth stop. If the brakes have not been properly adjusted, then the axles on the trailer could lock up before the axles on the rest of the truck. When that happens, the truck will end up dragging the trailer since the latter’s brakes are locked up, which could cause the trailer to swing around and cause a jackknife accident. Underinflated tires, balding tires, and fading brakes can also lead to the truck losing control and causing an accident.

Bad Weather

If the weather conditions have made the road slick and slippery, then that could increase the chances of a jackknife accident occurring. The truck and trailer could lose traction and that could cause the trailer to swing around towards the truck. All drivers should exhibit extra caution in slippery conditions and that is especially true for truck drivers.

Overweight Cargo

When a truck is pulling too much weight, it becomes much harder to control and takes a longer time to come to a stop when the brakes are applied. That is bad enough but the weight of the overloaded cargo can also shift around; if the truck is traveling too quickly when that happens, then a jackknife accident could happen when the truck loses control.

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney If You Were Involved in a Jackknife Accident

A jackknife accident can cause a lot of damage and as you can see, the causes are nearly always related to the driver or the trucking company. That is why you need the help of a truck accident attorney to take on the trucking company and hold them accountable for the accident. Your attorney will help you to get the compensation you need to take care of the expenses caused by the accident, such as repair bills and medical bills. Those expenses are likely to be high because of the potential damage a truck accident can cause. So contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.


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